Tensions between North Korea and America are steadily creeping, as we reach highs unseen for decades. Just now, President Trump has begun preparing to put nuclear bombers on 24-hour alert, a status we haven’t seen since the Cold War ended in 1991.
“This is yet one more step in ensuring that we’re prepared,” General David Goldfein told Fox News. “I look at it more as not planning for any specific event, but more for the reality of the global situation we find ourselves in and how we ensure we’re prepared going forward.”
The general noted that in a world where “we’ve got folks that are talking openly about use of nuclear weapons,” it’s extremely important that the US military always stay one step ahead. “It’s no longer a bipolar world where it’s just us and the Soviet Union. We’ve got other players out there who have nuclear capability,” he added.
Defense One reports:
BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. — Goldfein and other senior defense officials stressed that the alert order had not been given, but that preparations were under way in anticipation that it might come. That decision would be made by Gen. John Hyten, the commander of U.S. Strategic Command, or Gen. Lori Robinson, the head of U.S. Northern Command. STRATCOM is in charge of the military’s nuclear forces and NORTHCOM is in charge of defending North America.
Putting the B-52s back on alert is just one of many decisions facing the Air Force as the U.S. military responds to a changing geopolitical environment that includes North Korea’s rapidly advancing nuclear arsenal, President Trump’s confrontational approach to Pyongyang, and Russia’s increasingly potent and active armed forces.
Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, home of the 2d Bomb Wing and Air Force Global Strike Command, is currently being renovated so that B-52 bombers will be ready to take off at a “moment’s notice.” The planes, which can fly up to around 50,000 feet and at supersonic speeds, are equipped with a highly diverse arsenal.
Over the past week, General Goldfein has encouraged the military to think beyond Cold War uses for bombers and nuclear missiles.
“I’ve challenged…Air Force Global Strike Command to help lead the dialog, help with this discussion about ‘What does conventional conflict look like with a nuclear element?’ and ‘Do we respond as a global force if that were to occur?’ and ‘What are the options?’” he said. “How do we think about it — how do we think about deterrence in that environment?”
“Really it depends on who, what kind of behavior are we talking about, and whether they’re paying attention to our readiness status,” he said. “Our job is options. We provide the best military advice and options for the commander in chief and the secretary of defense.”
General Goldfein ended the interview with a disturbing statement. “Should the STRATCOM commander require or the NORTHCOM commander require us to [be on] a higher state of readiness to defend the homeland, then we have to have a place to put those forces.”
Unfortunately, many are afraid that these forces WILL be put forth—and although the US military is far superior to any other military in the world, we certainly wouldn’t be able to win a war completely unscathed.