The consequences of further deep nuclear arsenal cuts
For years, advocates of America’s nuclear disarmament, such as the ignorant anti-defense hacks at the ACA, the CLW, the FAS, and the NRDC, and extremely leftist Congressmen like Ed Markey and Tammy Baldwin, have been advocating cutting America’s nuclear deterrent unilaterally to “the low hundreds”. They believe that America’s military power, including its nuclear deterrent, is a problem to be eliminated, not an asset or a solution to any problem. They seek America’s unilateral nuclear disarmament and they see deep, unilateral cuts as the first step towards that goal.
Their disastrous, treasonous agenda of unilateral disarmament was boosted when extreme leftist Barack Obama, who shares their views about America and its military power, was elected President. In his first term, Obama immediately announced the goal of Amcutting and eventually elimnating America’s nuclear arsenal completely and took multiple steps towards that goal, including signing a ridiculous New START treaty that obligates only the US to cut its arsenal, while Russia is allowed (and plans to) build up its arsenal to New START ceilings and other countries, including China, are not covered by the treaty at all.
Now, freshly reelected, Obama plans to further cut America’s nuclear deterrent, much deeper than under New START – to just 1,000 or fewer warheads, down from about 5,000 today. These cuts would also mean deep reductions in the number of ballistic missile submarines, bombers, and/or ICBMs, or perhaps even elimination of one or more of the legs of the nuclear triad, thus relying on a dyad or a monad and dramatically limiting America’s response flexibility even more than raw number cuts would.
These cuts were made under the guise of a fig-leaf “Nuclear Posture Review Implementation Study”, which was rigged from the beginning, because from the start, Obama ordered that study to give him options for cutting the US nuclear arsenal, and to conclude by recommending cuts. He specifically ordered study authors to give him options to cut the arsenal to one of the following levels: 1,000-1,100 warheads, 700-800, or 300-400 warheads.
As unnamed DOD officials have told Bill Gertz of the Washington Times, this is the first time ever that a study like this was conducted with the pre-ordained conclusion that further cuts must be made, and the first study ever to be mandated to produce plans for cuts to specific levels and to craft a deterrence strategy based on those artificially set low levels.
All previous reviews and studies first attempted to assess the threat environment (more or less well) and only then, based on that assessment, recommended a force level range.
That’s because Obama couldn’t care less about America’s security. As stated previously, he considers America and its military power to be a huge problem (“whether we like it or not, we’re a global military power”). So he wants to cut America’s arsenal deeply and eventually eliminate it; then, Obama believes, dastardly America will no longer threaten anyone.
But for those of us who want America to be secure and to have the strongest military in the world, the consequences of Obama’s unilateral cuts will be disastrous.
The first consequence of these deep, unilateral cuts would be a high risk of, indeed an invitation to, a Russian or Chinese nuclear first strike on the US. This would be possible precisely because the US nuclear arsenal, under Obama’s plans, would be small and thus easy to destroy in a first strike. If the ICBM leg of the triad is eliminated and the submarine fleet is cut significantly, all that Moscow or Beijing would have to do would be to destroy the handful of bases where USAF strategic bombers are or could be stationed, destroy the USN’s 2 SSBN bases (where several SSBNs would be sitting), and sink the few remaining SSBNs that would be at sea at that moment (both Russia and China have sufficient submarine fleets to do this).
Should the unilateral cuts be distributed more proportionately (e.g. roughly equal cuts in the ICBM, bomber, and SSBN fleets), this will still render the arsenal far too small to deter and too easy to destroy in a nuclear first strike.
The Heritage Foundation agrees. In a recent research paper, it correctly observed that “if the U.S. maintains a minimal force, it would lack survivability and likely would be completely destroyed by the enemy’s first strike in the event deterrence does fail.” In that same paper, Heritage found that the US needs about 2,700-3,000 deployed nuclear warheads.
Furthermore, a nuclear arsenal too small in size or not diverse enough (i.e. a dyad or monad) would lack the flexibility needed by the US to hold and, if necessary, strike enemy targets in various ways rather than one, and, after Obama’s newest cuts would be administered, it would simply be too small to hold all or even most enemy military assets at risk. 300, 400, or even 500 warheads are simply woefully insufficient to hold most of Russia’s military assets (not just its bases, but also e.g. weapon factories) at risk, let alone Russia’s, China’s, North Korea’s, and Iran’s combined.
Thus, with a small nuclear arsenal, the US would have to target innocent civilian populations, because that’s all that 300 or 400 warheads would be enough for. Such a policy would be considered immoral by most Americans and therefore wouldn’t be considered credible retaliation in the eyes of America’s enemies – making their first strike on America even more likely. Furthermore, targeting civilian population centers would leave enemy military assets unharmed.
The second consequence would be that America’s allies would be left with no option but to produce their own nuclear weapons, since America’s nuclear umbrella could no longer be relied upon. They cannot afford to, and will not, bet their security and their very existence on the small nuclear arsenal that Obama would temporarily leave in place, or on America breaking free of the Democrats and of the “nuclear disarmament will make us safer” kool-aid by 2016. Several of them, including Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Germany, have the capability to “go nuclear” within months if need be. Persian Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar, are now developing nuclear capability under the guise of “peaceful use of nuclear energy”. These countries will go nuclear if the US nuclear deterrent becomes inadequate, as three distinguished CSBA analysts warned 2 years ago in a Foreign Affairs article. This would make the nuclear proliferation problem much worse.
The threat of America’s allies going nuclear is not theoretical: France and Britain did this in the 1950s and Israel in the late 1960s or early 1970s. And in the last several years, three NATO allies have warned the US against cuts in its nuclear deterrent – saying it would “threaten NATO’s cohesion” – while Japan and South Korea have time and again reiterated the importance they attach to America’s nuclear umbrella, as Keith Payne points out in the Washington Times.
Depending on how deep the cuts go – if they cut America’s arsenal to just 300-500 warheads – they would also encourage many enemies who currently don’t have nuclear weapons to obtain them, because under such scenario, anyone would need only 300 nuclear warheads to reach nuclear parity with the US.
Thus, the nuclear proliferation problem would get much worse.
Obama, cynically using American children as his propaganda pawns, falsely claims that “we’re moving closer to the future (…) where these weapons never threaten our children again, a future where we know the security and peace of a world without nuclear weapons.”
But American nuclear weapons don’t threaten American children – they PROTECT American children. It is Russian, Chinese, and North Korean nuclear weapons that threaten American children.
But Russia, China, and North Korea all refuse to give up their nuclear arsenals or even to cut them. Instead, they’re GROWING them. Russia is now steadily building up its strategic nuclear arsenal while retaining a 10:1 edge over the US in tactical nukes. China has at least 1,800, and up to 3,000, nuclear warheads and is consistently growing its arsenal. North Korea is building up its small stockpile.
Recently, when the UN General Assembly called on all nuclear powers to give up their nuclear weapons, China abstained and North Korea voted against.
For these and other reasons, it’s clear that they will never give up their nuclear weapons (and neither will Pakistan, India, or Israel), and thus, a world without such arms will never exist.
The deep nuclear arsenal cuts proposed by Obama, pro-disarmament groups, and leftist members of Congress like Ed Markey must be absolutely and permanently rejected. If implemented (God forbid), they would gravely imperil the security of America and its allies. If they are implemented, they must be completely reversed and the culprits severely punished for disarming America.