Although President Obama’s current defense cuts are so drastic that even Rep. Nancy Pelosi is scared they might cost Democrats more seats in the House, State Dept. advisers are reportedly encouraging further cuts and even the all-out elimination of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.
A State Dept. report addressing this issue justifies the suggestion on the grounds that possessing nuclear weapons drives other nations to “acquisition and/or use of nuclear weapons.”
In other words, as long as nations like the U.S., Israel, and Russia have nukes but rogue nations like Iran and North Korea don’t, Iran and North Korea will continually pursue them with a willingness to use them. Yet if we get rid of ours, they will stop the pursuit of theirs… and everybody can hug and get along, naturally.
Explaining away Iran’s nuclear ambitions by saying they only want such weapons because we have them is childish and irrational. It’s much like saying burglars only want guns because the owners of the homes they burglarize have them. In truth, burglars want guns so they can operate from a position of strength.
Yet even Obama’s State Dept. admits that such “a cooperative world scenario may be unrealistic to achieve in an acceptable timeframe.” Thus, the first step would simply be more reductions, beginning with the U.S. and Russia. But even here, those behind the report admit that we will have to find other “weapons of mass destruction” with which to replace nuclear weapons in order to have a viable option for nuclear deterrence.
Now more than ever we need peace through strength. And that kind of peace relies not only on the possession of a nuclear arsenal but also on the assurance that we’d use that arsenal to defend ourselves if need be. The approach proposed by Obama’s State Dept. will only lead to an ever more pitiful “mother may I?” foreign policy.