In the summer of 1945, President Harry Truman found himself searching for a decisive blow against the Empire of Japan. Despite the many Allied victories during 1944 and 1945, Truman believed Emperor Hirohito would urge his generals to fight on. America suffered 76,000 casualties at the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, and the Truman administration anticipated that a prolonged invasion of mainland Japan would result in even more devastating numbers. Even so, plans were drawn up to invade Japan under the name Operation Downfall.
The estimates for the potential carnage were sobering; the Joint Chiefs of Staff pegged the expected casualties at 1.2 million. Staff for Admiral Chester Nimitz and General Douglas MacArthur both expected over 1,000 casualties per day, while the personnel at the Department of the Navy thought the totals would run as high as four million, with the Japanese incurring up to 10 million of their own. The Los Angeles Times was a bit more optimistic, projecting one million casualties.
With those numbers, it’s no wonder the US opted to (literally) take the nuclear option by dropping Little Boy on Hiroshima on August 6, and then Fat Man on Nagasaki on August 9. Japan formally surrendered 24 days later, sparing potentially millions of US servicemen and vindicating the horrifying-yet-necessary bombings.
At least this is the common narrative we’re all taught in grade school. But like so many historical narratives, it’s an oversimplification and historically obtuse.
The left has proven its ire for gun owners time and time again — that is no secret. But what can be said about President Joe Biden’s and California Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell’s flirtations with the idea of taking on gun owners with nuclear force?
Biden’s adamant push for gun control measures has sparked intense debate around the nation, leading some state leaders to step up and enact their own legislation to uphold and defend the constitutional right to bear arms.
But gun-grabbing Democrats are well aware that their moves against the Second Amendment wouldn’t happen so easily. Instead of enacting their despotic plans all at once and throwing Americans into a pot of boiling water from which we would resist and jump out, they have opted to slowly turn up the heat instead.
And things just got another degree hotter.
During his more than three decades as a Delaware senator, his eight-year run as vice president and his 2020 presidential candidacy, Biden has championed gun restrictions without reserve. Now he does so from the Oval Office.
Everyone in the military knows there’s an officer who follows the President of the United States around with a special briefcase known as the “football.” Since John F. Kennedy was in office, the Presidential Aide accompanied the office holder with this briefcase containing everything needed to launch a nuclear strike.
Now, Congress may be looking to tie the president’s hands in the use of nuclear weapons. At least, it’s looking at tying his ability to launch a first strike.
Democrats from the House of Representatives and the Senate introduced legislation that will formally enact a “No First Use” policy in regard to nuclear weapons. The U.S. military is, predictably, not thrilled about the idea. The law is intended to avert an accidental nuclear war in case the great power rivalry with China or Russia starts to heat up.
“This bill would strengthen deterrence while reducing the chance of nuclear use due to miscalculation or misunderstanding,” Rep. Adam Smith, chair of the House Armed Services Committee, said in a statement. “Codifying that deterring nuclear use is the sole purpose of our nuclear arsenal strengthens U.S. national security and would renew U.S. leadership on nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament.”
US Strategic Command, the branch of the US military responsible for America’s nuclear arsenal, tweeted the following on Tuesday:
“The spectrum of conflict today is neither linear nor predictable. We must account for the possibility of conflict leading to conditions which could very rapidly drive an adversary to consider nuclear use as their least bad option.”
The statement, which STRATCOM called a “preview” of the Posture Statement it submits to US Congress every year, was a bit intense for Twitter and sparked a lot of alarmed responses. This alarm was due not to any inaccuracy in STRATCOM’s frank statement, but due to the bizarre fact that our world’s increasing risk of nuclear war barely features in mainstream discourse.
Dozens of House Democrats are calling on President Biden to relinquish sole control over the country’s nuclear arsenal and the ability to launch a strike using those weapons.
Politico reports that the Democrats, led by Rep. Jimmy Panetta (CA) and Rep. Ted Lieu (CA), wrote a letter warning that “vesting one person” with the authority to initiate a nuclear war “entails real risks.”
“While any president would presumably consult with advisors before ordering a nuclear attack, there is no requirement to do so,” the letter explains.
“The military is obligated to carry out the order if they assess it is legal under the laws of war,” they add. “Under the current posture of U.S. nuclear forces, that attack would happen in minutes.”