Obama has made clear, repeatedly, that he intends to disarm the US – unilaterally if need be, and bilaterally with Russia if possible – in vain pursuit of “a world without nuclear weapons”, a fiction that will never exist. There is only one country that he can verifiably disarm – the US – and he intends to do that, unilaterally if need be.
In 2010, he hurriedly negotiated and signed a nuclear arms reduction treaty, New START, that obligates only the US to reduce its nuclear weapons and their carriers, while allowing Russia to add such weapons, and thus sets limits that suit Russia. It also places onerous limits on missile defense. In December 2010, he railroaded that disastrous treaty through the Senate (in the lame duck session), promising the 13 gullible GOP Senators who voted for it that, in return, he would request and disburse full funding for the modernization of the US nuclear arsenal and its supporting facilities and laboratories; full funding for the modernization of the entire nuclear triad; and an unconstrained deployment of missile defense systems in the US and in Europe.
Obama has now violated all of these commitments, which he never intended to honor, anyway.
Republicans agreed to real, immediate, deep cuts of the nuclear arsenal happening right now in return for a mere PROMISE (which Obama never intended to keep) that Obama will fully modernize the US nuclear arsenal, the facilities, and the nuclear triad, and pursue the deployment of missile defense systems in the US and in Europe. And because Obama never intended to honor those promises, and because his promises are completely worthless, Republicans were duped.
They gave away a lot, and got nothing in return.
Recently, Obama has announced his intent to cut the US nuclear arsenal (this time, the total arsenal, deployed and nondeployed) by a further and whopping 30%, together with Russia, thus leaving the US with a significantly smaller arsenal than China (which has anywhere from ca. 1650 to 3000 nuclear warheads – certainly not the mere 240-300 warheads that arms controllers stubbornly claim despite China’s vast network of 3,000 miles of tunnels for nuclear warheads and missiles). He has also left open the previously-announced option of cutting the US nuclear arsenal unilaterally by 80%. And what has been Republicans’ reaction?
They have send Obama useless letters begging him not to proceed with unilateral cuts, and they have introduced legislation that, instead of prohibiting any further reductions of the US nuclear arsenal, would actually allow Obama to cut it even further… in return for more useless promises to modernize the rest of the arsenal, i.e. in return for more insincere commitments which Obama does not intend to ever honor.
And when Obama told outgoing Russian President Dmitri Medvedev that he’s willing to make huge concessions on missile defense to Russia in order to obtain such treaty, and that he’ll have more “flexibility” to make such concessions after the November elections (should he be reelected), Republicans merely begged Obama to “clarify” his remarks, did not protest against these additional nuclear arsenal cuts, and essentially told Obama that it’s OK for him to make such cuts, as long as he doesn’t cede ground on missile defense. That’s been the only reaction by Republicans (and only those officeholders who specialize in defense issues) so far, other than a few critical comments by Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.
In a recent letter to President Obama (which Obama will not bother to read and will almost certainly throw into the dustbin), House Strategic Forces Subcommittee Chairman Mike Turner (R-OH) asks:
“During the New START treaty ratification process, you made specific promises that Russian concerns about missile defense will not be allowed to affect US missile deployment plans. You further committed that the United States will make both qualtitative and quantitative improvements in its missile defenses. You have already walked away from detailed promises to modernize the US nuclear deterrent; are you now planning to walk away from your promises regarding US missile defense as well?”
The answer is “yes, Obama plans to do so.”
Are Republicans really that gullible? Are Republicans really surprised that Obama is reneging on his commitments regarding BOTH nuclear arsenal/facility modernization AND missile defense? That he’s willing to sell America out on missile defense as soon as he no longer has to face voters again?
Why are Republicans again allowing Obama to make even deeper nuclear arsenal cuts, by up to 80%, down from an already-inadequate level, in exchange for his useless, untrustworthy promises?
Why are Republicans so naive, gullible, and foolish?
They need to change course IMMEDIATELY. They first need to understand that nuclear arms reduction/disarmament itself is the root problem, and that nuclear disarmament itself, as a policy goal, must be firmly rejected.
Republicans – as a party, as a Congressional caucus, and as individual politicians – must firmly reject nuclear arms reduction/disarmament itself as a goal, and state publicly that Obama’s promises, as well as arms control treaties, are not even worth the paper they are printed on. Instead of believing Obama’s promises, they need to pass legislation that will actually modernize America’s nuclear deterrent and dare Obama to veto or sign it.
Once they do that, they can point out how dangerous disarmament is, and pursue policies beneficial to America’s security and be justified in doing so. Specifically, Republicans should advocate:
- Withdrawing from the New START treaty and rebuilding the US nuclear arsenal numerically, up to 2200 deployed strategic warheads nd a total arsenal of 9000 deployed and nondeployed warheads (strategic and tactical).
- Resuming the production of fissile material (including plutonium and tritium) and the design and production of new nuclear warheads.
- Fully funding the modernization of America’s nuclear warhead stockpile, all three legs of the nuclear triad, and nuclear facilities (which date back to the days of the Manhattan Project).
- Resuming the Reliable Replacement Warhead and the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator programs.
- Replacing America’s SSBNs, ICBMs, and bombers on a one-for-one basis with new weapons of the same categories.
- Resuming the production of Minuteman-III or Peacekeeper (MX) ICBMs. If Peacekeepers are chosen, half of them should be railroad-based.
- Testing next generation bombers for nuclear capability, and certifying them as nuclear capable (if tests prove successful), as soon as they enter service.
- Keeping America’s ICBMs and SLBMs MIRVed.
- Refusing to reduce the US nuclear arsenal and to sign any arms reduction treaties.
- Building a robust missile defense system capable of intercepting ballistic missiles in all phases of flight.
Rejecting failed, dangerous, pacifist policies and goals of nuclear arms reduction/disarmament and adopting the above-described strong defense policies will certainly infuriate the arms control community, the Left, the mainstream media, the punditocracy, and Moscow and Beijing. But Republicans, and American government officials, are not supposed to appease them or try to obtain their approval; they are supposed to do what’s best for America. Nuclear disarmament and arms reduction is bad and dangerous for the US. The course I outlined above is, I believe, the right course for America.