William Hamilton: Checkmate Iran with a Cold War concept
April 6, 2011
The United States has no vital interests at stake in Libya’s civil war. So, why are American and NATO troops in harm’s way in Libya? Because Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Hussein Obama are engaged in a cojones-measuring contest aimed more at the Democratic Presidential Primary than the unlikely demise of Libyan dictator, Moammar Gadhafi.
Don’t be fooled that turning the job of ousting the Libyan dictator over to NATO means U.S. forces are scarcely involved. NATO is first, last, and always a U.S. creation whose main military might depends on U.S. forces and technology.
Instead of Libya, our focus should be on Iran’s nuclear-weapons program, on Iran’s support of terrorism, and on Iran’s ability to close off our supply of oil from the Persian Gulf. But wait. What if Iran’s neighbor, Saudi Arabia, suddenly has “access” to nuclear weapons while Iran, as yet, does not?
Here is a proven Cold War concept for making Iran’s nuclear weapons development program moot while, at the same time, keeping the waters of the Persian Gulf and the entire region’s waters open for the shipment of oil around the world:
In the 1950s, the U.S. Army Artillery Center at Ft. Sill, Okla., developed howitzers and missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads. To counter the Soviet Cold War threat, NATO nations, including: the United Kingdom, West Germany, the Netherlands, Greece, Italy, and Turkey purchased U.S.-made 8-inch and 155mm howitzers. In addition, some NATO nations bought Honest John rockets and/or the Corporal, Lacrosse, and Sergeant Missiles from the United States.
In return, the U.S. agreed to station nuclear-weapons custodial detachments in those NATO countries. The mission of each custodial detachment was to keep its nuclear warheads in readiness and only release them to their host nations on the orders of the president of the United States. (For two years, this writer helped provide counterintelligence support for U.S. nuclear weapons detachments in West Germany and the Netherlands.)
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At no time did our NATO allies have possession of our nuclear warheads. But had the president of the United States so ordered, the nuclear warheads would have been readily available for firing at invading Soviet ground forces.
So, here is a proposal for Saudi Arabia: “You agree to halt all funds flowing out of Saudi Arabia in support of Islamic jihad. You agree to accept a dozen or so U.S. nuclear-weapons custodial detachments on Saudi soil. You agree to let us build cruise missile sites in such a way that the missiles can be fired only in the direction of Iran. We agree to sell you the missiles, although the missiles will be programmed internally to fly only toward Iran. We keep custody of the nuclear warheads. You pay all the costs.”
Thus, instead of Iran eventually towering over the Persian Gulf and the Middle East with nuclear weapons, Saudi Arabia would have the capability – but only with our concurrence – of reducing Iran’s key facilities to irradiated dust. Thus, it becomes pointless for Iran to continue its nuclear-weapons development program; proving, once again, that nukes work – even when not fired.
Pros: The Saudis stop funding terrorism lest we withdraw our nuclear warheads, leaving them, once again, at the mercy of Iran. Our maritime oil-supply lines are more secure. The Iranians must respect the U.S. lest we enable the Saudis to nuke them. The Saudis cannot turn the missiles on Israel. The Saudis pay for the entire program. We start getting some of our gasoline money back. Cons: The Saudi Sunnis might rather bow down to the Iranian Shiites than accept U.S. custodial detachments on Saudi soil. Well, maybe, not.
Someone call Hillary. Even at 3 a.m.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.
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