Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

Obama, JFK, technology, & the Cuban Missile Crisis...chilling

Elections, National Parks, Obama 2008, Unintended consequences, War

Remember when Sen. Joe Biden predicted an international crisis if Obama was elected? "Mark my words, it will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy" (Actually, Kennedy's test came 22 months after taking office.)


Although the idea that an Obama presidency would generate an "international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy" is troubling, yet the comparison of Obama being like John F. Kennedy is flattering. Unfortunately, there is no comparison.


Yes, both men were young, but that is pretty much where the similarity ends.


JFK was a war veteran. He was squarely behind defending liberty throughout the world. From his Inaugural Address:

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

This much we pledge--and more.

JFK did not spurn the use of technology to keep the world safe as Obama has. In fact, the technological breakthrough of the solid rocket fueled Minuteman missiles served as a deterrent to the Soviets during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

We learned about the Minuteman deterrent when we visited an actual Minuteman II Missile Site while on vacation 2 years ago. (Photo is of huge bank style vault door)

The National Park Service preserved this last remaining facility for its historic significance, and we were privileged to have Kerry Davis, a former Minuteman employee, as our tour guide.

Ranger Davis (pictured, but my family is photoshopped out) used to work in a Minuteman II facility just like this one. We were far below the surface of the earth in this vault-like bunker command station. Davis told us how he belted himself into the red rolling chair on tracks during his shift. They did this so in case of nuclear attack, he could still launch our missiles, God forbid, if needed.


He also told us why the Minuteman was nicknamed the Ace in the hole during the Cuban Missile Crisis. President Kennedy knew he could launch in 5 minutes, if needed. Presumably Khrushchev and Castro knew it too.


No longer did our offensive nuclear missiles require time consuming fueling before take off. Prior to the Minuteman, the fueling process took so long that missiles from Russia would already be blasting America before our liquid-fuel rockets could get off the ground. The Minuteman was a solid rocket system--always at the ready in 5 minutes, hence the name Minuteman.


If you look at the Minuteman Missile History, you see that Minuteman I became operational just 8 days after the crisis began...

and 1 DAY before we went to DEFCON 2.

(My emphasis throughout) 

LGM-30A/B Minuteman I:  In the late 1950s advances in solid-fuel propellants enabled the Air Force to develop its first solid-fuel ICBM, the Minuteman I (LGM-30A/B). Formal development began in September 1958, and after an extraordinarily rapid development program, the Air Force put its first ten Minuteman ICBMs on operational alert at Malmstrom AFB, Montana, in October 1962. Deployment proceeded at an equally furious pace, and within 5 years 1,000 of the solid-fuel missiles stood poised in their silos.
... On October 22, 1962, SAC placed its first flight of ten Minuteman missiles on operational alert.


Cuban Missile Crisis History:
On the night of October 23, the Joint Chiefs of Staff instructed Strategic Air Command to go to DEFCON 2, for the only time in history. The message, and the response, were deliberately transmitted uncoded, (unencrypted), in order to allow Soviet intelligence to capture them.[3] Operation Falling Leaves quickly set up three radar bases to watch for missile launches from Cuba.[clarify] The radars were experimental models ahead of their time. Each base was connected with a hotline to NORAD control.

NORAD was the central control for the 10 new Minuteman I stations. America played a gut-wrenching game of chicken with the Soviets and Cuba. By the grace of God, the crisis passed.

 ...After much deliberation between the Soviet Union and Kennedy's cabinet, Kennedy agreed to remove all missiles set in Turkey on the border of the Soviet Union in exchange for Khrushchev removing all missiles in Cuba.

If America did not possess the capability to launch before Russia or Cuba could, or if we had not developed new weaponry, would the Cuban Missile Crisis have resolved peacefully?


I doubt it.


Countries that were weak militarily in Europe were taken over by the Soviet Union.

I believe it was only Providence that caused the Soviets to believe America was a force to be reckoned with, that the situation resolved as well as it did.


Now contrast Kennedy's attitude toward military technology with Obama's on military spending and technology:

...I will cut 10s of billions of dollars in wasteful spending. I will cut investment in unproven missile defense systems. I will not weaponize space. I will slop our development of future combat systems...

I will set a goal of a world without nuclear weapons. To seek that goal, I will not develop new nuclear weapons. I will seek a global ban on production of fissial material and I will negotiate with Russia to take our ICBMS off hair trigger alert and to achieve deep cuts in our nuclear arsenals.

Obama's naivete' on military technology and preparedness is frightening. Where would we be today if President Eisenhower and Kennedy had not embraced military technology? Maybe part of the Soviet Union?


President Kennedy might have been young and tested just 22 months into his presidency. At least he was realistic about the importance of new technology. Obama is not. 


After our tour of the Minuteman command bunker, the Ranger took us to an actual missile silo. We were told about how many warheads have been dismantled since the end of the Cold War and how the military was doing a soft standing down of Cheyenne Mountain/NORAD command center--they felt they didn't really need it anymore. Since North Korea had just fired a test long-range missile, I was not so sure a soft standing down was wise. Are there other Minutemen missiles I asked? Yes, the Minuteman IIIs are in service. I felt a little better. (Photo is of missile in glass topped silo)


The world is a much more dangerous place since our visit 2 years ago. North Korea and Iran continue to work on developing nuclear weapons. Russia is becoming more aggressive. Can we afford to "slow our development of future combat systems?" or "cut investment in unproven missile defense systems?" or "take our ICBMs off hair trigger," as Obama promotes? I would say, no, not in today's dangerous world. At least not if America wishes to remain a superpower.


P.S.--A serendipitous find: We stumbled on the ATK Corporation, out in the middle of nowhere in Utah. The T stands for Thiokol Chemical Corporation, the maker of solid rockets. Their entire front lawn held a collection of solid rocket history. Very interesting.


Please, comment content should relate to the subject of the post. Although I try to respond to many, do not interpret my lack of a response as agreement.



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Brookfield7, Fairly Conservative, Vicki Mckenna, Jay Weber, The Right View Wisconsin, Mark Levin, CNS News


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