At one time we had enough nuclear weapons to destroy the human population of the world three times. Decreasing our amount of nuclear weapons was thought to be something, so we were told, that would place us in enormous danger.
Is there any sane person in the world who seriously believes this? Maybe that part of Washington that lives on keeping the threat alive, or that part of the military that exists for the same reason. Obviously, these two groups are needed. But in these amounts?
If the amount of our nuclear weapons, once greater than the number of nuclear weapons in all the rest of the world put together, and sufficient to destroy all of the world three times, was reduced by two-thirds, would you feel less secure, sleeping in your bed, knowing that we only had enough nuclear weapons to destroy everybody in the world just once?
Have we lost all contact with rational thought?
The risk of a nuclear mishap, starting a war by accident, is now estimated to be greater than at any time before. And the greater the number of weapons the world has, of course, the greater the chance of a mishap.
Reducing the number of nuclear weapons in the world would reduce this risk. This is rather elementary.
Is it too difficult for us to understand?
In Maine, our unemployment rate is about 3 percent.
In a country where the unemployment rate is 30-40 percent, every job that is provided acts to reduce terrorism. The solution to stopping terrorism is not more warfare, more bombs, more drones, more military advisers, Guantanamo Bay detentions, and huge amounts of military spending. The solution is jobs.
Whenever we invade another Middle Eastern country, bomb a terrorist cell, arm some rebel group, or lose more thousands of American lives while spending trillions of dollars on defense, we compound the problem.
We wrongly believe that it is radical religions that cause the terrorism. We have it backward. It is the unemployment that causes people to join the radical religions. They join them not because they are a good choice. They join them because they are the only choice.
The religions provide them with something in which they can believe. This, for them, is something worth dying for. What they need is something worth living for. It’s called a job.
Nobody wants to hear this. Just like nobody wanted to hear about the Marshall Plan after World War II. Americans who had lost relatives, killed by Germans, were to pay increased taxes to rebuild the enemy country Germany.
The plan required the insight and the wisdom of an ex-general, George C. Marshall.
“It is logical that the United States should do whatever it is able to do to assist in the return of normal economic health in the world, without which there can be no political stability and no assured peace.” – Secretary of State George C. Marshall on the Marshall Plan, 1947
What we need is another George C. Marshall.
(Robert E. Regut is a graduate of West Point and a teacher with 20-plus years of experience in the teaching of foreign languages, specializing in the teaching of spoken German. He can be reached at P.O. Box 101, Nobleboro, ME, or at email@example.com.)