Obama to set 'good example' with new nuke strategy

Rick Moran
It says something profoundly disturbing that our president would base a nuclear strategy on the feel good notion that we are "setting an example" for the rest of the world to follow.

Did it ever penetrate his skull that the very nations that threaten us - never mind Iran and North Korea which he exempts from the new policy - could care less about the US "good example?" What towering ignorance and breathtaking arrogance would lead a president to abandon the notion that we should forget about "good examples" and just protect the country?

What does setting an example have to do with national security? Apparently, it trumps the notion that we should refrain from developing new, more accurate, more reliable nuclear weapons.

David Sanger and Peter Baker writing in the New York Times:


Discussing his approach to nuclear security the day before formally releasing his new strategy, Mr. Obama described his policy as part of a broader effort to edge the world toward making nuclear weapons obsolete, and to create incentives for countries to give up any nuclear ambitions. To set an example, the new strategy renounces the development of any new nuclear weapons, overruling the initial position of his own defense secretary.Mr. Obama's strategy is a sharp shift from those of his predecessors and seeks to revamp the nation's nuclear posture for a new age in which rogue states and terrorist organizations are greater threats than traditional powers like Russia and China.

It eliminates much of the ambiguity that has deliberately existed in American nuclear policy since the opening days of the cold war. For the first time, the United States is explicitly committing not to use nuclear weapons against nonnuclear states that are in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, even if they attacked the United States with biological or chemical weapons or launched a crippling cyberattack.

Those threats, Mr. Obama argued, could be deterred with "a series of graded options," a combination of old and new conventional weapons. "I'm going to preserve all the tools that are necessary in order to make sure that the American people are safe and secure," he said in the interview in the Oval Office.

Does informing rogue states beforehand that they will not be targeted with nukes if they hit us with a chemical or bio attack make us safer? I would say that such a policy would, if not invite attacks, certainly makes them more likely. When you consider that our conventional forces are very likely to be degraded over the next few years as Obama seeks to lower the deficit by cutting funding for the military, just what  graded options" is the president talking about? Lobbing a few Cruise missiles at an enemy that just killed 10,000 Americans in a chemical attack on a city? Or sickened thousands in a biological attack? 

Ambiguity in our nuclear weapons doctrine has protected us for 60 years. And the idea that telegraphing your intentions - giving an attacker the surety that we won't nuke them in many cases - smacks of leftist ideology trumping national security.

Obama wants a safer world. The irony is that his change of policy will make the planet a lot more dangerous and uncertain.


It says something profoundly disturbing that our president would base a nuclear strategy on the feel good notion that we are "setting an example" for the rest of the world to follow.

Did it ever penetrate his skull that the very nations that threaten us - never mind Iran and North Korea which he exempts from the new policy - could care less about the US "good example?" What towering ignorance and breathtaking arrogance would lead a president to abandon the notion that we should forget about "good examples" and just protect the country?

What does setting an example have to do with national security? Apparently, it trumps the notion that we should refrain from developing new, more accurate, more reliable nuclear weapons.

David Sanger and Peter Baker writing in the New York Times:


Discussing his approach to nuclear security the day before formally releasing his new strategy, Mr. Obama described his policy as part of a broader effort to edge the world toward making nuclear weapons obsolete, and to create incentives for countries to give up any nuclear ambitions. To set an example, the new strategy renounces the development of any new nuclear weapons, overruling the initial position of his own defense secretary.

Mr. Obama's strategy is a sharp shift from those of his predecessors and seeks to revamp the nation's nuclear posture for a new age in which rogue states and terrorist organizations are greater threats than traditional powers like Russia and China.

It eliminates much of the ambiguity that has deliberately existed in American nuclear policy since the opening days of the cold war. For the first time, the United States is explicitly committing not to use nuclear weapons against nonnuclear states that are in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, even if they attacked the United States with biological or chemical weapons or launched a crippling cyberattack.

Those threats, Mr. Obama argued, could be deterred with "a series of graded options," a combination of old and new conventional weapons. "I'm going to preserve all the tools that are necessary in order to make sure that the American people are safe and secure," he said in the interview in the Oval Office.

Does informing rogue states beforehand that they will not be targeted with nukes if they hit us with a chemical or bio attack make us safer? I would say that such a policy would, if not invite attacks, certainly makes them more likely. When you consider that our conventional forces are very likely to be degraded over the next few years as Obama seeks to lower the deficit by cutting funding for the military, just what  graded options" is the president talking about? Lobbing a few Cruise missiles at an enemy that just killed 10,000 Americans in a chemical attack on a city? Or sickened thousands in a biological attack? 

Ambiguity in our nuclear weapons doctrine has protected us for 60 years. And the idea that telegraphing your intentions - giving an attacker the surety that we won't nuke them in many cases - smacks of leftist ideology trumping national security.

Obama wants a safer world. The irony is that his change of policy will make the planet a lot more dangerous and uncertain.