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Challenge accepted.

"The US nuclear forces modernization program has been portrayed to the public as an effort to ensure the reliability and safety of warheads in the US nuclear arsenal, rather than to enhance their military capabilities. In reality, however, that program has implemented revolutionary new technologies that will vastly increase the targeting capability of the US ballistic missile arsenal. This increase in capability is astonishing—boosting the overall killing power of existing US ballistic missile forces by a factor of roughly three—and it creates exactly what one would expect to see, if a nuclear-armed state were planning to have the capacity to fight and win a nuclear war by disarming enemies with a surprise first strike."


Box 1: A large western democracy with a free press, who has possessed nuclear weapons since their invention 75 years ago. Has been fully capable of destroying the world all that time... and hasn't. Wants to upgrade existing weapons.

Box 2: A small theocratic dictatorship, ruled by a Supreme Leader for life, who has been at constant war with its neighbors for pretty much all of modern history and still openly calls for the obliteration of some of them. It's a place where people are executed for adultery and homosexuality, and until recently the preferred method was stoning. After losing a half-million people in human wave attacks during its last big war, the country's Supreme Leader wants a bigger badder boom.

If these two things are the same in your mind, you are so far outside the bounds of rational thought that I'll just have to assume you're trolling.

1. Why does this democracy has upgraded its weapons in this particular way? The old weapons were working fine for the purpose of MAD (retaliatory strike against cities), the new ones are fit for a surprise first strike.

This democracy hasn't destroyed the world because it wants to live itself and MAD guaranteed that nobody wins a nuclear war. When it could use nuclear weapons without fear of retaliation, it happily used them on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Now it has gotten closer towards obtaining capability to start and win a nuclear war.

2. Iran hasn't started a war in a hundred of years, the Iran-Iraq war was started by Iraq, in which Saddam, who was supported by the US at the time, has used chemical weapons. You are clearly misinformed by your free press and Iran's desire to possess a nuclear deterrent is more than understandable.

There are a couple problems with your view of the US:

* Since the invention of the H-bomb, nuclear powers have had the ability to knock out all fixed silos in a first strike. You don't need accuracy with a 10MT bomb. As accuracy improves, warheads get smaller, but the MAD calculus doesn't change: You can't guarantee you'll take out all the submarine, mobile, and airborne weapons too. Accuracy doesn't change anything.

* The US is not a dictatorship and the president doesn't have the ability to unilaterally start nuclear war. Hell, he can't even assassinate a foreign head of state[1]. While I'm not thrilled with this particular president, I am confident that the democratic institutions of the US make nuclear first strike impossible.

There are a couple problems with your view of Iran:

* Iran and Iraq have been fighting since they were named Persia and Mesopotamia. Long before the official start of the Iran-Iraq war, both were funding and encouraging insurgent groups in the other. Khomeini openly called for the overthrow of Saddam via Islamic revolution. It doesn't matter who attacked first.

* Iran spent more than half of the Iran-Iraq war on the offensive in Iraqi territory. When they had power, they pressed their advantage. Khomeini spoke openly about spreading Islamic revolution everywhere, which is probably why all the neighboring nations lined up behind Iraq. The US was a tiny bit player; all Iraq's hardware came from the Soviets and all the money came from neighboring Arab states like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait (the joke would be on them later, apparently).

* Khomeini himself didn't want peace, even after 10 years of war: "Happy are those who have departed through martyrdom. Happy are those who have lost their lives in this convoy of light. Unhappy am I that I still survive and have drunk the poisoned chalice..."

There's almost nothing positive you can say about Iran's dictators since the Islamic revolution (and probably long before). Theocracies with martyr complexes must not be allowed to have nuclear weapons.

[1]: https://www.google.com/search?q=trump+mattis+assad

Also read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran–Iraq_War

* You are forgetting multiple things: reduction of the number of warheads, continuous enhancement of ABM systems by the US, this super-fuze upgrade giving enhanced anti-silo capability to submarine-based missiles which can reach targets in much shorter time, enhanced capability to track road-based launchers, overwhelming advantage in the number of fighter jets vs the number of Russian nuclear-capable bombers, disparity in the number of submarines. These things taken together in a couple of decades can end MAD.

* Giving the overwhelming advantage of the US and NATO in conventional weapons, the US doesn't need to actually commit a first strike to reap benefits of this capability. Nowadays the US and Russia are afraid to engage in a conventional conflict for fear of it escalating into nuclear war that would destroy both countries. After achieving first-strike capability, the US will know that Russia will be afraid to escalate by using tactical nukes against American carriers and troops. Ultimately, this will mean that the US will be able to do towards Russian allies or Russian expedionary forces whatever it feels like.

Interestingly, you don't have the answer to my simple question.

Let's see if I have this straight... the US is increasing the precision of its nuclear weaponry to use against military targets, and that's as bad as Iran's program to acquire nuclear weaponry (in violation of the NPT) and long range rockets?

You are being disingenuous here if you are trying to gloss over the fact that these 'military targets' can be silos with other party's ICBMs.

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