The Vesey Republic's birth as a Black nation-state is predicated on the full or partial collapse of American Empire's governance structure. Precipitated by an existential crisis in the 2020s, New Black Nationalists foresee partisan, racial, and nativists conflicts inflamed by the January 6 Capitol Coup, exponentially intensifying with the government's disintegration. Such an acute escalation would open the floodgates of civil war.
Political assassinations, terrorist attacks, cyber, and kinetic warfare will be visited on public spaces. The contested battlefield of white nationalist militias, U.S. military forces with divided loyalties, national guard units mobilized by secessionist governors, and millions of gun owners rallying to various ideological banners will be fought at close quarters. Foreign powers will infiltrate every power center that can be exploited for geopolitical advantage.
Under these conditions, American Empire's dissolution will Balkanize the continent into regional confederacies. Small and large self-proclaimed sovereign states will emerge next to vast ungoverned spaces. Amid this chaos, more than 5,113 nuclear weapons and 2,500 tons of chemical weapons will be scattered across the land. Who then will control the nuclear codes, launch sites, and weapons of mass destruction stockpiles? That was the question House Speaker Nancy Pelosi put to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mike Milley, two days after the January 6 coup.
To negotiate this dynamic threat environment, it would be absolute folly and defeatism for the Vesey Republic not to procure a nuclear weapons capability. As a new nation without nuclear weapons or a strategic air-defense system, Vesey's new polities could neither defend themselves against nuclear first strikes nor proffer a credible deterrence force to retaliate against aggressor states.
As New Black Nationalists (NBN) have asserted, Vesey's new polities--be they nation-states, city-states, or autonomous regions--will be small in population and land mass. Thus, its micro-polities will be highly susceptible to surprise biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons attacks which could only be regarded as attempts at national annihilation. Decapitation with no alternative response is an untenable position the Vesey Republic could never accept. For the nation's survival, the Vesey Republic must adopt a policy to secure nuclear weapons.
The Doctrine of Mutually Assured Devastation
Confronted with this daunting national security challenge Vesey's new polities will need to develop two interlocking strategies to ensure its survival.
1) A macro risk assessment to combat large-scale attacks threatening mass destruction.
2) A long-term micro threat assessment contemplating invasion, protracted civil, asymmetric, and guerilla warfare.
To thwart a decapitating nuclear first strike through a policy of deterrence, the Vesey Republic would need to acquire a retaliatory force structure of intermediate-range (620–3,400 miles) and tactical (150-300) nuclear weapons. It would also need to deploy a modern Integrated Air Defense System (ISDS) integrating the components of air surveillance, battle management, and weapons control. The strategic nuclear deterrence capability the Vesey Republic seeks would not invoke the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) --- the Cold War deterrence doctrine based on the threat of nuclear annihilation for both attacker and defender.
Rather, the Vesey Republic's strategic imperative would be harnessing a nuclear arsenal that could inflict short and long-term devastation so severe that an aggressor state would deem a first strike counterproductive. In effect, Vesey's doctrine of Mutually Assured Devastation would achieve the same ends as Mutually Assured Destruction did in constraining the U.S. and U.S.S.R. from launching nuclear strikes against each other during the Cold War.
What then is the value of having a nuclear policy whose goal is devastation and not destruction? The political benefits would accrue from the international community regarding Vesey as a state asserting its legitimate right to self-defense instead of a warmongering aggressor state. After all, why would a new nation-state the size of Maryland, execute a first-strike nuclear attack against a larger confederacy of white nationalists or other hostile states? A Mutually Assured Devastation policy would afford the Vesey Republic additional political leverage to pursue a broader and more durable national security arrangement.
In NBN's National Divorce series, New Black Nationalists asserted that any negotiations to partition America into red states and blue states to avert civil war must include an independent Black nation-state. The Vesey Republics would be entitled to a proportional share of all national assets including nuclear weapons, air defense, and conventional weapons systems.
New Black Nationalists don't rule out the possibility of National Divorce discussions convening to peacefully partition American Empire, but it is a remote possibility at best. If National Divorce negotiations were to occur, they would likely commence after a civil war started and ground to a stalemate.
Whether Black Nationalists win national independence on the battlefield or at the negotiating table, it's unlikely concessions to its nuclear weapons demands would be granted. Thus, a valid question arises; what options would be available to the Vesey Republic to join the elite club of nuclear-armed states?
Options to Obtain a Strategic Nuclear Capability
Like the horror of nuclear weapons themselves, the Vesey Republic's options to secure a nuclear weapons capability are all fraught with danger and significant downsides. In some respects, Vesey is confronted with choosing the least of the worst options. New Black Nationalists developed the following four options for consideration.
Option 1 --- Develop the internal capability to fabricate lower-grade nuclear weapons, and chemical agents with the requisite delivery systems.
Option 2 --- Purchase ready -to-go, off-the-shelf, crude nuclear dirty bombs, biological or chemical agents on the black market.
Option 3 --- Enter a defense agreement with a country that can provide the Vesey Republic with nuclear and chemical weapons powerful enough to discourage aggressor states from launching first strikes with weapons of mass destruction.
Option 4 --- Become a territory or overseas department of another sovereign state with a nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons capability powerful enough to discourage aggressor states from launching first strikes with weapons of mass destruction.
Evaluation of the Options
Option 1 calling for Vesey's polities to develop their own strategic nuclear and chemical weapons is the most desirable policy. It allows Vesey to control its defense programs, national security policy, and political sovereignty. The downside is the number of years and the costs Vesey would incur to develop its own nuclear program. The republic would have no strategic nuclear deterrence options during its most vulnerable first years.
