The US has nothing that can counter hypersonic missiles that Russia, China and possibly North Korea have already developed. These are missiles that go faster than Mach 5, have some maneuverability and travel at differing altitudes making them currently impossible to intercept. The US is working on this technology but is years away from developing a working missile.
What that means is that right now Russia and China have the capacity to first strike our country and we can’t stop those missiles. Whereas these two countries do have the air defenses to stop our missiles. If we launch a counterattack of every missile we have got, then we might land some of them by overwhelming their air defenses. Of course they can do the same thing, but as I said, the hypersonic missiles they have can’t be stopped, so they can hit any important targets and there is nothing the US can do about it.
We’re basically at the mercy of Russia and China. All of our dozen aircraft carriers can be sunk in 15 minutes if those two countries chose to. DC can be decapitated, our largest military bases and strategic targets also annihilated. The anger that we may feel after such an attack would be backed by impotence. In the course of minutes the US would be removed as the greatest superpower and in the course of days the mushroom clouds will have all been exhausted and the vast majority of those clouds will be over the US and wherever US nuclear missiles are based. (Finland should take note.)
There will be some nukes that the US will successfully land in Russia and China. However, unlike their missiles, which would hit the most important and well protected centers of the US, the ones we fire back, since they are not hypersonic, are likely only to land in the areas least protected by their respective air defense systems. Would there still be a nuclear winter? I’m not sure, because the number of nukes that actually would explode could be much less. It seems that the idea of mutually assured destruction is gone in favor of Russia and China. It undoubtedly would be absolutely the worst disaster on earth.
The fact that Russia and China could annihilate the US right now seems strange considering the US attitude of dominance in the world. The US seems to be increasing our angry rhetoric and offensive actions towards these two countries. We’re actively supplying the Ukrainian government with weapons to kill Russians and we’re also actively supplying Taiwan with weapons to kill Chinese. The US seems to be on a war path towards China. The US is also investing in the development of hypersonic missiles, although we are years away. At what point does Russia and China decide that enough is enough? One would suspect it would be before the US had built a hypersonic weapon of it’s own.
Let’s remember though that just because you have bigger weapons doesn’t mean you use them. The US has had moments when, if it had desired, it could have dominated and destroyed many countries. And the US certainly did do a lot of wars, bullying and domination. However, the US didn’t go all out. Why is that?
Well, I can hear the arguments now, it’s because Americans are good people of course! And all the wars and, yes, the two nuclear bombs we are the only country to ever drop, were justified! We’re not trying to dominate and destroy Russia and China! We’re protecting the rest of the world and their own people from these countries governments which are bad! Americans though wouldn’t nuke these countries today or in the past because we’re decent people!
Well then, why hasn’t Russia used it’s current nuclear advantage to crush the US? Why hasn’t Russia hit every US aircraft carrier and sunk it? Why haven’t they hit DC and all the US major strategic targets all at once in an unstoppable force that would take minutes and leave the American leadership unable to react, maybe not even seeing it coming? The US is certainly not treating Russia well, a clear understatement of the US rhetorical hatred. Why then has Russia not used it’s strategic advantage to maximum effect? They do know that in a conventional battle against the US they would have a serious challenger, so why not strike first with their unstoppable hypersonic advantage?
Maybe because they are just like us. They are descent people who want to live in peace and find nuclear weapons a scary and revolting prospect that they wouldn’t wish on themselves and therefore anyone else. Maybe they would much prefer getting rid of all these nuclear weapons than use them. Maybe they are peace loving people who just want the US to keep their weapons away from their border, not destroy us or destroy anyone. Maybe they would really like to negotiate security agreements like they tried to do last December before the Ukraine conflict got hot. Maybe they want to get back to nuclear disarmament treaties.
Isn’t the fact that they haven’t used their advantage a sign that we don’t need hypersonic weapons? If the argument is that we need them to stay safe, but we currently don’t have them and yet haven’t been bombed and are safe, even though we have been giant assholes, then doesn’t that show that we don’t need them? Maybe we should take the $3 billion dollars a year we are spending on developing these hypersonic missiles and use it for something more useful. The evidence is very clear right now that a better route is to enter into world wide talks on the elimination of nuclear weapons. This will end up saving the US trillions of dollars but also would take away one man made existential crisis.
I’m glad that Russia and China has hypersonic missiles and the US does not. It is time for the US to have to trust, like the rest of the world has had to trust it. Maybe we can see the truth, that these people are every bit as moral and rational and good as ourselves, they might even be much more so. Their intentions to us and the world also seem respectable. And while we have our disagreements, maybe we can eliminate world destruction as an option for how we settle them.