Another liberal myth bites the dust

posted at 8:41 pm on June 19, 2014 by Noah Rothman

When they were first introduced, they represented a threat to humanity. Today, the first phase of their quiet death was completed, without them ever having fulfilled what so many said would be their destiny as weapons that would ignite the first sparks of WWIII.

MIRVs, or multiple independent reentry vehicles, revolutionized nuclear missile technology. Rockets which could only carry a single nuclear warhead all of the sudden became atomic buses that could carry multiple warheads, each targeting specific and distant sites. It was a force multiplication innovation which revolutionized the Cold War landscape.

And this, like virtually every innovation in military technology pioneered by the West, was protested aggressively by the Soviet Union. These weapons, they claimed, would upset the fragile balance of power, overwhelm anti-ballistic missile systems, and potentially facilitate an American first strike. This, they added, would make the Soviet trigger finger that much itchier.

Those same arguments would be made by the Soviets and their Western allies when the Reagan administration began toying with the unworkable notion of space-based anti-missile lasers.

The United States issued the same theatrical warnings to the Soviets, which developed even larger MIRVs in the mid-1970s. De-MIRVing became a focus of Western protest movements through the 1970s and 80s, and eventually became the focus a variety of nuclear arms agreements – including the SALT II and START agreements.

The end of the Cold War meant the end of MIRV hysteria and, on Thursday, the United States completed the process of reverting of its ground-based nuclear missile forces back to a 1950s-era single warhead posture.

“This was the last Minuteman 3 in the Air Force to be ‘deMIRVed,’ and this is a major milestone in meeting the force structure numbers to comply with the New START requirements,” Steve Ray, a member of Air Force Global Strike Command’s missile maintenance division, said in a released comment.

“This is historic because we’ve had MIRVs in the field for more than 40 years, since 1970 when the first Minuteman 3 came on alert,” Ray’s statement read.

MIRV technology, like a hundred other innovations, never upset the Cold War balance like we were warned. Today, as apocalyptic weapons that the world largely forgot, their demise will pass by uncelebrated.

Meanwhile


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But Obama left Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe out to dry when he dumped our missile defense shield.

More WINNING from Obama as the world burns.

njrob on June 19, 2014 at 8:47 PM

Yet I feel really uncomfortable being told to believe that china and russia did the same and no longer have mirvs of their own.

Well, at least the end will be a quick one.

Diluculo on June 19, 2014 at 8:47 PM

MAD, or Mutually Assured Destruction, served its purpose as a deterrent to WWIII. But when nutcase groups like ISIS or Iran get a hold of nukes and possibly ICBMs, and they get poked the wrong way, it could be lights out for much of civilization. Literally.

anotherJoe on June 19, 2014 at 8:52 PM

But Obama left Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe out to dry when he dumped our missile defense shield.

More WINNING from Obama as the world burns.

njrob on June 19, 2014 at 8:47 PM

Western Europe can go burn if they want to. Why should a rich block of nations receive armed services welfare for three generations and counting?

As far as other parts of the world, many countries are doing better, as outsourcing of manufacturing and one sided free trade have created opportunities for millions of people in places like China.

FrankT on June 19, 2014 at 8:54 PM

Another liberal myth bites the dust

So many to choose from. The myth that:

*life somehow does not begin at conception, so abortion doesn’t end a life.
*A global rise in CO2 will necessarily correlate to a rise in global temperatures.
*The Republican Party needs to pass amnesty to save itself.
*The Democrats are looking out for the Republican Party in trying to pass amnesty.
*Either party is looking out for the average American worker.
*Obama has secured the border.
*E-mails expire with the death of a hard drive.
*Borrowing and printing money is no big deal.
*Law-abiding citizens cannot be trusted with guns.
*The IRS did not intentionally target conservative groups.
*Fast and Furious was a Bush program.
*Benghazi wasn’t Clinton’s or Obama’s fault.
*NASA’s primary function should be to make Muslims feel better about their contributions to science, math and engineering…from 1,000 years ago…not to space exploration or actually sending Americans into space.
*We should rely upon a communist country to send astronauts to space; no biggie!
*Islam has nothing to do with terrorism and is a peaceful religion.
*Fat in food is bad for you.
*Salt causes high blood pressure.
*Government health care is cheaper and better.
*It takes a village to raise a child (BS. It takes a committed mom and dad, not a bureaucrat).
*The contraceptive mandate isn’t an imposition on religious freedom at all.
*Citizens United was a terrible decision.
*Democrats never take illegal money from foreign sources.
*No billionaires support the Democrat Party.

