Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New American nuclear posture: Slumped over in appeasement and surrender

This seems to be the story of the day as Barry announces what the new nuclear posture of America is. From New York Times:

President Obama said Monday that he was revamping American nuclear strategy to substantially narrow the conditions under which the United States would use nuclear weapons.

But the president said in an interview that he was carving out an exception for “outliers like Iran and North Korea” that have violated or renounced the main treaty to halt nuclear proliferation.

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.

Time out. "Carving out an exception for outliers like Iran and North Korea"? He hasn't done a bloody thing about either regime except send strongly worded, pen-pal letters asking Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong-Il to stop their nuclear programs. He seems ready to accept Ahmadinejad's statement that their program is "peaceful" despite plenty of evidence to the contrary, and an IAEA report from February stating that Iran was working on nuclear warheads. (A quick look through McKittrick's archives on North Korea at Closing Velocity shows that not only is North Korea still conducting missile and nuclear tests, but they're fully engaged in nuclear proliferation. And no, we don't buy their "promise" that they'll end the practice.) Back to the Times:

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.

Uh-huh. Right. The reason there was ambiguity in our nuclear posture was exactly WHY we never truly faced the threat of a nuclear war. NO NATION knew exactly what our posture was, and they didn't know ho we'd react. Russia tries to invade Western Europe? Not bloody likely so long as the Russians believed it could spark such a scenario. MAD, or Mutual Assured Destruction was a far better strategy than detente was due to the fact that every nuclear nation out there knew that if they attacked us, or our allies, with a weapon of mass destruction, they faced the serious possibility of being nuked off the face of the planet by America. (Pardon me, but this is another stellar example of Barry simply being in over his head. He doesn't have a clue as to why we had a certain position on national security. We control issues and situations better when we control information; information that shouldn't be privy to our known or potential enemies around the world. National security is designed, specifically, to be ambiguous so our enemies are constantly on guard as to how we might react to any given national security situation.)

White House officials said the new strategy would include the option of reconsidering the use of nuclear retaliation against a biological attack, if the development of such weapons reached a level that made the United States vulnerable to a devastating strike. ...

So, let me get this straight. If, say, a nation like Venezuela develops a bio-weapon, and launches a bio attack on the US (not likely, but hear me out), if they don't have sufficient stockpiles or development of said weapon, we won't hit back with a nuke, possibly? You're kidding me ...

Mr. Obama argued for a slower course, saying, “We are going to want to make sure that we can continue to move towards less emphasis on nuclear weapons,” and, he added, to “make sure that our conventional weapons capability is an effective deterrent in all but the most extreme circumstances.” ...

Can someone please inform the Rookie-In-Chief that the fact we had a nuclear stockpile was deterrent enough for nations NOT to strike us with a WMD? Hello? Russia never tried to strike us because they knew we'd respond in like kind. We could wipe them out with our arsenal, and the Russians weren't the only ones worried about that fact. Some people don't figure in the fact that the fallout from such an exchange would be disastrous to the human race. There was plenty of speculation that abounded from the MAD doctrine, including the amount of people who would die from the fallout in a subsequent time frame, the amounts of new cancer cases that would erupt from the fallout, the destruction of the food supply (irradiated and unusable) and the water tables across the globe. When you drop a nuke, folks, the spot in the nation that's hit isn't the only area that suffers the damage, and that damage is long term. THIS is what was so integral to the MAD doctrine.

John Hinderacker at PowerLine sums this up in a nice, tidy package:

Does anyone doubt that the administration would use nukes in a heartbeat if it considered such measures necessary? I don't. The problem is that when the time comes to actually use nuclear weapons, it is too late. The danger here is not that the Obama administration has really gone pacifist. On the contrary, the significance of today's announcement appears to be entirely symbolic--just one more chance to preen. The problem is that our enemies understand symbolism and maybe take it too seriously. To them, today's announcement is another sign that our government has gone soft, and one more inducement to undertake aggressive action against the United States.

I do disagree with John on his initial point. If this nation were hit by a WMD attack by a nation, or a "crippling cyberattack" was launched, I doubt the administration would even consider the possibility of launching a nuclear strike. Why? For exactly the reason he alludes to in the latter; this is a chance for Barry to preen like a peacock, and show the world that, indeed, change has come to America, and it's not change for the good. When it comes to national security and foreign policy, it's the change to appeasement and surrender.

Publius II


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