The unilateral disarmament lobby in the US has hardly given up on its goal to compeltely and unilaterally disarm America, even though Barack Obama himself seems to have given up on that goal. Nor have Russia’s, China’s, and North Korea’s nuclear buildups and aggressive actions sobered these people up.
They have written yet another garbage screed calling for deep cuts in America’s nuclear arsenal – while Russia, China, North Korea, and others are growing their own arsenals.
Specifically, ACA’s Daryl Kimball and NRDC’s Matthew McKinzie have written a garbage screed published by the leftist DefenseNews website.
In it, they falsely claim at the beginning (3rd paragraph):
“Moscow’s actions have prompted calls from some to halt implementation of nuclear arms control agreements, including the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which verifiably limits Russian nuclear potential to no more than 1,550 strategic deployed warheads.”
That is a blatant lie right at the start. The New START treaty has not limited Russia’s nuclear arsenal AT ALL. On the contrary, it has permitted Moscow to significantly GROW that arsenal – so much so that it now stands at 1,643 deployed (and many more nondeployed) strategic warheads, far above New START limits – and Moscow keeps ADDING warheads.
If limiting Russia’s strategic nuclear arsenal was the goal, New START has failed abysmally to achieve it – as I predicted in 2010.
I was right, and the pro-disarmament lobby was wrong.
But the screed’s authors don’t stop at that one blatant lie. Despite Moscow’s, Beijing’s, and Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile buildups – and aggressive actions – they falsely claim that it’s time to cut America’s nuclear arsenal even further, that the US nuclear arsenal is “excess”, and that the US should rely on “diplomacy, economic sanctions, and conventional deterrence” instead!
They reject any calls to modernize and build up the US nuclear arsenal and falsely claim that:
“But rather than helping to protect Ukraine or NATO, these proposals would undermine strategic stability and increase nuclear dangers. Moscow’s actions in Ukraine require a tough and unified US and European response involving diplomacy, economic sanctions and NATO conventional deterrence, but the challenge can’t be effectively resolved with nuclear weapons or a US nuclear buildup.
As President Barack Obama declared in 2012, “[t]he massive nuclear arsenal we inherited from the Cold War is poorly suited for today’s threats.” (…)
Moscow and Washington could do more to reduce their nuclear excess and should pursue a further one-third cut in their strategic stockpiles. With New START verification tools in place, additional nuclear reductions can be readily achieved without a new treaty.”
Au contraire! The only language that Putin, China’s Xi Jinping, and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un understand is the language of force. Ony military strength – and that has to include nuclear strength – can dissuade them from further aggression.
Diplomacy and economic sanctions have utterly failed and will continue to fail. These dictators don’t care about their nations’ economic well-being (if they did, they’d have pursued market-based economic reforms long ago) or diplomatic niceties. Western sanctions have already wrecked havoc on Russia’s economy – but Moscow’s behavior towards its neighbors (especially Ukraine) and towards the West has only become more aggressive since 2014.
As for conventional deterrence, the US alone (not to mention the entire NATO alliance) already has a huge edge over Russia in conventional weapons. The problem is not inadequate conventional deterrence. The problem is inadequate nuclear deterrence – and a lack of will to enforce the West’s red lines. No amount of military power – nuclear or conventional – means anything unless it is used when aggressors overstep acceptable bounds.
Put simply, Western nations are not willing to defend themselves (let alone Ukraine), and Putin knows it.
What would REALLY undermine strategic stability and increase nuclear dangers would be to fail to modernize and sufficiently increase America’s nuclear deterrent. It’s the only effective protection the US and over 30 of its allies and friends have against nuclear, chemical, or bilological attack – or blackmail of such an attack.
Russia has a vast and very diverse nuclear arsenal and is still growing it (along with the fleet of delivery systems: ICBMs, bombers, and boomers). China has a large and still growing nuclear and ballistic missile arsenal – in fact, the fastest growing in the world according to USAF intel. North Korea is growing its nuclear stockpile, perfecting its ICBMs, and testing a ship-based ballistic missile intended for its Golf-class submarine.
What would REALLY undermine strategic stability and increase nuclear dangers would be to fail to modernize and sufficiently increase America’s nuclear deterrent under those circumstances. Yet, that is precisely what ACA and the NRDC advocate.
The claim that America’s nuclear arsenal is “poorly suited” for today’s threats and that it’s “excess” is a blatant lie. The US nuclear arsenal is perfectly suited to address the biggest threats to America’s and its allies’ security.
These threats are not Ebola, Al Qaeda, or the Islamic state, but the nuclear and missile arsenals of Russia, China, and North Korea. Nothing else comes even CLOSE to being as grave a threat as these three.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is not an isolated incident, but a mere part of Russia’s overall pattern of aggressive behavior towards the US, the West, and any country Putin perceives as aligning itself with the West – including Ukraine and Georgia. In accordance with this pattern of aggressive behavior, Russia has, in recent years, threatend to aim or use its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles against the US or its allies 15 times; has flown nuclear-armed bombers near US and allied airspace, and sometimes even into the airspace of countries such as Denmark, Sweden, and Finland; has dramatically increased the frequency of its nuclear-armed submarine patrols; has threatened to deploy nuclear weapons in the Crimea; and has conducted a dramatic buildup of its nuclear and ballistic missile arsenal.
In doing so, it has violated every arms limitation treaty it is party to, including the INF, CFE, CTBT, and New START treaties.
If the US fails to modernize and increase its nuclear arsenal, or worse, cuts that arsenal, it will fail to address that threat, and thus commit suicide.
Kimball and McKinzie deny that their organizations have recently called in Vienna on the US to disarm itself unilaterally, But ACA has repeatedly called on the US to do that on many occassions in the last several years. A few years ago, Tom Z. Collina, then ACA’s “Research Director”, called on the US to unilaterally cut its nuclear arsenal and falsely claimed that “there’s no reason to wait for Russia.” Also, ACA has, for many years, advocated (and still advocates) foregoing the modernization of the US nuclear deterrent, including cancelling the replacement for the USAF’s obsolete bombers and ICBMs and cutting the planned buy new new ballistic missile subs to just 8. That would essentially be unilateral disarmament by atrophy and neglect. That would be just as bad as scrapping the US nuclear arsenal outright.
Last but not least, Kimball and McKinzie are trying to delude the American people with totally unrealistic, fantastic fairy-tales of global nuclear disarmament:
“We proposed “making nuclear disarmament” a global enterprise. We called on all states to press China, India and Pakistan, in particular, not to increase their fissile material or weapons stocks. A unified push for further US-Russian arms cuts combined with a nuclear weapons freeze by other nuclear-armed states could create the conditions for meaningful nuclear risk reduction.”
This is a total, unrealistic fantasy. The idea that cuts in America’s and Russia’s nuclear arsenals will prod other nuclear powers to reduce their own stockpiles is fantasy – as is the idea that China, India, and Pakistan will ever succumb to “pressure” not to increase their fissile materials or nuclear weapon stocks. These countries don’t care about international pressure or America’s meaningless unilateral disarmament gestures; they only care about their own military power.
Kimball’s and McKinzie’s screed is total garbage. Shame on DefenseNews for publishing it.