Retired Vice Admiral Gerald Miller
WASHINGTON – A retired admiral who helped create U.S. strategic nuclear war plans is dismissing President Obama’s New START treaty as little more than political grandstanding.
“The treaty makes it look like the Democrats got something done, so the Democratic party was able to put something on the scoreboard,” said retired Vice Admiral Jerry Miller. “It doesn’t really do anything for national defense.”
“The treaty is irrelevant,” Miller told WND. “Going from 1,700 warheads to 1,550 is not very much.”
Miller, who helped write the National Strategic Target List and the Single Integrated Operational Plan, the U.S. blueprint for waging nuclear war, said aspects of the treaty might even harm America’s strategic posture.
“It constrains us from converting any ballistic missile systems into some kind of defensive system. We could take a silo out in Wyoming with a Minuteman III and convert it to defensive system, but the treaty prohibits that.”
The Minuteman III is a powerful land-based ICBM capable of delivering multiple nuclear warheads to targets throughout the world. Miller contends that the U.S. has plenty of offensive strategic weapons, but needs to deploy more defensive weapons.
Offensive weapons delivered by long-range bombers, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and land-based missiles formed the backbone of the “mutual assured destruction” strategy that kept America safe from Soviet nuclear attack during the Cold War.
Under MAD, neither the U.S. nor the U.S.S.R. dared to attack the other with nuclear weapons because neither side could have defended themselves against a devastating nuclear counterstrike. The theory worked during the Cold War, when only a small handful of nations – China, France, the U.K., U.S. and U.S.S.R. – were capable of launching nuclear-tipped missiles.
But with advances in technology and new threats emerging from China, Venezuela, Iran and even terrorist groups like al-Qaeda, Miller thinks the U.S. needs to develop and deploy more strategic defenses, which many critics believe the New START treaty does not allow.
As a terrorist organization with no land territory to target, al Qaeda is immune to nuclear counterstrikes. Strategic defense expert Ambassador Henry Cooper told WND earlier this week that terrorists are developing the ability to launch ballistic missiles from ships, which would enable al-Qaeda to destroy a U.S. city with a devastating nuclear, biological or chemical weapon fired from a cargo vessel parked off the coastline.
Only nearby defensive missiles or lasers could protect against such a threat, but Miller believes the New START treaty may prohibit any further deployment of defensive systems.
“We might want to [deploy more strategic defensive weapons] if the Chinese threat materializes,” Miller added. China has had ICBMs for decades, but in recent years has been developing sub-launched missiles. As WND reported last month, a missile may have been fired from a submarine stationed off the Los Angeles coastline.
Miller also pointed to Venezuela, where leftist dictator Hugo Chavez recently signed a deal with Iran to deploy Iranian long-range missiles on Venezuelan territory within striking distance of the U.S. The Iranians are currently developing a nuclear warhead.
Cooper told WND the New START treaty prohibits U.S. deployment of defensive weapons along the Gulf coast, making the U.S. vulnerable to missiles fired from Venezuela.