Suppose you’re the leader of a Western country, and you face an existential threat from nomadic, widely dispersed terrorists waging asymmetrical warfare. What’s one of the most vital items on your military wishlist going to be?
Nuclear submarines, natch:
Prime Minister Tony Blair launched plans Monday for a new multibillion-dollar submarine-based nuclear missile defense system, warning lawmakers the future may hold perilous threats from rogue regimes and state-sponsored terrorists.Those al-Qaeda frogmen better think twice about launching scuba attacks on the West. And that goes double for terrorist-fanciers like Alain Badiou, with all his defeatist talk about the “disjunctive synthesis of two nihilisms.”
Given the extent to which a quasi-religious faith in the problem-solving capability of nukes has been conflated with First Principles and Right Reason, you might suppose that the people who built and tended these weapons would enjoy special treatment after retirement, like Vestals or neokoroi. You'd be wrong, needless to say:
The Bush administration repeatedly sought ways to limit payouts to nuclear weapons workers sickened by radiation and toxic material, according to a memo written by congressional investigators and obtained by USA TODAY.In unrelated news, two percent of the world’s population owns more than half of its wealth.
UPDATE: Putting aside the ambiguities in Blair's evocation of "state-sponsored terrorism" as something requiring a nuclear deterrent, WhirledView discusses the actual proposal in more detail.