The leaders of the nuclear-armed Soviet Union knew beyond any shadow of any doubt that a nuclear attack on the U.S. – perhaps its only hope for defeating its archenemy – would lead to an all-out nuclear counter-attack and the virtual destruction of its "workers paradise."
The policy was called MAD, for mutually assured destruction, but there wasn't anything crazy about it. Until Ronald Reagan came along with his idea for an anti-missile strategic defense, this kind of nuclear deterrence was the only thing that saved the U.S. from certain attack.
The Cold War may be over, but the nuclear threat to the U.S. is not.
Russia, despite many arms-control agreements designed to make us safe, still maintains a nuclear arsenal large enough to destroy the U.S. many times over.
China is another growing nuclear power with the capability of destroying some major U.S. cities.
North Korea and other rogue nations are rapidly developing the capacity to target the U.S. with nuclear-armed missiles.
But all of those nation-state threats are mitigated somewhat by the concept of MAD as well as the very primitive stage of a missile defense program begun under Ronald Reagan.
It is important for our enemies to know what the costs will be for an attack on the U.S. It shouldn't be a secret, any more than it was a secret to the Soviet Union.
Osama bin Laden, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the other Hitlers in headscarves who have sworn to bring the U.S. to its knees need to be told, in no uncertain terms, what the consequences of a nuclear or radiological attack on America will mean to them, their people and their so-called holy sites.
Here are some of the targeting ideas that need to be considered:
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