I could go on and on with these myths. So many.

xNavigator on June 19, 2014 at 9:10 PM

Woulda mean theres no MIRV’s in the SLBM/ICBM arsenal!!!

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 9:17 PM

https://twitter.com/US_Stratcom

US Strategic Command @US_Stratcom · Jun 4

Trident II D5 missile reaches 150 successful test flights http://lmt.co/1pS7ssC

Trident II D5 Missile Reaches 150 Successful Test Flights

Navy Test-fires Submarine-launched Missiles Built by Lockheed Martin

SUNNYVALE, Calif., June 4, 2014 – The U.S. Navy’s Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile, built by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT], has achieved 150 successful test flights, setting a new reliability record for large ballistic missiles. The Navy launched two unarmed missiles June 2 in the Atlantic Ocean from a submerged Ohio-class submarine, marking the 149th and 150th successful test flights of the missile since design completion in 1989.

The test flights were part of a demonstration and shakedown operation, which the Navy uses to certify a submarine for deployment following an overhaul. The missiles were converted into test configurations with kits containing range safety devices and flight telemetry instrumentation.

The operation included the first flight of two modernized avionics subsystems that control key missile functions during flight. The subsystems were updated under the D5 Life Extension program, which incorporates current technologies into the missile’s electronics to cost-effectively prolong the service life of the reliable D5 missile design on current and next-generation submarine platforms.

“The success of this Life Extension flight is a tribute to the dedication and innovation of the entire government and industry team,” said Doug White, Fleet Ballistic Missile programs vice president, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. “In partnership with Navy Strategic Systems Programs, we set the bar high to provide a credible, reliable and affordable sea-based strategic deterrent for the nation.”

First deployed in 1990, the D5 missile is currently aboard U.S. Navy Ohio-class and U.K. Royal Navy Vanguard-class submarines. The three-stage, solid-propellant, inertial-guided missile can travel a nominal range of 4,000 nautical miles and carries independently targeted reentry bodies.

Lockheed Martin has been the Navy’s strategic missile prime contractor since 1955. The company also performs program management and engineering services for the Royal Navy under the Polaris Sales Agreement.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 113,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation’s net sales for 2013 were $45.4 billion.

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2014/june/0604-ss-trident.html

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 9:20 PM

From last month:

Congress Funds Army’s Hypersonic Missile After Chinese Strike Vehicle Test
Defense budget crisis limits U.S. role in hypersonic arms race underway by China and Russia
May 29, 2014 4:59 am
********************

Congress approved funding last week for the Pentagon’s advanced hypersonic missile program and expressed concerns over China’s recent test of an ultra high-speed strike vehicle designed to deliver nuclear warheads through U.S. missile defenses.

The House fiscal year 2015 defense authorization bill approved $70.7 million for the Army’s hypersonic missile as part of the Pentagon’s conventional prompt strike program.

The Senate, in its version of the fiscal year 2015 defense bill, also authorized $70.7 million for hypersonic weapons.

The prompt strike program is a strategic weapons program aimed at building high-speed arms capable of attacking targets any place on earth within 30 minutes.

A House report on the defense bill provided new details on U.S. hypersonic weapons programs and also stated that the Pentagon appears to be spending too little on U.S. hypersonic weapons programs in light of China’s first hypersonic missile test Jan. 9.

The Chinese hypersonic strike vehicle test, which was first reported by the Washington Free Beacon and later confirmed by the Chinese Defense Ministry, marked a major leap in Beijing’s advanced arms program. U.S. officials said the strike vehicle test involved a maneuvering weapon that traveled at up to 10 times the speed of sound.

“The committee is concerned that the People’s Republic of China and other competitor nations pose an increasing challenge to the United States’ technology edge in such emerging areas as hypersonic weapons,” the report said. “On Jan. 9, China successfully conducted the first flight test of a hypersonic glide vehicle.” It also noted that Russia is working on hypersonic weapons, but that its program is said to be less advanced.

The January hypersonic test of what the Pentagon calls China’s WU-14 strike vehicle appears to have set off a hypersonic arms race, at least for Russia and China. The Pentagon’s severe budget crisis appears to be restricting investment in hypersonic weapons technology.
(More….)
===========

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/congress-funds-armys-hypersonic-missile-after-chinese-strike-vehicle-test/

canopfor on June 19, 2014 at 9:25 PM

Those same arguments would be made by the Soviets and their Western allies when the Reagan administration began toying with the unworkable notion of space-based anti-missile lasers.

I’m pretty sure I am remembering that threat of an “unworkable notion” gaining us one helluva lot of leverage.

