Letter: Doubling down on our existence

(Susan Walsh | AP file photo) Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, talks with a colleague during a break in an executive session of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019.

On Aug. 27, Northrop Grumman broke ground in Roy on a new facility with initial federal funding of $125 billion. On site were Sens. Mitt Romney and Mike Lee, Reps. Rob Bishop and Chris Stewart, celebrating the creation of 2,500 jobs.

The mission of the new facility? “Deterrence,” via ground-based strategic deterrence, meaning 700 refurbished Minuteman ICBMs carrying hydrogen bomb warheads, targeted at Russia. (The U.S. has 14 stealth nuclear submarines, able to devastate entire continents, plus many airborne nukes.)

“Deterrence,” is an unquestioned, rock-solid concept, apparently, no thinking required, 100% effective. “No one” would dare attack us, the threat being so daunting. These new missiles will never have to be launched.

But, one slip-up, a computer glitch or hack, one madman, and they could launch. But, they can never be launched; it would mean obliteration, both countries and all of us erased.

So, should we bet that “deterrence” will work, 100%, in perpetuity? We had better know for sure, because it not working, even once, means our extinction.

We didn’t place this bet. This project is underway before most people know about it. Imagine an alternative, a workable plan for mutual U.S./Russian nuclear disarmament. It would be welcomed by Congress, the Pentagon, Northrop Grumman, other U.S. nuclear arms contractors, right?

John Prehn, Salt Lake City

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