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Morning Bell: The Road to a New Nuclear Arms Race

Posted By Conn Carroll On April 6, 2010 @ 9:44 am In Ongoing Priorities | Comments Disabled

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Later today, the Obama administration will release the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) which will set the framework for decisions on U.S. nuclear policy for the next five to 10 years [2]. Coupled with the follow-on Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START II) to be signed in Prague this Thursday, these documents begin to implement the “road to zero” [3] nuclear dream President Barack Obama outlined in Czech Republic last year. In their exclusive interview with President Obama about the NPR, David Sanger and Peter Baker report in The New York Times [4]:

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.

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.

First START and now the NPR demonstrate a shift by the Obama administration away from relying on nuclear deterrence to protect America and toward reliance on unverifiable international treaties. But as President Obama makes our nuclear arsenal smaller, less reliable and less usable, it becomes a far less credible deterrent to nuclear attack. Rather than serve as an example for other nation’s to follow, President Obama’s nuclear weakness will only give America’s enemies every incentive to advance their own programs. The President’s arms control “road” is more likely to lead to a new arms race, rather than to “zero.”

To provide some stark reality to the Obama administration’s dreams of a nuke-free world, The Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute’s Center for Defense Studies are hosting a Conservative Counter Summit [5] to Question the Obama Nuclear Agenda. The first event is today at Heritage, and you can watch it online here [5] beginning at 10 AM EDT. The second event will be at AEI shortly after Congress reconvenes.

Quick Hits:


Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2010/04/06/morning-bell-the-road-to-a-new-nuclear-arms-race/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.foundry.org/wp-content/uploads/Obama-Putin-10-04-06.jpg

[2] will set the framework for decisions on U.S. nuclear policy for the next five to 10 years: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/05/AR2010040504174.html

[3] “road to zero”: http://www.nationaljournal.com/njmagazine/nj_20090530_1512.php

[4] The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/06/world/06arms.html?ref=todayspaper

[5] Conservative Counter Summit: http://www.heritage.org/Events/2010/04/Questioning-Obamas-Nuclear-Agenda

[6] Office of Government Ethics,: http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2010-04-05-ethics_N.htm

[7] maximum penalty allowed by law: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB20001424052702304017404575166201889934186.html

[8] repeal of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s (R) cap and trade law: http://blog.heritage.org http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304620304575165843688369042.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsThird

[9] Gallup: http://www.gallup.com/poll/127220/Americans-Prioritize-Energy-Environment-First-Time.aspx

[10] “there are simply not enough primary-care providers available to take care of all these newly insured individuals.”: http://cincinnati.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/stories/2010/04/05/story11.html?b=1270440000^3129981&ana=e_vert

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