I wrote about America’s aging nuclear arsenal back in February. It was obvious that President Obama would be faced with some critical decisions to make considering that all of our warheads are 20 years and older dating all the way back to the 1960’s Cold War heydays. We’ve lost the initiative to produce and enhance our nuclear arsenal. The result of this neglect has been described by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates as“bleak” and has strongly urges immediate modernization. President Obama has now made his decision and he chose not to act on that advise.
The Plank — “Obama Breaks With Gates, Cancels Nuke Program“
Obama’s new budget plan includes a little-noted sea change in U.S. nuclear policy, and a step towards his vision of a denuclearized world. It provides no funding for the Reliable Replacement Warhead program, created to design a new generation of long-lasting nuclear weapons that don’t need to be tested. (The military is worried that a nuclear test moratorium in effect since 1992 might endanger the reliability of an aging US arsenal.) But this spring Obama issued a bold call for a world free of nuclear weapons, and part of that vision entails leading by example. That means halting programs that expand the American nuclear stockpile. For the past two budget years the Democratic Congress has refused to fund the Bush-era program. But Obama’s budget kills the National Nuclear Security Administration program once and for all.
“My colleagues just stared at that line,” says Joe Cirincione, a longtime nonproliferation expert and president of the Ploughshares Fund. “They had never seen anything like that.” Killing the program, he said, was “the first programmatic impact of the new [zero nukes] policy. People have said they want to see more than words, this is the very first action.”
President Obama and his Democrat colleagues have repeatedly gone against the advise of national security experts and nuclear development experts. More importantly, President Obama has now officially disregarded his SECDEF’s advisement. Just because America decides to forgo nuclear development and modernization doesn’t erase nuclear threat. Read my essay I linked at the beginning of the post. The United States is in serious danger of falling behind in new age nuclear weapons development from apathy and poll pressure. When it comes to national security all options, no matter how dangerous, destructive or taboo they appear to be must be pursued to secure America’s existence and power across the globe.
If average and good hearted people fear nuclear weapons, just think how bad rogue regimes and geneocidal maniacs must fear them. Take that fear away and we have lost a serious tool for effective foreign policy and international influence. People against these destructive weapons should never underestimate the serious influence of an effective deterrence. It is usually the only thing that establishes a livable equilibrium and guarantees peace.