[The following is a comment I posted to a New York Times article.]
As a former member of a Titan II Combat Crew decades ago, what I find most disturbing is the comment by a former launch officer concerning 9/11:
“We couldn’t do anything,” Mr. Weeden said. “The mantra had always been that the nuclear deterrent would keep America safe. But it didn’t. So I felt, not only did we fail to deter those attacks, but we couldn’t do anything about it after.”
No intellectually mature individual would believe that ICBMs could protect us from anything but nuclear threats and certainly not from one like 9/11. It was always Mutually Assured Destruction that kept us safe, and that deterrence still works today, although with the emotionally unstable situation in North Korea and the suicidal elements of extreme Islamic countries, that strategy most certainly is no longer a universal deterrent. Thus, the reason for ABM systems. Surely Mr Weeden knows this. Another thing that concerns me is that so many of these launch officers must have America observing and patting them on the back for the good job they are doing or they’ll cheat on the tests. This is pure narcissism. You’d think the human reliability testing they must all pass would have identified this and excluded them from this form of service.