Option 2 to purchase low-end or dirty nuclear devices and technologies is the most dangerous and unreliable option. This scenario could only be considered as an option of last resort. Vesey would have to go shopping on the black market for nuclear devices with questionable non-state actors for products whose reliability could not be trusted. This scenario is reminiscent of Iran's dilemma after its 1979 revolution. Tehran attempted to purchase an off-the-shelf nuclear weapon system from Pakistan's nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan's network that helped North Korea develop its nuclear enrichment program.
Option 3 is similar to Option 4 in terms of acquiring nuclear weapons from an existing nuclear-armed state. Option 3 potentially compromises the Vesey Republic's national sovereignty by entering a defense pact that places a critical component of the republic's national security architecture under another nation's nuclear umbrella. Option 3 likens the Vesey Republic to Western European countries under the United States nuclear weapons umbrella after World War ll. The U.K. and France were the only two Euro-states to develop their own nuclear arsenals. Depending on the country the Vesey Republic concluded a nuclear defense agreement with the terms might be the most cost effective and rapidly deployable option. The mutual defense pact's status would be temporary and negotiable, as would any concessions the Vesey Republic would make to conclude the agreement.
Option 4 explicitly surrenders the Vesey Republic's national sovereignty by becoming a territory or principality of another nation-state as a tradeoff for securing guaranteed protections against a nuclear or WMD first strike. This scenario contemplates the absolute worst-case scenario. It would mean a Vesey Republic's national security threat assessment expressed high confidence that a nuclear first strike against the country was imminent, and time was of the essence. As a practical matter, the Vesey Republic would surrender its national sovereignty and become an autonomous region retaining a high degree of political authority and decision-making power.
Any consideration of adopting Option 3 or Option 4 must take into account a strategic profile of today's eight existing nuclear-armed countries: (See the image below) Russia, China, France, U.K., Pakistan, India, Israel, and North Korea. Concluding a joint defense agreement with any given country would require an analysis of how these states' political motives and long-term strategic calculations would be affected by the dissolution of American Empire. Moreover, a review of the reliability of each country's nuclear weapons systems, operational issues, command and control functions, and costs would have to be evaluated.
Given their history, the Vesey Republic could not consider entering a nuclear agreement with Russia, North Korea, or Israel. New Black Nationalists have difficulty imagining how France or the U.K.'s national interests would be served by supporting the Vesey Republic developing its own nuclear weapons program. India and Pakistan remain two nuclear states rent with instability. Having once been the unitary state of India before religious strife resulted in Pakistan's creation as a Muslim state these two countries remained bitter enemies with nuclear options.
This snapshot of today's nuclear-armed states is not to suggest that New Black Nationalists by the process of elimination would lean toward China as a possible partner in a mutual defense agreement. Rather it underscores there are no good options in the enterprise of implementing a nuclear weapons program.
NBN Recommendations to Develop a Nuclear Weapons Deterrence Option
Having considered the national security threat environment a new Black nation-state would encounter in a post-American Empire world; New Black Nationalists offer the following recommendations to develop a nuclear weapons policy and strategy to deter attacks by weapons of mass destruction.
--- The Vesey Republic will seek entry into a mutual defense agreement with a country providing access to tactical and intermediate-range nuclear weapons, and a modern Integrated Air Defense System (ISDS) that includes the components of air surveillance, battle management, and weapons control. To derive the benefits of a comprehensive and integrated mutual defense agreement, the Vesey Republic would seek to enter into a conventional weapons agreement with the same country to assist in building its conventional land, air, and sea forces.
--- The Vesey Republic will adopt a nuclear weapons policy of 'Mutually Assured Devastation,' which contains two major provisos: 1) Adoption of a No-First-Strike nuclear weapons policy. 2) Any potential retaliatory nuclear strike launched by the Vesey Republic in self-defense will not be designed to achieve the assured destruction of an adversary. Rather the Vesey Republic's counterstrike would contemplate inflicting significant short- and long-term devastation on the attacking adversarial state so as to dissuade the potential aggressor from initiating a nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons attack.
--- Until such time as the United States government has fulfilled its international obligation as a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993 to destroy 100% of its chemical weapons stockpiles, the Vesey Republic will begin its own research and development program to fabricate a chemical weapons capability. The United States is scheduled to achieve the total destruction of its remaining chemical weapons stockpiles now calculated at 97.37% by September 2023.
--- The Vesey Republic will agree to sign the Biological Weapons Convention prohibiting the development, production, acquisition, transfer, stockpiling, and use of biological weapons.
--- The Vesey Republic will focus its research and development efforts on drone technologies to deploy a variety of offensive weapons applications.
A Final Thought:
"Nuclear war is inevitable, says the pessimists; Nuclear war is impossible, says the optimists; Nuclear war is inevitable unless we make it impossible, says the realists."
Sydney J Harris, Journalist
New Black Nationalists abhor nuclear weapons as mankind's greatest abomination and morally contemptible project. Nevertheless, we are realists. We cannot wish away nuclear weapons, nor reject obtaining them if our survival depends on the mere act of possessing them. Unlike a country the size of China, for a micro-Black nation-state like the Vesey Republic there will be no day after, no second chances, or even a nuclear winter to survive an attack by weapons of mass destruction.
Having waited for 400 years to win liberation, the Black Commons must be prepared to give its full measure to maintain the republic, including staring into the nuclear abyss.