At least that’s how I remembering it going down.

Along with the glorious joy of hearing the left screaming, “He’s gonna get us all killed!!!”

I’d take that over this anytime.

They were called balz.

wolly4321 on June 19, 2014 at 9:29 PM

Being a contrarian, I never liked MIRV’s. Look at the 1962 calculus, 2 warheads/ICBM for an acceptable PK. Also required TWO ICBM’s! First strike requires too many missiles to be feasible, beyond certain limits.

1982, still warheads/ silo, BUT that only requires 1/5 of an ICBM… suddenly 1 ICBM (SS-19) can destroy 10 US ICBM’s & 30 Warheads. The calculus of first strike just got a lot better & made the world a more dangerous place. In the 1970′s WE kvetched about the same things we inflicted on the Soviets, heavy, accurate MIRV’s & ABM… now to US SOVIET SS-19′s & Galosh were destabilizing, but we expected the Soviets to see OUR equivalents as non-threatening?

Ronald did many things right, nuclear strategy was not one of them…..

I know I’m just a pinko Commie Lib-Symp….or a Nuclear Owl, which is a good book, for its era.

JFKY on June 19, 2014 at 9:31 PM

De-MIRV’d is a short-term thing… it simply means the bus has only 1 w/h on it…. UNLESS they have modified the bus &/or the guidance system, it is STILL a MIRV’d warhead… it only has one warhead, for now…. what do the terms of the START Treaty actually require for De-MIRV’ing? It specifies how nuclear systems are decommissioned, so does it cover this idea?

JFKY on June 19, 2014 at 9:34 PM

All I know is that when playing Nuclear War/ Nuclear Escalation, an MX Missile with a 100 megaton warhead on it was a beautiful thing.

malclave on June 19, 2014 at 9:45 PM

Israel supposedly has a multi-warhead missile – so long as it’s carrying conventional arms – called the Jericho 3. It’s also an intercontinental, which, if I remember correctly, if true/real, has the capability of reaching nearly 2/3~3/4 of the globe.

Logus on June 19, 2014 at 9:47 PM

I’m surprised we still have any missiles left.

Lovely. Just lovely.

JellyToast on June 19, 2014 at 9:50 PM

I still remember the fool who decided to lay on the train tracks outside the Concord Naval Weapons Station to try and stop a train bringing in nookyaler-tipped cruise missiles.

Someone forgot to tell him that nothing short of blowing the train clean off the tracks will make it stop, nothing, and so he left later that day mighty pissed because his legs didn’t go with him.

Bishop on June 19, 2014 at 9:52 PM

MIRVs, or multiple independent reentry vehicles…

It may be splitting hairs, but MIRV is technically Multiple Independently targeted Re-entry Vehicle. Some civilian fact sheets referred to them as cited, but the Air Force and the Strategic Air Command referred to them as Independently targeted, because the ability of one missile to hit multiple targets is what differentiated them from other ballistic missiles.

http://www.hill.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet_print.asp?fsID=5720

Russ in OR on June 19, 2014 at 10:03 PM

Gee, I feel safer now…
[exit sarcasm mode]

Newtie and the Beauty on June 19, 2014 at 10:23 PM

If Obama did it, it hurts America.

If you can’t see how, look closer.

Adjoran on June 19, 2014 at 10:34 PM

Yeah just put them on the shelf over there in reach ok?
I’m much more concerned the the destruction of or military by the scoamf.

Cliff by the Ford on June 19, 2014 at 10:46 PM

But Obama left Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe out to dry when he dumped our missile defense shield.

More WINNING from Obama as the world burns.

njrob on June 19, 2014 at 8:47 PM

No winning at all about this; it’s all epic fail, just like everything else in this wretched administration’s feckless foreign policy.

Horologium on June 19, 2014 at 10:48 PM

Jeez submit instead of preview. Sorry.

Cliff by the Ford on June 19, 2014 at 10:48 PM

The end of the Cold War meant the end of MIRV hysteria and, on Thursday, the United States completed the process of reverting of its ground-based nuclear missile forces back to a 1950s-era single warhead posture.

So we strip our weapons of their capabilities, and this is considered a good thing?

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 20, 2014 at 2:08 AM

Putin is smiling.

jukin3 on June 20, 2014 at 2:29 AM

We are setting ourselves up to get our butts kicked bigtime.

crosspatch on June 20, 2014 at 2:43 AM

Its almost as if they didn’t care about MIRVs so much but did care about keeping the threat from the USSR strong so the West would cave to it.

