2010 April 6 

Obama Limits the conditions when US would retaliate with nukes

Minuteman III
ICBM launch
Trident D-5 SLBM

The Obama administration officially unveiled a new policy on Tuesday restricting U.S. use of nuclear weapons, renouncing development of new atomic weapons and making further cuts in America's nuclear weapons stockpile. 

For the first time, the United States is explicitly committing not to use nuclear weapons against nonnuclear states that are in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, even if they attacked the United States with biological or chemical weapons or launched a crippling cyber attack.

Under the old doctrine, supported by every president of both parties for over 50 years, any aggressor ran the risk of a cataclysmic U.S. nuclear response that would leave the attacking nation a cinder and a memory. As columnist Charles Krauthammer points out, “under President Obama's new policy, however, if the state that has just attacked us with biological or chemical weapons is "in compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)," explained Gates, then "the U.S. pledges not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against it."

Imagine the scenario: Hundreds of thousands are lying dead in the streets of Boston after a massive anthrax or nerve gas attack. The president immediately calls in the lawyers to determine whether the attacking state is in compliance with the NPT. If it turns out that the attacker is up-to-date with its latest IAEA inspections, well, it gets immunity from nuclear retaliation. (Our response is then restricted to bullets, bombs and other conventional munitions.) However, if the lawyers tell the president that the attacking state is NPT noncompliant, we are free to blow the bastards to nuclear kingdom come.

White House officials say the new strategy would include the option of reconsidering the use of nuclear retaliation against a biological attack, if the development of such weapons reached a level that made the United States vulnerable to a devastating strike. 

Is this a truthful statement, or one designed to give the public a false sense of security? It was only a year ago Mr. Obama gave a speech in Prague declaring that he would shift the policy of the United States toward the elimination of nuclear weapons. In fact, Obama’s policy is incredibly naive and morally reckless, as it increases the chances of attack. We may not see a devastating strike coming (like 9/11). Obama will not allow replacement of aging nuclear components, forcing them to be retired without any replacements. Obama has cancelled the F-22 fighter and is planning further cuts to the military. Pledging to protect Americans are empty words if your policy decisions are weakening America - making us more vulnerable. 

Boeing B-52 strategic bomber
During the Cold War, our nuclear deterrence was constantly at the ready. We told the Russians that if they dare attack us or invade Western Europe, they risked massive U.S. nuclear retaliation. Did our nuclear posture work? Did it prevent war? The Russians never invaded and World War 3 never started.

Mr. Obama described his policy as part of a broader effort to make nuclear weapons obsolete, To set an example, the new strategy renounces the development of any new nuclear weapons, overruling the position of his own defense secretary.