Almgren letter

After reading Mr. Deason’s clear attack on President Trump using uninformed talking points, I feel compelled to respond.

I was the responsible engineer for the missile computer software requirements where the actual launch and targeting commands are processed. I continued in various capacities until I was chief scientist of a program to modernize all our Nuclear Command and Control. To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Deason was not part of that process. It would be more appropriate to criticize from a position of knowledge rather than incorrect second-hand talking points. I would suggest he go to the following internet site for the philosophy and use of our nuclear deterrent:

So far I find no inconsistency with SALT or other treaties or irrationality with the Presidents statements on our nuclear policy.

While the President is “The (ultimate) National Command Authority” there are many parts to the system including many civilian authorities and military commanders who could inhibit any “unlawful” order to execute a launch. In my 30 plus years in the field, I never saw an instance or war plan where the U.S. contemplated a nuclear first strike. The primary purpose of all our nuclear effort was and remains the deterrence of irrational nuclear states by providing a survivable response if attacked.

Our nuclear weapons are a national defense asset controlled by the National Command Authority, which is executed by authorities who are sworn to NOT execute unlawful commands.

Many of us who truly understand their destructive potential have greatly favored elimination for many years. It is easy to say that we should get rid of all nuclear weapons, it is quite another to do it! Now that rudimentary design information is available through many sources, including the internet, how do you keep anyone with enough money from designing and building one? How do you change human nature to eliminate the desire for power by evil people with unlimited resources? Weapons have evolved as either first strike or defensive since the cave men first picked up rocks.

So Mr. Deason, while I agree with your desire to eliminate all nuclear weapons, I know of no one who knows how to change all human nature as it has existed throughout history. Re-energizing the movement to eliminate all nuclear weapons requires presenting some practical, workable methods so that those of us who have actually studied the subject can join you. In addition, you might include methods to eliminate all chemical and biological weapons, which have the potential to create many more casualties with less deployment difficulties

Ted Almgren,