The entire anti-nuclear movement of that era was not about limiting nukes so much as making the world safe for conventional war… and the USSR had the largest army… funny how that works.

ajacksonian on June 20, 2014 at 5:59 AM

I’m old enough to remember the arguments and I was a frequent debater on the side promoting a nuclear deterrent. My opposition was mostly European but I fail to recall MIRVs being a big deal in any of the public debates over nuclear weapons. The foundation of peace at the time was the mutual threat of destruction. Not partly destroyed, but complete and utter annihilation of both parties. Thew Soviet concern was always about an American first strike. It’s easy to forget the alerts and

lexhamfox on June 20, 2014 at 6:08 AM

Liberals are a myth.
They certainly aren’t liberal, they are communist, fascist, totalitarians, control freaks, and contrarians.
Georgia just received approval permission money to deepen Savannah harbor. Hey, why do we have to do that … aren’t the oceans rising?

kregg on June 20, 2014 at 7:10 AM

I’m old enough to remember the arguments and I was a frequent debater on the side promoting a nuclear deterrent. My opposition was mostly European but I fail to recall MIRVs being a big deal in any of the public debates over nuclear weapons. The foundation of peace at the time was the mutual threat of destruction. Not partly destroyed, but complete and utter annihilation of both parties. Thew Soviet concern was always about an American first strike. It’s easy to forget the alerts and

lexhamfox on June 20, 2014 at 6:08 AM

MIRVs were a pretty contentious issue, but the debate was not played out quite as vocally in the court of public opinion. It was that, the development of thermonuclear detonation capability, and ICBMS that really drove the idea of mutually assured destruction home in a way that Fat Man and Little Boy couldn’t.

gryphon202 on June 20, 2014 at 7:11 AM

We are Obama is setting ourselves us up to get our butts kicked bigtime.

crosspatch on June 20, 2014 at 2:43 AM

.
I believe this is more accurate, but either way, the end result is the same.

listens2glenn on June 20, 2014 at 8:11 AM

Those same arguments would be made by the Soviets and their Western allies when the Reagan administration began toying with the unworkable notion of space-based anti-missile lasers.

So Noah’s spouting mid-80′s commie talking points.

Akzed on June 20, 2014 at 8:55 AM

So Noah’s spouting mid-80′s commie talking points.

Akzed on June 20, 2014 at 8:55 AM

That shouldn’t surprise you. Noah’s talked about how he appreciates the “protection” afforded by Roe v Wade.

gryphon202 on June 20, 2014 at 9:01 AM

That shouldn’t surprise you. Noah’s talked about how he appreciates the “protection” afforded by Roe v Wade. gryphon202 on June 20, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Missed that. Not that I doubt you, but, if true, it just tells us that he’s happy to have a backstop in case he knocks up his hose bag, is all.

“I already have a life. Just kill it.”

Who’s next around here, Toure?

Akzed on June 20, 2014 at 9:09 AM

Well, at least the end will be a quick one.

Diluculo on June 19, 2014 at 8:47 PM

Only if you’re a progressive urban dweller or on a base with strategic weapons. For the rest, it will be very ugly and take quite a bit longer. But, at least for those folks the seas will recede during the inevitable nuclear winter.

GWB on June 20, 2014 at 9:12 AM

The One will coin a new acronym: USAD

vnvet on June 20, 2014 at 9:22 AM

Hi, all. Just as a bit of background, I did my post-grad thesis work on missile defense tech and Soviet nuclear posture. Read more than a few primary Soviet declass documents that revealed they both knew SDI tech was unworkable and knowingly asserted it was a first strike threat as part of political strategy against the West and to reinforce internal political cohesion. Just to let you know the background on that assertion.

Noah Rothman on June 20, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Missed that. Not that I doubt you, but, if true, it just tells us that he’s happy to have a backstop in case he knocks up his hose bag, is all.

“I already have a life. Just kill it.”

Who’s next around here, Toure?

Akzed on June 20, 2014 at 9:09 AM | Delete | Delete and Ban

My wife is due in the fall. Thanks.

Noah Rothman on June 20, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Nice to see you here in the peanut gallery Noah! ; )

Bmore on June 20, 2014 at 11:54 AM

Akzed on June 20, 2014 at 9:09 AM | Delete | Delete and Ban

My wife is due in the fall. Thanks.

Noah Rothman on June 20, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Freudian slip Noah? Lolz! Ask Ed about the buttons showing up on your comments down here. ; )

Bmore on June 20, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Oh, and congrats!

Bmore on June 20, 2014 at 12:05 PM