In perhaps the most breathtaking example of dangerous stupidity to date, today the Obama administration announced a change in American nuclear-weapons use policy which serves as an advertisement to all of our enemies that we are no longer to be feared – and begs the question whether our president is so naive and unqualified as a negotiator as to call into question any foreign policy or security dealings he might have in his time left in office, or whether Obama’s bizarre foreign and national-security policies come as a result of an active agenda to destroy the country.
Though it is sincerely hoped here that the former is the truth, indicating perhaps our presidential incompetence may be alleviated in part through time and experience, functionally it is immaterial in the short run. Whether this man knows what he’s doing or not, either way he’s putting policies in place which threaten the lives of millions of our countrymen.
The elements of Obama’s new nuclear weapons policy are as follows…
First, we have the assurance that you can attack America with sarin or smallpox and Obama won’t use nukes in response.
“The United States will continue to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in deterring non-nuclear attacks. To that end, the United States is now prepared to strengthen its long-standing ‘negative security assurance’ by declaring that the United States will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons states that are party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and in compliance with their nuclear non-proliferation obligations. This revised assurance is intended to underscore the security benefits of adhering to and fully complying with the NPT and persuade non-nuclear weapons states party to the Treaty to work with the United States and other interested parties to adopt effective measures to strengthen the non-proliferation regime.
“In making this strengthened assurance, the United States affirms that any state eligible for the assurance that uses chemical or biological weapons against the United States or its allies and partners would face the prospect of a devastating conventional military response – and that any individuals responsible for the attack, whether national leaders or military commanders, would be held fully accountable.
“Given the catastrophic potential of biological weapons and the rapid pace of bio-technology development, the United States reserves the right to make any adjustment in the assurance that may be warranted by the evolution and proliferation of the biological weapons threat and US capacities to counter that threat.”
American policy has always been to leave open the question of what our response might be to such a provocation, and typically speaking it was generally assumed that any nation attempting to hit us with chemical or biological weapons, if they were discovered doing so, would face the prospect of glowing in the dark very shortly. Obama now says that nukes are off the table in the event an attack comes from a non-nuclear state which is in compliance with the NPT, though maybe if such a state hits us with, say, smallpox in amounts which are “devastating” we might still use nukes.
Stupidity doesn’t begin to describe this.
First, why publish rules or policies at all? If you want to have what adults like Rudy Giuliani describe as leverage against pip-squeak dictators who might think about getting a piece of America, you keep our nuclear security policy deliberately opaque. You present yourself as the strongest, meanest and least predictable SOB on the block, and in so doing you motivate all who deal with you to act with the utmost in trustworthiness and good faith for fear of finding themselves under a mushroom cloud in the event they should cross us.
Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba and other enemies – whether the legalese of today’s policy would address them or not – should always be left guessing as to what our policy might be in response to their machinations, in hopes that they might be paralyzed by fear. We are doing them a favor today in letting them know there are no teeth left in the American tiger.
Second, the policy prescribes an American reaction to, say, a smallpox attack on Los Angeles as a “devastating conventional military response.” That one will ring pretty hollow, considering that while our military capabilities outstrip the rest of the world’s powers we’ve shown in Iraq and Afghanistan that we have little appetite for long occupations and nation-building following regime change. Tin-pot dictators willing to take a bite out of America know that if invasion is their fate, they can bleed us dry until the anti-war Left demands our disengagement – and with our troops still deployed in both countries, we have nothing left for a third war. A nuclear deterrent is entirely useful and proper as applied to someone like Syria or The Sudan; in fact, it’s probably the only thing keeping those countries from making more trouble for us than they normally would.
Wait, it gets worse.
“The United States will not develop new nuclear warheads. Life Extension Programs will use only nuclear components based on previously tested designs, and will not support new military missions or provide for new military capabilities.”
And why not? No other nuclear power is foregoing the development of weapons systems. The testing and development of new nukes is useful in maintaining and enhancing the deterrent; the worst possible scenario would be for China or Russia to get the impression they have nuclear superiority over the United States and could win a nuclear exchange with us. Should the Russians conclude America no longer is capable of annihilating it or lacks the will to get in a real fight, there is nothing standing in the way of their moving to swallow Georgia, or Kazakhstan or the Ukraine. Likewise, there is nothing standing in the way of the Chinese moving on Taiwan. American strength – in sheer nuclear might and in technology – is essential to preventing very bad things from happening.
Let’s not forget that by swearing off the development of enhanced nuclear capabilities, Obama is driving great minds out of the field and siphoning off the human capability to maintain our superiority. With eight years of these policies in place America won’t have the human capital to stay atop the nuclear heap; Russian, Indian and Chinese nuclear science will be stronger than ours and as a result it will be their leadership the world looks to rather than ours. This will not serve world peace.
Bear in mind that the latter pronouncement today was not a surprise. Obama has told us already that he was out to destroy our ability to stay ahead of the world’s nuclear powers:
And he’s also already telegraphed that he wants a nuclear-free world, regardless of what everybody else thinks:
Ultimately, today’s announcement puts all of us at risk. It all but resurrects the Cold War prospect of American annihilation after some 20 years of easy breathing. Conn Carroll of the Heritage Foundation describes the immediate effect of Obama’s policy:
Unfortunately for Americans, President Obama’s new strategy will have the exact opposite result of its intended effect. Instead of incentivizing countries to give up nuclear ambitions, it creates new incentives for them to maintain or develop their own nuclear programs. First look at the Russians, who clearly still see their nuclear weapons as the cornerstone of their defense, no matter how much President Obama wishes it were otherwise. Moscow has no interest in diminishing its own nuclear arsenal, but it is perfectly happy to allow the Obama administration to weaken the U.S. deterrent until it is on equal footing with Russia’s currently mediocre might.
A country like Iran is equally unimpressed with President Obama’s unilateral disarmament strategy. Tehran wants to be the pre-eminent power in the Middle East, and as a nuclear state it can more credibly make that claim. But more importantly, nuclear weapons would also boost the current regime’s domestic survival. Nuclear powers do not mess in the internal affairs of other nuclear powers. Witness Tiananmen Square. The ayatollahs believe that, when they have the bomb, they can crush the freedom-loving opposition with total impunity. They are counting the days.
The question here isn’t whether America or the world will suffer the effects of this policy, but how and when. Now is the time to pray – we’re in a lot of danger, and our president has put either his vanity or his agenda, or both, ahead of our security.