Ed Driscoll

BACK TO THE FUTURE

The US is considering replacing the nuclear warheads on some Minuteman III missiles with conventional warheads, that could be used to strike states like Iraq and North Korea on short notice:

The weapon would give the United States the ability to attack targets thousands of miles away with precision-guided, conventional high explosives in minutes, military officials said. Because of the missiles’ speed, they would be able to pierce current air defenses and avoid putting American pilots at risk, they added.

Replacing nuclear warheads with conventional weapons on some of the nation’s globe-girdling missiles is a proposal that is barely on the drawing board. The Air Force Space Command in Colorado Springs will begin formally exploring the idea of converting some Minuteman III missiles this fall in a two-year review the military calls an “analysis of alternatives.”

But senior Air Force and Pentagon officials are seriously weighing the proposal as part of a larger rethinking of the kind of deterrence and long-range attack weapons the military will need in the security environment that followed the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Now that’s my kind of bunker buster!