Department of Military Readiness: A Disarming Way With Nukes

A world without nukes — what’s not to love about that? That’s the message the Chosen One reiterated in Oslo last week as he accepted his Nobel Peace Prize — for what we’re not quite sure, other than wanting to do something about nuclear weapons. Citing his efforts to revise expiring nuclear agreements with Russia, His Worship went on to reaffirm his commitment to disarmament. There’s just one minor problem: We’re the only ones disarming.

For instance, in the tentative update to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty of 1991 (START), the U.S. is set to cut nuclear delivery vehicles — ICBMs, bombers and subs — to 800 or less, half the current START limits. Since Russia has a current inventory of 814 vehicles, while America has 1,198, guess who “wins” the arms reduction game here? Of course the “winner” also loses in the national security game, but we digress. The drawdown in bombers hurts our non-nuclear war-fighting capability, as well. That’s because all of our nuclear-capable bomber platforms can also carry conventional munitions.

Forget about verification, too. The Gipper’s “trust but verify” axiom may be thrown under the bus in the new agreement. Russia announced its intention to end continuous monitoring at its Votkinsk Machine Building Plant, which is where our Red “friends” are building new RS-24 mobile nuclear missiles, purported by a Russian general to compose 80 percent of Russian ICBM forces by 2016. Good luck guessing how many they will actually build if that provision is accepted — but we can trust them, right?

Finally, while Russia is investing heavily in new warheads and missiles, our own nuclear arsenal continues to age, with no proposed modernization on the horizon. The White House has been silent on virtually all matters related to strategic deterrence (save July’s public kowtowing to Russian demands that the U.S. kill its plans to deploy an anti-ballistic missile system in Poland and the Czech Republic) to have any hope of moving forward on a revised START agreement. Notwithstanding Obama’s disarming overtures toward Russia, none of these efforts have even remotely slowed Iran’s full-court press to acquire nuclear weapons or North Korea’s equally aggressive efforts to expand its nuclear arsenal.

Nice work, Mr. Nobel-Prize-Winner. Hope we all remember what a great job you did to “earn” your Nobel if Washington or New York are one day awakened at 2 a.m. to an “unscheduled sunrise.”

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