I'm sure none of you read the Times Union, unless you're from Albany. Then, I'm sure you wish you didn't read it. The Times Union is a truly terrible newspaper.
Nevertheless, I feel compelled from time to time to abscond with the library's copy of my hometown paper and relish its general badness over a cup of coffee.
In my perusal this week, a certain article caught my eye, headlined "New mission for missile shield." Now, for the student of politics and warfare, there can be no subject more arresting than the concept of nuclear war. Of course, I delved in ferociously.
It seems that President Barack Obama, in his ongoing campaign to do the exact opposite of Republican presidents past, has decided that the best way to defend the world from nuclear annihilation is to defend Europe. And Israel. And Iraq, since it's the least we can do for toppling their government, ruining their infrastructure and generally disregarding their sovereignty as a nation.
It's a radical policy. In the past, the United States always looked to defend itself over other nations. Dammit, we've said, We need to protect ourselves, and to hell with the rest of the world, hahaha. It's selfish but it makes sense, in a self-preserving sort of way.
Let us consider, however, the awesome decision making that is the flotilla of anti-nuclear missile systems that Obama wants to create.
It's portable! It's lean, mean and ready to fight! It, in fact, rides on the back of extant ships, which cuts down cost. And it protects Eurasia from nuclear destruction.
The reality of the situation is that this makes much more sense than protecting America over and over, with redundant systems to knock down missiles before they hit the heartland.
The major nuclear threats in the world have ceased to be China and Russia, who, if they launched their missiles, would be nigh on deadly anyway. The real, credible, manageable threats these days are crackpot dictators (I'm looking at you, Kim) and crazy theocracies that hate Jews (and you, Mahmoud).
The reality of that situation is that their weapons are short range and their targets are much more likely to be next door or just down the road, globally speaking. The chances of Iran or North Korea hitting Kansas with a ballistic missile are zero. It cannot happen at this time, that we know of. The chances of them nuking Israel, Iraq or many other places in Europe, though, are pretty good. And when that happens, America won't be able to help.
Ignoring for a moment the fact that nuclear war would cause untold environmental damage and alter weather all over the world for an indeterminate amount of time, America really likes to be the policeman of the world. We started with the Monroe Doctrine and have been going strong ever since.
Certainly, we've screwed up pretty royally in the past, but what superpower hasn't? It's natural that we want to protect our allies.
In sum, Obama's plan for ship-mounted anti-missile systems is an awesome one. Also, the Times Union is terrible but inspired this article, so I have to give them some credit. Keep up the mediocre reporting, guys.