Loss of ICBMs: Biden will almost certainly abolish this indispensable deterrent

Originally published by the Washington TimesDr. Peter Pry is a Senior Fellow with the Center for Security Policy.

“Both in politics and war, what matters is speed.”
— Julius Caesar

In the 2020 elections, perhaps the most important, and least appreciated, issue: a Biden administration will almost certainly abolish unilaterally America’s 400 land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

ICBMs, according to U.S. Strategic Command, are “the bedrock of our strategic posture” but the  Minuteman III, a half-century old, needs to be replaced by a new ICBM. The anti-nuclear left has persuaded top Democrats ICBMs are unnecessary.

ICBMs are the most important weapon in the U.S. nuclear Triad — faster, more combat-ready, and more responsive than strategic bombers and missile submarines.

Everyday, anytime, in the few minutes required to receive an Emergency Action Message and turn two keys, U.S. ICBMs can launch 400 of the most powerful, accurate, effective nuclear warheads, delivering them anywhere in 30 minutes or less.

The awesome capabilities of U.S. ICBMs for decades prevented the Cold War from becoming World War III. Today, U.S. ICBMs continue their role as the most immediate and most powerful nuclear deterrent, overshadowing every big military and diplomatic move on the global chessboard by Russia, China, North Korea and Iran.

U.S. ICBMs are the Sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of America’s enemies, protecting the U.S. homeland and allies from surprise attack.

Yet, almost immediately after the 2018 elections gave Democrats control of the House, the House Armed Services Committee held hearings to make the case for abolishing U.S. ICBMs and nuclear bombers — two-thirds of the nuclear Triad — and relying only on ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs).

House hearings also proposed halving U.S. SSBNs from 12 to six boats, barely enough to sustain just two SSBNs on patrol at sea.

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About Peter Pry

Dr. Peter Pry is Executive Director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and Director of the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum. Dr. Pry served on the Congressional EMP Commission and worked for the House Armed Services Committee and the CIA. He is author of Apocalypse Unknown: The Struggle to Protect America From An Electromagnetic Pulse Catastrophe and Electric Armageddon. His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Newsmax, The Hill, National Review, RealClearDefense and other publications.