Exclusive: The Next Holocaust
How will America react if diplomacy fails and Tel Aviv is hit with a nuke? How will America react if New York is hit with a terrorist nuke? These are urgent questions which President-elect Obama needs to consider before he takes office, and which every American should consider before it happens.
While the bi-partisan Congressional Committee on Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) has recently reported (on December 2nd) that they believe the probability of a WMD attack on America has now risen to over 50% by 2013, little has been said about the possibility of such an attack on Israel. Yet as New York is the most likely target for terrorists, Tel Aviv must be almost as likely, and may be an even more likely target for an Iranian WMD attack.
Iran has publicly stated that they believe that Israel must be wiped off the map. Iran is, despite their denials, pursuing an illegal nuclear bomb program. Link those two facts to the statements of the likes of Osama bin Laden that a nuclear weapon is needed to attack “the enemies of Islam” and the response to a nuclear attack on either an American city or an allied population center such as Tel Aviv becomes a possibility which needs consideration. There is also an ongoing threat from North Korea which tested a nuclear bomb in 2006, hates America and continue their nuclear and missile development programs while playing an on/off game of diplomatic barter (at the date of publication of this article, North Korea has suspended involvement in the 6 Party talks (again), revoked all foreign visits and closed their bilateral businesses with South Korea).
The most likely scenarios of a WMD attack will probably involve considerable confusion over the source of any such event. Such confusion makes rapid and massive retaliation extremely risky. Deception is a key strategy of Islamic terrorists in particular and also of those nuclear states which might consider such an attack. If we are to respond in kind, or in any massive, overwhelming way, we need to be demonstrably certain we hit the right targets while keeping collateral damage to a minimum. There will certainly be massive, pre-organized international pressure to prevent nuclear retaliation. Under such circumstances, having a clear policy for standards of evidence for every level of response is essential.
Another vital factor in any such consideration is the American unilateral decisions to abandon Chemical and Biological weapons use, manufacture or developmental research. They no longer form a part of the American arsenal and the final disposal of the few remaining chemical weapons is nearly complete (it is a complex process which is expected to end in 2012). The only WMD in the U.S. arsenal are nuclear, with the assumption that this is an appropriate response to any form of WMD attack, including Biological or Chemical. Perhaps it is time to revisit this assumption, particularly in the light of recent concerns over a possible attack employing a dirty bomb, a relatively small amount of a Biological or Chemical agent or an Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) device which might be considered “less than lethal” even if it results in numerous indirect casualties?
Civilian casualty figures resulting from the deployment of any WMD will be vast. This collateral damage could well number in the hundreds of thousands or even millions. Yet many of our enemies do not regard civilians as “innocent” or “collateral damage”, but as legitimate targets or necessary sacrifices. In order to deter such enemies, the credible threat of a response massive enough to annihilate all that they hold dear is essential. This would almost certainly involve destruction of their religious sites, societies, infrastructure and families, in other words the indiscriminate destruction of entire foreign cities. Is this an appropriate response to, say, a single and relatively limited attack on a friendly foreign city and if it is not, what other credible deterrent protection can we offer to our democratic allies? Are we prepared to respond to an indiscriminate, inhumane and cowardly, but probably relatively ineffective, attack by deploying an equally indiscriminate and inhumane atomic bomb? If we are prepared to respond in such a way, are we prepared for the international condemnation and internal dissent such an action would generate? And if we are not, what effective deterrence can we deploy and just what level of response are we prepared to sanction? Finally, what level of proof do we require to sanction the deployment of whichever response we do decide to use?
These are extremely difficult questions which, as the most recent report of the Congressional WMD Commission highlights, have become more urgent than ever before in the history of this nation. It is also a prime reason that pre-emptive military action to prevent such states as Iran from gaining nuclear technology must be considered. It may be a terrible option, but failure to prevent WMD proliferation could lead to far more dire consequences. We must also be prepared to deal with the consequences should pre-emptive measures fail. A truly credible deterrent requires that these matters have been considered and policies, standards, rules and laws set in place to deal with every possibility.
President Bush did well in keeping the post-9/11 nation safe. He did less well in explaining the complications of dealing with an emerging WMD threat as initially posed by Saddam Hussein in Iraq. One consequence of that failure is the lack of political will to use military force against Iran or North Korea. President-elect Obama will soon take responsibility for facing these threats, which have now been redefined and their urgency reinforced by the work of the WMD Commission. He would do well to have his plans in place, and to explain to both this nation, and the rest of the world, what steps he will take in the event of a successful WMD attack on us or our allies. As part of that explanation he needs to spell out clearly a simple strategy which will act as a credible deterrent to such fanatics as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong-Il and Osama Bin Laden.
President-elect Obama must state clearly that an attack on us, or our allies, with a WMD of any sort will provoke a nuclear response as the only option. He would also be well advised to prepare this nation to accept a pre-emptive military strike on Iran as a necessary alternative to the truly awful potential consequences of allowing Iran to develop a nuclear weapon capability. The change we need from President-elect Obama is a clear commitment to defend this great nation by any and all means, if necessary by use of the full and terrible might which he will control. If he does not, he will fail the test which his own Vice President says he will face within six months of taking office.
Family Security Matters Contributing Editor Tim Wilson is a retired British Army officer who now works as an independent consultant. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org.