Friday, March 26, 2010

Obama To Cut US Long Range Nuclear Weapons By One Third

Barack Obama took another step towards a long cherished goal of his by announcing a new nuclear arms control treaty with Russia that will cut US long range nuclear weapons by one third.

“I’m pleased to announce that after a year of intense negotiations, the United States and Russia have agreed to the most comprehensive arms control agreement in nearly two decades,” the president said from the press podium.

“It cuts – by about a third – the nuclear weapons that the United States and Russia will deploy,” Obama said describing the agreement. “It significantly reduces missiles and launchers. It puts in place a strong and effective verification regime. And it maintains the flexibility that we need to protect and advance our national security, and to guarantee our unwavering commitment to the security of our Allies.”

“With this agreement, the United States and Russia – the two largest nuclear powers in the world – also send a clear signal that we intend to lead. By upholding our own commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty, we strengthen our global efforts to stop the spread of these weapons, and to ensure that other nations meet their own responsibilities.”

The president asked for there to be “strong, bipartisan” support to ratify the new START treaty in Congress, and said that will be one more step forward in “leaving behind the legacy of the 20th century.”

The Russians, of course are ecstatic, although Russia warned in its statement that it reserved the right to withdraw from the new treaty if it felt that American missile defense plans were developing in a way that threatened their security.

Why wouldn't they be happy with this? They already know that Obama is not going to put up missile defense shields in Europe, and this gives them a free hand there.And we demanded nothing in terms of a quid pro quo...say, on Iran.

The ostensible reason for doing this, to quote Obama is " stop the spread of these weapons, and to ensure that other nations meet their own responsibilities."

As I write this, the Russians are actively working to get Iran's Bushehr nuclear plant and a number of other facilities up to speed and blocking any major efforts by the West to stop the Mullahs from getting their hands on deliverable nuclear weapons.

It would seem that cutting back on America's nuclear deterrent in an effort to stop proliferation is an pretty futile way ineffective way of accomplishing that.

Especially since a great deal of Russia's nuclear arsenal is antiquated. We're getting rid of state of the art weaponry and missile defense in exchange for a possible reduction in obsolete armaments and a flawed verification process.

This is eerily reminiscent of the Kellog-Briand treaty in 1929, which featured arms limitations with the idea of 'outlawing' future wars. It helped accomplish just the opposite.

Words, just words...

please helps me write more gooder!


B.Poster said...

This is a bad idea on so many levels it is hard to know where to begin. First of all nuclear weapons have the adavantages of being the most effective weapons in our arsenal as well as one of the least expensive.

With the United States nearing bankruptcy and lacking the military capabilities to compete with the major world powers a much more sensible approach would be to cut back on weapons systems like air craft carriers, submarines, fighter planes, attack helicopters and the like and increase the size abd the capabilities of the nuclear arsenal.

The advantages of this approach are at least two fold. 1.)With the United States nearing bankruptcy and lacking the capabilities to fight a conventional war with the major world powers such as Russia, China, India, and up and coming major powers like Iran this approach at least gives the United states a fighting chance to defend itself. 2.)The United States has massive national resources such as coal, oil, and natural gas. As weak and vunerable as the United States is right now, countries such as India and China may eye these resources with the intent to sieze them for their own use. Cutting the nuclear arsenal by a third may make it problematic to defend the country against such a prospect. In other words a robust nuclear arsenal may make someone think twice before attacking America.

Keeping in mind that the main goals here are defending America there seems to be much confusion on exactly how many nuclear war heads and delivery systems are needed. Assuming Russia launches a massive first strike against America, how much an arsenal do we actually need to be able to counter this? For example, some have said we could cut the nuclear arsenal by half and others have said we need more than we currently have.

B.Poster said...

Will 2/3 of our long range nuclear arsenal be enough to defend America from attack? I think this the most important question here.

Some have said the nuclear arsenal could be cut by even 1/2 and still be an effective detterent. Others have said the nuclear arsenal is not robust enough as it is. Do you have any thoughts on this?

Freedom Fighter said...

The main problem is the message it sends to our friends and enemies.

The Russians were able to get this without giving up anything in return, and the lessening of the US nuclear arsenal under these terms signifies to the Russians (and Iran) that they have a free hand.

B.Poster said...


Thanks for the reply to my post. I find your posts very informative. As I've stated before, I think you are the best blogger on the internet. Please continue the excellent work.

While messages are certainly important, the most important thing, from a national defense point of view, is defending the American main land. As such, I'm more concerned with this area than I am with "messages."

Specifically if the Russians should launch a massive nuclear attack on America with our arsenal cut by 1/3 will this be sufficient to mount a counter attack? Should the Chinese or perhaps the Indians launch a conventional attack on the American main land in order to gain either natural resources or living space for their growing populations will a nuclear arsenal at 2/3 of what it currently is be enough to repel this attack?

"The Russians were able to get this without giving up any thing in return..." In order to get the Russians to "give up" something would require that we have enough leverage to be able to negotiate effectively or that we have something that they might want that they can't simply take any way.

For example, the missle defense system being proposed in Eastern Europe was not being designed to defend against Russia and had negative utility in this regard. This is precisely why most citizens in these nations were opposed to the system.

Also, our conventional forces in the region are not adequate to repel a Russian invasion of their old colonies either and the logistics of fighting so far from home right on Russia's borders make any defense of these areas even more problematic. Don't expect any help from Western Europe or NATO here.

To be blunt, I'm also not overly eager to take on the most powerful nation in the world right now over Eastern Europe either. I don't think most Americans are either.

Finally, with regards to messages I read some time ago that the South Koreans and the Japanese may have become concerned about whether or not they can rely on America's "nuclear umbrella" to defend them. Frankly, I hope they come to the conclusion they cannot. If so, perhaps they will develop their own nuclear arsenals and increase the capabilities of their own forces and we can get our people the h*ll out of there!!