The Triad is not relevant to ISIS or Iran

I’m a long-time Powerline fan, but they’re completely off-base on what they call “Trump’s nuclear howler.” I’m a fan of Hugh Hewitt, too, but he wasted a question when he brought the “nuclear triad” up at the debate.

On the face of it, they’re right. Trump didn’t seem to know what the nuclear triad is. As most readers of this blog know, the U.S. has nuclear weapons on missiles, submarines and bombers. The concept of the “triad” is having nukes on all three platforms, should one become ineffective. For example, if the Russians suddenly perfect a missile defense system, we will still have our bombers and submarines as deterrents.

But this isn’t the 1980s. The triad is still important, but it’s only relevant to the balance of power between the U.S. and the Russians. Even if China is considered a threat, they don’t have enough nukes to change whether or not we need to devote more of our own nukes to bombers, missiles or submarines. Iran’s potential inventory will be insignificant to this equation. It’s not that they wouldn’t be problems in major ways. It’s just that they’re not relevant to the triad.

The bottom line is, the triad is not an election issue. If Hugh Hewitt wanted another gotcha question, couldn’t he come up with a relevant one?