MONROE: Leading from behind while Iran goes nuclear

Obama’s dereliction on weapons problem

Question of the Day

Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

View results

As a backdrop to these activities, our reinforcing measures must include nuclear forces as well. Although we should not threaten to use nuclear weapons on Iran, they provide fearsome, credible support for our conventional forces. Because they’re so devastating and unique, nuclear weapons are the real power in our deterrence. Our reinforcing measures with nuclear forces should include immediate resumption of underground nuclear weapons testing, as well as accelerated design, testing and production of new nuclear weapons with very low yield, great accuracy, reduced collateral damage and increased security and control. Individual designs should be tailored for earth penetration, chemical-biological agent defeat and reduced residual radiation — all with no attempt at secrecy.

Look back at our proven track record of deterrence. For half a century deterrence kept us safe. We’re all here today because it works. Throughout 40 years of the Cold War — the most deadly confrontation of nuclear-armed superpowers in history — deterrence worked. Those decades saw hundreds of crises, dozens of hot wars, yet America’s bold, firm, unwavering policy of deterrence was 100 percent effective in preventing use of a single nuclear weapon. We won the Cold War.

Iran today represents a whole spectrum of threats. A rogue state — irresponsible and belligerent — is about to acquire the capability to produce nuclear weapons. Iran has already threatened to use them to destroy Israel, and may well give them to proxies such as Hezbollah, Hamas and al Qaeda for use anywhere. Worst of all, Iran is triggering a global cascade of proliferation that will make nuclear weapons and material easily available to terrorists and criminals, leading to a world of nuclear horror and chaos from which there can be no return.

Diplomacy and sanctions have failed for two decades. It’s time for action: We must use the immense power of deterrence. We’re at a critical moment in history, and our president has just failed the red line test. This is no time for timidity, weakness and indecision. America needs the clear-eyed courage and boldness of a Teddy Roosevelt, Harry Truman or Ronald Reagan.

Retired Vice Adm. Robert R. Monroe was director of the Defense Nuclear Agency

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks
You Might Also Like
  • Maureen McDonnell looks on as her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, made a statement on Tuesday after the couple was indicted on corruption charges. (associated press)

    PRUDEN: Where have the big-time grifters gone?

  • This photo taken Jan. 9, 2014,  shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gesturing as he answers a question during a news conference  at the Statehouse in Trenton.  Christie will propose extending the public school calendar and lengthening the school day in a speech he hopes will help him rebound from an apparent political payback scheme orchestrated by key aides. The early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will make a case Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014, that children who spend more time in school graduate better prepared academically, according to excerpts of his State of the State address obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    BRUCE: Bombastic arrogance or humble determination? Chris Christie’s choice

  • ** FILE ** Secretary of State Hillary Rodham testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    PRUDEN: The question to haunt the West

  • Get Breaking Alerts