Obama seeking unilateral nuclear disarmament
They won't call what they're doing disarmament, of course. We will still have a couple of thousand nuclear weapons once Obama is through cutting them.
But what the Obama administration is discussing internally with regard to our nuclear policy will have the same effect; a dramatic, radical departure from past US policy that gives our potential nuclear foes everything they can dream of without Obama asking one, single thing in return.
I would love to play poker with this guy. He likes to surrender advantages without getting anything in return. Note our Iran policy where we have guaranteed the sovereignty of the Iranian regime by giving a virtual "no attack" pledge. And his constant moving of nuclear goalposts, as the "deadline" for Iranian compliance with UN resolution somehow keeps slipping. What, praytell, have the mullahs vouchsafed us in return?
Time after time during his first year in office, President Obama gave our foes little signals by unilaterally giving them what they want without asking for anything in return. It is madness, of course. Anyone with any awareness of how our opponents have been acting the last decade or so would have been able to tell the president (and the idiots at the State Department who never met a unilateral gesture they didn't approve of) that such a policy was doomed to make the US look weak in the eyes of our adversaries. Ahmadinejad mocks us. Chavez laughs at us. Putin is agog at Obama's naivete. Yes, but it sure makes Obama's far left base feel real good about themselves, doesn't it?
Now the administration is talking about scrapping "thousands" of our warheads in an effort to convince our adversaries that we are serious about building a world with no nukes. David Sanger and Thom Shanker in the New York Times flesh out Obama's deep thoughts on how to make the world a more dangerous place:
Mr. Obama's new strategy - which would annul or reverse several initiatives by the Bush administration - will be contained in a nearly completed document called the Nuclear Posture Review, which all presidents undertake. Aides said Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates will present Mr. Obama with several options on Monday to address unresolved issues in that document, which have been hotly debated within the administration.
First among them is the question of whether, and how, to narrow the circumstances under which the United States will declare it might use nuclear weapons - a key element of nuclear deterrence since the cold war.
Thankfully, Obama isn't stupid enough to forswear the first use of nuclear weapons. Since the start of the nuclear age we have never done so and for several good reasons, not the least of which is that a mass casualty attack using non nuclear WMD might necessitate a nuclear response. Or will it?
Mr. Obama's decisions on nuclear weapons come as conflicting pressures in his defense policy are intensifying. His critics argue that his embrace of a new movement to eliminate nuclear weapons around the world is naïve and dangerous, especially at a time of new nuclear threats, particularly from Iran and North Korea. But many of his supporters fear that over the past year he has moved too cautiously, and worry that he will retain the existing American policy by leaving open the possibility that the United States might use nuclear weapons in response to a biological or chemical attack, perhaps against a nation that does not possess a nuclear arsenal.
That is one of the central debates Mr. Obama must resolve in the next few weeks, his aides say.
Despite the fact that we are currently negotiating a replacement to the START II treaty with the Russians where we will pledge to reduce our nuclear arsenal by about 1500 warheads, the administration may seek to further reductions without any corresponding reductions from Russia or China. Those reductions would be in our tactical nuclear stockpile, guaranteeing that any nuclear crisis would automatically escalate to the use of ICBM's:
As President Obama begins making final decisions on a broad new nuclear strategy for the United States, senior aides say he will permanently reduce America's arsenal by thousands of weapons.
No new designs for nuclear weapons. A changed policy that may include a declaration that we would not respond with nukes if attacked by chemical or biological weapons. A unilateral cut of thousands of weapons. A new nuclear posture in Europe where we would remove our tactical weapons. A pie in the sky reliance on the good intentions of nations like Russia, China, and even North Korea and Iran. A naive belief that if we don't build any new nukes, other nations will follow.
And a plan to substitute nuclear warheads for conventional explosives on ICBM's:
Mr. Obama's reliance on new, non-nuclear Prompt Global Strike weapons is bound to be contentious. As described by advocates within the Pentagon and in the military, the new weapons could achieve the effects of a nuclear weapon, without turning a conventional war into a nuclear one. As a result, the administration believes it could create a new form of deterrence - a way to contain countries that possess or hope to develop nuclear, biological or chemical weapons, without resorting to a nuclear option.
Let's call this policy "The Non-deterrence, Deterrence" policy. I'll bet the mullahs and NoKo's are quaking in their jackboots.
I suppose we shouldn't be surprised given the president's statements as a candidate. In fact, we have a lot more of the same to look forward to with our conventional forces. The president has made it absolutely clear he thinks our military is too big and too effective - it's just not fair that we have such a qualitative and quantitative lead relative to our adversaries and potential opponents.
As with everything else in his presidency, Obama is seeking to level the playing field and redistribute wealth. In this case, it is our sizable advantage in nuclear weaponry.
The different world our president envisions with this new policy will be more dangerous because it will be more uncertain. It makes it more likely that nuclear war will break out, not less. Meanwhile, our naive president continues with developing a policy the consequences of which cannot even be guessed.