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B61 bomb is fuel for new arms race

The article “‘New’ U.S. nukes are anything but” should be judged more by its omissions than its contents.

While arguing that the soon-to-be rebuilt B61 bomb won’t be a “new” nuclear weapon, the Heritage Foundation omits mentioning that it is being retrofitted with a tail fin kit that will give it precision guidance. In effect, once completed, the B61 bomb will be the world’s first nuclear “smart” bomb, to be delivered by the new super-stealthy (but problem-plagued) $1 trillion F-35.

If that’s not a new military capability – which the U.S. government denies – then I don’t know what is.

The Heritage Foundation also bemoans Russia’s 2-to-1 advantage in tactical nuclear weapons in Europe. It omits mentioning that the new B61 bomb modification will meld three tactical variants and one strategic version of the same bomb, in effect wiping out the distinction between tactical and strategic nuclear weapons.

The new B61 will be a precision-guided, selectable yield, multi-purpose nuclear weapon with relatively less fallout and collateral damage. It will lower the threshold for potential use of nuclear weapons because it will be arguably more usable.

I am no Putin apologist – I personally know Russian activists persecuted by his regime. But don’t be fooled by the Heritage Foundation’s one-sided narrative that helps propel the new Cold War.

The Russians are paranoid, perhaps deservedly so, starting with Genghis Khan and on through Napoleon and Hitler. Relentless expansion of NATO fuels that paranoia.

While offering a laundry list of alleged treaty violations by Russia, the Heritage Foundation fails to mention how George W. Bush unilaterally tore up the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty for “Star Wars” defenses that still don’t work after hundreds of billions of dollars, and if they did would create enhanced nuclear war-fighting capabilities.

The Heritage Foundation warns of Moscow’s “time-honored technique of denial and deception,” but we as Americans must guard against our own government’s use of the same that got us into disastrous wars like Vietnam and Iraq.

Cool heads are needed to avoid a new nuclear arms race, not the cherry-picked narrative of the Heritage Foundation.

That narrative will profit the war contractors who in turn support the Heritage Foundation. Among them is Lockheed Martin, who illegally lobbied to extend its for-profit Sandia Laboratories management contract and is profiting on both ends with the B61 bomb.

Lockheed runs the program through Sandia to transform the B61 into the world’s first nuclear smart bomb, and is building the way-over-budget F-35 to deliver them.

As Pope Francis recently warned us, “Many powerful people don’t want peace, because they feed off war. It is the industry of death!”

Concerning the B61 smart nuclear bomb, Lockheed Martin and the Sandia Labs are in the business of megadeath, which the Heritage Foundation seeks to aid and abet.

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