• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • The Real Reason Obama Revealed Nuke Numbers

    Obama and Medvedev

    It is on the basis of unconvincing justifications that the Obama Administration on May 3rd de-classified and released to the public a comprehensive listing of the number of nuclear weapons in the U.S. stockpile. The newly released data covers the period from fiscal 1962 through 2009 and shows that as of the end of fiscal year 2009 the U.S. had 5,113 nuclear weapons in its stockpile. The Administration is providing two justifications. The first is that the release is important to pursuing non-proliferation goals. The second is that it will assist the pursuit of another arms control treaty with Russia that will cover all nuclear weapons, and not just deployed strategic nuclear weapons.

    The first justification implies that the U.S. must publicly demonstrate that it is on the path to reducing its nuclear stockpile to zero in order to induce other states with nuclear weapons to join the non-proliferation regime or come into compliance with their nonproliferation obligations. It is highly unlikely that this inducement will have its intended effect. In fact, it is more likely to spur greater proliferation as rogue regimes see an opportunity exploit the vacuum the Administration’s nuclear disarmament policy is creating and U.S. friends and allies see the need to fill this vacuum with nuclear weapons of their own.

    The release is also a clever way of implying that the U.S., particularly during the George W. Bush Administration, was violating Article VI of the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), without saying so directly. Article VI of the NPT establishes an aspiration for eventual nuclear disarmament and is a major subject of debate at the Treaty’s five-year review conference in New York, which also began on May 3rd. The fact is that the U.S. has always been in compliance with the NPT and the released data shows that the number of weapons in the stockpile came down by over 5,000 weapons during the years of the Bush Administration.

    The second justification is predicated on the assumption that Russia will adopt similar levels of transparency prior to the initiation of the next round of arms control negotiations, which the Administration wants to cover all nuclear weapons. In fact, the Russians now have a precise target to draw upon to calibrate their negotiating tactics in order to achieve a distinct advantage over the U.S. in nuclear weapons. This is particularly the case regarding non-strategic (tactical) nuclear weapons, where Russia already enjoys a huge advantage. The U.S. has no cards to play at the negotiating table in this area. The outcome is almost certain to be an agreement where an equal numerical reduction is required for each side that reduces the U.S. non-strategic arsenal to near zero and leaves Russia with thousands of the same category of weapons and forces the U.S. to withdraw all its non-strategic weapons from Europe.

    President Obama appears fixated on the idea that U.S. unilateralism in arms control will lead to improved security based increased personal popularity around the world. In fact, it is becoming increasingly clear that President Obama is on a unilateral treadmill that he cannot get off and U.S. security will be undermined as a result. He is finding that each unilateral concession he makes to meet foreign expectations that the U.S. lead by example in nuclear disarmament only results in more demands for U.S. unilateralism. It is only a matter of time before President Obama and the American people discover that his personal popularity is not as great a national security asset as he expects.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to The Real Reason Obama Revealed Nuke Numbers

    1. MJF, CT says:

      Basically, if the US lowers their weapons President Obama thinks that everyone else will do the same. This is why a community organizer does not belong in the White House! By these actions, the President is putting the US in a very vulnerable position. One of the reasons that there has not been a nuclear confrontation is the World knows that we are armed and ready to defend ourselves. We proved this three times since 1958 by simply taking our guns out of the holsters. The rest of the world realizes that the best way to avoid a confrontation is to keep all the weapons in their holsters.

      President Obama will expose the entire population to heightened threats and actions because our "enemies" will have the nuclear capability and we will have conventional weapons. Not a very good match.

    2. SGVoorhees, Shady Si says:

      "The seriousness of Cantor's event at the Heritage Foundation was captured nicely by an exchange during the Q&A. An attendee asked why the president should not be considered a "domestic enemy," to the delight of the assembled far-right crowd.

      Cantor smiled, but responded that "no one thinks the President is a domestic enemy." The comment generated boos from the Heritage audience."

      Okay, we expect that, but thenn there's this…

      "We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish."

      Yeah, I can see that; as long as the ideas and debate are ones that Heritage can frame. Do you consider this out-and-out lying, or just standard, run-of-the-mill conservative hypocrisy? C'mon, folks, the whole country knows that this is NOT what you promote; what you have promoted is precisely the opposite, and the reaction to Mr. Cantor's talking point illustrates that perfectly. How ironic that members of an organization that claims to promote rational discourse would then boo a man who introduces an idea that differs from their own. Not only that, but if one analyzes all of his other remarks, it's easy to see that he's ONE OF YOU. But keep it up…America loves watching your pseudo-intellectuals devour each other.

    3. Dr.D, Iowa says:

      The naivete of Obama is a never ending source of amazement. One can imagine him playing poker and saying, "Now let's all show each other our hands," followed by turning his hand toward the other players while they look at him in amazement.

      Actually, I wish I could believe it was simply naivete. In fact, I think it is much more dangerous, an overt desire to disarm us and leave us helpless in the face of our enemies. We have allowed an avowed enemy of this nation to take command, and he is doing all of the obvious things that go with that role.

    4. William Turner says:

      This is another indicator that the current administration does not have a grasp on reality.

    5. Jean...NC says:

      When you know Obama's background, you see things from a different prospective. I see a man raised by a mother that worked for the Ford Foundation, the most extreme left org in the world and who was an extreme leftist by her own right. His grandparents were card carrying communists. He was mentored by Frank Davis, also a card carrying Communist. When Obama became an adult he surrounded himself with extreme left folks by his own admission in his books. He spent 20 years in an extreme left "church", if you could really call it a "church".

      What in this man's background tells you that he LOVES America? NOTHING! He always hung out with people who wanted to bring this government DOWN! We have an ENEMY in our White House and for the life of me I can't figure out WHY the IMPEACHMENT process has NOT started YET!

      WAKE UP AMERICA!

    6. Cynthia Moccio says:

      Every time I turn on the news I am amazed! Are we sure he is President of our Nation?

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×