Editor, Daily Nexus:
Throughout history, modes of war have been changed due to technological advance. Armor-clad knights were rendered obsolete after the invention of the longbow, which could pierce a knight’s armor from a hidden location a hundred yards away. Later, impregnable fortresses were crumbled to dust by attacking armies that had discovered the science of canonry. Right now, we are the mounted knights.
We cannot rely on Mutually Assured Destruction (M.A.D.) to keep us safe until the end of time. Technological progress is constant and every day, all around the world, people are making new discoveries that will one day nullify our nuclear arsenal. It is only a matter of time until this happens.
There is a saying that once you are on the top, the only way left to go is down. Right now we are on the top and this means we cannot be complacent and stop technological progress just because we are scared of what it may bring. Sure, the thought of another Cold War is scary and arms races may not be a good thing, but if we don’t create the missile shield first, someone else will. We cannot bask in the glory of our might, thinking it is eternal, because it is not.
Relying on M.A.D. to dictate the bottom-line in foreign policy is a heavy-handed and clumsy approach. It is shortsighted, and relies on the goodwill of other nations and the rationality of their leaders. When it was just the U.S. vs. Russia, we could keep track of what was going on. But when some of the poorest countries in the world start developing nuclear weapons programs – like Pakistan (currently controlled by the leader of a military coup) and possibly Iraq – the old system becomes insufficient to ensure national security.
As the richest, most technologically advanced country in the world, we owe it to ourselves to be on the cutting edge of military technology. Do you think that we will never go to war again? Look at history and you will realize it is inevitable. Will we lose because we have become silly and idealistic, because we have forsaken the violent nature of mankind (when other nations have not) and have started hugging trees and eating blue-green algae? Or will we survive the test of time by understanding and accepting human nature, as painful as that may be. I choose to win.