First of all, my reader may notice that while developing atom bombs, which made Japan surrender unconditionally, the United States continued to produce conventional weapons.
This is human nature: the fear of having all eggs in one basket. But there is probably something else in the case of China. My reader has no doubt seen the Pentagon’s annual reports on the growth of China’s military power. The reports are reassuring. China, a backward country, is trying to modernize itself and thus become more like the most technologically advanced country the Pentagon can imagine: the USA. But imagine that the Pentagon discovers that China spends nothing on visible weapons. Surely even the Pentagon may become suspicious.
Speaking of the United States, let me take molecular nano super weapons as an example of a scientific vision. Eric Drexler wrote his volume on nanotechnology in 1986, and in 2007 I received on the Internet its “20th anniversary edition updated and expanded” (630 pages). If successfully developed, this scientific vision could be the ultimate super weapon of today. The molecular nano weapon—a growing cloud advancing to its target and consisting of molecules acting as artificial microbes or viruses, capable of multiplying and destroying everything in their path, including their targets. On p. 355 of the 2007 edition of his study, Drexler states
A [nuclear] bomb can only blast things, but nanomachines and AI [artificial intelligence], can be used to infiltrate, seize, change, and govern a territory of a world.
Quite apart from my reading of Drexler, I wrote a column about Lt. Col. Thomas E. Bearden (US Army, retired) describing super weapons. By way of gratitude, his Chenier Press has sent me his latest study of super weapons, entitled “Oblivion: America at the Brink.” Bearden concludes his study as follows:
If we are to survive, we shall need the most strenuous and rapid effort in our history, now. In time of grave peril, Americans have always rallied to rational liberty and survival. We must do so again. God bless and keep America! We pray for its survival.
But Beardon does not even mention Drexler or the word “nano”!
A new highly complex product, such as the ultimate super weapon, does not jump out of the heads of scientists. Their scientific visions have to pass through technological development, like “the Manhattan Project” of 1941-1945 as a result of which their scientific atomic visions became a finished product—“the atom bomb,” duly tested and then forcing Japan to surrender unconditionally (Hitler had been routed earlier and committed suicide, to avoid being taken prisoner by Soviet troops).
It is not clear to me how a project of development of Drexler’s and Bearden’s scientific visions can turn into the ultimate super weapon, or how its development can even start similarly to the Manhattan Project, if the two scientists seem to have never even heard of each other.
The fact that the atom bomb, the ultimate super weapon of 1945, was developed not by Hitler’s Germany, but by the USA, Britain, and Canada, resulted from several historical accidents, fortunate for the free West.
Germany had all the advantages of being the first country to develop the atom bomb, whereby Hitler would have established his “world domination.”
The first advantage lost was the emigration (due to anti-Semitism in Europe) to the United States, Britain, and Canada of some European scientists, including those of genius.
The second advantage was lost when Hitler declared war on the United States in 1941 because he wanted to stop the U.S. military supplies to Britain for its defense—Hitler hoped that the German seamen would hunt and destroy the U.S. ships more vigorously if the Germans knew that these were enemy ships at war with Germany, while the U.S. military would think twice before sending their ships across the Atlantic if the Americans knew that now their ships would confront enemy vessels at war with the United States.
It was this “state of war” that helped the Manhattan Project, the development of the atom bomb, to achieve its zenith in 1942, despite the initial sloth of the U.S. bureaucracy, including Roosevelt himself, who did not notice for a month Einstein’s letter to him of August 2, 1939, possibly because he had never heard of Einstein.
The cost of the Manhattan Project was enormous. Eventually, it had over 130,000 employees and cost $23 billion in 2007 dollars. The map of the Manhattan Project in the United States looks like a map of the United States. Add Britain and Canada.
Now, Hitler’s “atom project” flourished up to 1942. But Hitler had military setbacks, in particular, two of them in Russia. In the second Russian setback, 80,000 German prisoners of war, captured along with those in command, were marched through Moscow. Hitler’s Germany was on the brink of debacle. What was the use of investing more money in the development of the atom bomb (and where could Hitler obtain that money?) if the Soviet troops would enter Berlin before the bomb was ready?
Let’s compare the situation with that of today. China declaring war on the United States! Are you crazy? In China, U.S. corporations reside as comfortably as in their own country, and the “government” of China is friendly to them as they make fabulous profits (as also does the “government” of China) due to the chasm between the pay at the level of slavery in China and the prices in the West of the goods thus produced.
The dictatorship of China aims at “world domination”? You are crazy! Why on earth? Hitler did so because he was anti-Semitic and in general the greatest villain in recorded history, who always shrieked hysterically and waved his hands frantically—at least in the movies. Recall also Chaplin’s Hitler! On the other hand, look at President Hu conversing with President Bush!
Finally, the dictators of China do understand Sun Tzu’s principle that war should be won, not fought. Hitler fought for six years in the vast expanses, stretching from the Atlantic, France, and Britain to the Volga, so that the atom bomb to win the war was beyond his resources.