Friday, March 31, 2017

Russian Nuclear Subs Prowling Again

This article in the Washington Post describes the increased presence of Russian nuclear-armed submarines off the coast of the US, reflecting the same levels of presence that occurred during the height of the Cold War. With the decay of the Soviet bloc in the early 1990s, all of us hoped and thought that the Cold War is over. So much for hope. The Russians and Putin are right back in the same game, and maybe worse.

Before every Looking Glass mission, our intelligence briefing would include the status of Soviet nuclear-armed submarines and their locations. Typically, there were 3-4 that would lurk a few hundred miles off the East Coast. In those positions, they could strike Washington DC and New York City in 4 mins. Meaning, we had very little time to assess, decide, and react if under attack. After the Air Force, I spent two years as a civilian consultant to the Pentagon, working for TRW, studying this scenario and developing the policies, procedures, plans and computer-aided decision support systems to support it. Before this project, there was a tendency for US decision makers to overreact, guaranteeing nuclear escalation. It's all downhill to the end of the world after that.

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