• Pragerisms

    For a more comprehensive list of Pragerisms visit
    Dennis Prager Wisdom.

    • "The left is far more interested in gaining power than in creating wealth."
    • "Without wisdom, goodness is worthless."
    • "I prefer clarity to agreement."
    • "First tell the truth, then state your opinion."
    • "Being on the Left means never having to say you're sorry."
    • "If you don't fight evil, you fight gobal warming."
    • "There are things that are so dumb, you have to learn them."
  • Liberalism’s Seven Deadly Sins

    • Sexism
    • Intolerance
    • Xenophobia
    • Racism
    • Islamophobia
    • Bigotry
    • Homophobia

    A liberal need only accuse you of one of the above in order to end all discussion and excuse himself from further elucidation of his position.

  • Glenn’s Reading List for Die-Hard Pragerites

    • Bolton, John - Surrender is not an Option
    • Bruce, Tammy - The Thought Police; The New American Revolution; The Death of Right and Wrong
    • Charen, Mona - DoGooders:How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help
    • Coulter, Ann - If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans; Slander
    • Dalrymple, Theodore - In Praise of Prejudice; Our Culture, What's Left of It
    • Doyle, William - Inside the Oval Office
    • Elder, Larry - Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card--and Lose
    • Frankl, Victor - Man's Search for Meaning
    • Flynn, Daniel - Intellectual Morons
    • Fund, John - Stealing Elections
    • Friedman, George - America's Secret War
    • Goldberg, Bernard - Bias; Arrogance
    • Goldberg, Jonah - Liberal Fascism
    • Herson, James - Tales from the Left Coast
    • Horowitz, David - Left Illusions; The Professors
    • Klein, Edward - The Truth about Hillary
    • Mnookin, Seth - Hard News: Twenty-one Brutal Months at The New York Times and How They Changed the American Media
    • Morris, Dick - Because He Could; Rewriting History
    • O'Beirne, Kate - Women Who Make the World Worse
    • Olson, Barbara - The Final Days: The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House
    • O'Neill, John - Unfit For Command
    • Piereson, James - Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism
    • Prager, Dennis - Think A Second Time
    • Sharansky, Natan - The Case for Democracy
    • Stein, Ben - Can America Survive? The Rage of the Left, the Truth, and What to Do About It
    • Steyn, Mark - America Alone
    • Stephanopolous, George - All Too Human
    • Thomas, Clarence - My Grandfather's Son
    • Timmerman, Kenneth - Shadow Warriors
    • Williams, Juan - Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do About It
    • Wright, Lawrence - The Looming Tower

MUTUALLY ASSURED DESTRUCTION

March 23, 2022 | The Washington Times

The death of MAD

And the urgent need to reestablish deterrence

by Clifford D. May Founder & President

Central to America’s Cold War strategy was the principle of MAD – Mutually Assured Destruction. The idea was to make nuclear warfare a lose-lose proposition. Whichever side was attacked would retain the capability to counterattack. Both sides would end up devastated if not annihilated.

I studied MAD in graduate school and considered it sane. I had spent time in the Soviet Union and concluded that the men in the Kremlin were evil but rational. They believed that Marxists like themselves were on the right side of history (to coin a phrase) so there was no need for “adventurism.” And the horrors Russia had suffered in World War II were still fresh in their memories.

Now, however, Vladimir Putin rules the roost. He’s no dialectical materialist. He’s more of a L’etat c’est moi kind of guy. To be fair, he’s not alone in believing that he’s destined to be the redeemer and czar of Russky Mir, Russian World, the idealized vision of a revived pan-Russian or even pan-Slavic empire.

Three days after invading Ukraine he put his nuclear forces on alert – the term he used was “special combat readiness.” He warned the U.S. and other NATO countries that any attempt to prevent him from pillaging and conquering his neighbor would result in consequences “such as you have never seen in your entire history.”

Was he threatening to use chemical or tactical nuclear weapons against Ukrainians? Or cyberattacks against Americans? Or was he saying he won’t play by MAD rules? We can only guess which means he has established what’s known as “strategic ambiguity.”

He dares to be so aggressive now because his many past aggressions and transgressions elicited only feckless responses from the U.S., NATO, and the chimera known as “the international community.”

President Biden, from the moment he moved into the White House, has been eager to placate Mr. Putin and reluctant to “provoke” him. Last year, he restricted arms assistance to Ukraine, gave his blessing to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline (while curbing domestic oil and gas production) and agreed to a five-year renewal of the 2010 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty despite Russia’s record of cheating and the fact that the agreement imposes no limits on Mr. Putin’s shorter-range nuclear weapons – the kind he might use against Ukraine or in a future war against NATO.

These policies were consistent with those of President Obama who seemed to believe that his magnetic personality coupled with clever diplomacy could alleviate all tensions with Moscow, Tehran, and others.

But back to MAD: One president was uncomfortable relying on it even in Soviet times. President Reagan’s plans for high-tech missile defense were derided by his critics as “Star Wars,” a crazy scheme to “hit a bullet with a bullet.”

Nevertheless, research and development yielded results during his administration and the George H.W. Bush administration that followed. In August 2009, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bragged that an American “defense umbrella” would protect the U.S. and its allies from nuclear weapons that North Korea possessed and that the Islamic Republic of Iran was attempting to acquire.

I had my doubts. So did Ilan Berman, vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council. We responded by publishing an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal granting that a “defense umbrella” was a marvelous idea but adding that America’s was full of holes.

The George W. Bush administration had worked only on missile-defense systems capable of intercepting a small number of ballistic missiles. There had been no attempt to build a comprehensive architecture, one that would be capable of neutralizing a large salvo of nuclear-tipped missiles.

To build that would require much more research, development, and funding. But both the Obama administration and Congress were – at that moment –slashing the Pentagon’s budget for antimissile systems.

In addition, as part of his “reset” with Russia, Mr. Obama relinquished the Bush administration’s plan to deploy ground-based radars and interceptors in Poland and the Czech Republic. That system was intended to defend only against missiles from the Islamic Republic of Iran, but Mr. Putin charged that it might protect Americans from his missiles which would violate the MAD doctrine.

On the American left, there were objections to space-based missile defense on the grounds that such systems would “militarize” space. “This is dead wrong,” Mr. Berman and I countered. “A space-based missile defense capability would instead block and destroy weapons that enter the Earth’s orbit on their way to their targets.”

We concluded: “The capability to make Iranian, North Korean, and other foreign missiles useless has already been developed and field-tested. Only America has it, and we should deploy it.” We urged the U.S. government to build, as rapidly as possible, “a comprehensive and impenetrable ‘defense umbrella’ to protect itself and its allies.”

Needless to say, our advice was not taken. Nor did the Trump administration make missile defense a priority.

Over the weekend, Mr. Putin used a hypersonic ballistic missile to destroy an underground arms depot in western Ukraine. It was another threatening message to the U.S. which has not yet fielded its own hypersonic missiles and is very late in developing defenses against them.

MAD had its day. That day passed. Robust deterrence – a capability based on overwhelming military power, clear projection of the will to utilize it, coupled with defense systems that make it much harder for our enemies’ missiles to reach their intended victims – should have been the highest national security priority of American leaders from both parties.

Instead, we took a holiday from history and spent a peace dividend. We ought to be correcting those mistakes without further delay. We’d be mad not to.

Clifford D. May is founder and president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and a columnist for the Washington Times. Follow him on Twitter @CliffordDMay. FDD is a nonpartisan research institute focusing on national security and foreign policy. READ IN THE WASHINGTON TIMES

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