Obama’s Nuke Naiveté



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The Obama Administration is starting to remind me of the 50s show – Father Knows Best except that President Obama is no Jim Anderson and he doesn’t actually know best.  His foreign policy and national security naiveté is showing once again after Wednesday’s announcement that he will do what Democrat and Republican Presidents before him had the wisdom not to do that is drop our deterrence capacity.

Now I’m not in favor of going half-cocked with nuclear weapons, and I pray to God that hey will never, ever have to be used.  But there is something to be said about not wanting to pick a fight with a nation that has the capacity to destroy you several times over.

During the Gulf War, President George H.W. Bush warned Saddam Hussein that if he used biological weapons… all options are on the table, and that deterrence worked.  It certainly worked against the Soviet Union, containing their march into Europe after World War II.  History has shown that nuclear deterrence works.  But obviously Obama knows best, don’t you know.  He’s a ray of sunshine in this dark world.  Let’s forget the fact that a majority in his own state disapprove of the job he is doing and that his party’s image has dropped to a new low.

Should a threat of nuclear retaliation be considered lightly?  Absolutely not, but I believe it gives rogue nations pause.  With this decision President Obama again appears weak to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and further alienates our closest ally in the Middle East.

Several believe that it will further embolden those who seek to do us harm, as Fox News reports:

"I’m deeply concerned by some of the decisions made in the Nuclear Posture Review and the message this administration is sending to Iran, North Korea, and non-state actors who may seek to harm the United States or our allies," Rep. Michael Turner, R-Ohio, the ranking member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, said in a written statement. "By unilaterally taking a nuclear response off the table, we are decreasing our options without getting anything in return and diminishing our ability to defend our nation from attack."

"We believe that preventing nuclear terrorism and nuclear proliferation should begin by directly confronting the two leading proliferators and supporters of terrorism, Iran and North Korea," said Arizona Republican Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl in a joint statement.

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty said that we should take no option off the table when it comes to our security.  Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin likened his position to a kid who says, “punch me in the face.”  President Obama who said he really had no response to what she said gave a response anyway:

The last I checked, Sarah Palin is not much of an expert on nuclear issues.  What I would say to them (Republican critics) is, is that if the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff are comfortable with it, I’m probably going to take my advice from them and not from Sarah Palin.

Is Sarah Palin a nuclear expert?  No, but I would say she probably had more knowledge of the subject, at least with missile defense, than President Obama did prior to occupying the White House.  And he has done such a bang up job with missle defense as well.  His advisors are not infallible, and they also tend not to rock the boat once the commander-in-chief has established his priorities.  But the arrogance that President Obama demonstrates is stunning.  On the alleged comfort of two advisors he is setting aside a 60-year-old policy supported by Democrat and Republican administrations and their military advisors.

President Obama’s foreign policy has been driven by ideology, not reality and common sense.  His naiveté in handling our national security, at best, weakens our position in the world, but it could come with far more serious implications.

Update: Hot Air points out a Gates flip flop on nukes by referencing a speech Gates made right before the 2008 election:

There is no way to ignore efforts by rogue states such as North Korea and Iran to develop and deploy nuclear weapons, or Russian or Chinese strategic modernization programs. As long as other states have or seek nuclear weapons – and potentially can threaten us, our allies, and friends – then we must have a deterrent capacity that makes it clear that challenging the United States in the nuclear arena – or with other weapons of mass destruction – could result in an overwhelming, catastrophic response…

Our nuclear arsenal also helps deter enemies from using chemical and biological weapons. In the first Gulf War, we made it very clear that if Saddam used chemical or biological weapons, then the United States would keep all options on the table. We later learned that this veiled threat had the intended deterrent effect as Iraq considered its options.

While some may not see a real nuclear threat to the United States today, we should be mindful that our friends and allies perceive different levels of risk within their respective regions. Here, our arsenal plays an irreplaceable role in reducing proliferation.

I think we can see Gates’ support of this new direction as just going along with his boss.

2nd Update: 55% oppose limits on U.S. Nuclear Response, but again we *know* Obama knows best.

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  • http://www.bonejangles.com Guy Incognito

    First of all, Shane, I know this will probably come as a shock to you, but the proper adjectival form for the Democratic Party is, in fact, is “Democratic” not “Democrat.” As in “Democratic and Republican Presidents.” I am sure that this is just an innocent mistake on your part, but it is a mistake nonetheless.

    Secondly, congratulations on making baby Jesus cry yet again with your warmongering. Honestly, what is Christian about blowing up tiny non-nuclear countries with our mighty atomic weapons?

    And let’s forget the morality of it for a second, as if that is possible, and concentrate on the message this is sending to N. Korea and Iran, which is precisely the opposite of what Fox News claims it to be. Clearly, this is encouraging these countries NOT to use nuclear weapons, since it is assurance that as long as they do not build a nuclear arsenal, they will never be subject to a nuclear attack. The corollary to this policy, of course, is that should either of these countries attempt to become proliferators they will be subject to a nuclear attack by the US. This is International Diplomacy 101, Shane! Classic carrot and stick approach, and quick a big stick at that.
    .-= Guy Incognito´s last blog ..Cyclopes =-.

    • http://www.caffeinatedthoughts.com Shane Vander Hart

      @Guy Incognito, Did I say I wanted us to actually use said nuclear weapons? No. By the way, Jesus isn’t a baby anymore just in case you were confused on that issue.

      Obama has been all carrots and no sticks. This is about deterrence, not the actual use of the weapons.

  • http://winteryknight.com/ Wintery Knight

    Shane, this is a great post. I love it when Christians comment on serious issues from a Christian perspective. We need to care about how the United States deters aggression and terrorism in the world by being strong in the face of evil.
    .-= Wintery Knight´s last blog ..Paul Copan discusses tactics for preaching the gospel =-.

    • http://www.caffeinatedthoughts.com Shane Vander Hart

      @Wintery Knight, Thanks, but according to Guy Incognito Jesus is weeping over my war mongering. Did I say anywhere in my post I actually wanted us to use nukes?

  • Mary

    When one picks teams or chooses players in a draft, one picks the best players, the “big guns”, who will make the other teams tremble, knowing that they are out matched.
    Obama ran on the concept of talking softly, making friends with rouge nations, while offering C.D.s to heads of state. He does not know or understand Reagan’s idea of foreign policy,that greatness discourages others from striking first. He does not grasp that having the “big stick” keeps rouge nations in check, as well as runner up super powers under control as well.
    Perhaps he doesn’t get that having one’s big brother standing behind you, when a ring of bullies confront you on the play ground is a deterrent and punches won’t be pulled because the big brother is the greater power.
    Obama is so over his head playing president that he is endangering the lives of every American. God help us!

    • http://www.caffeinatedthoughts.com Shane Vander Hart

      @Mary, Reagan certainly understood deterrence and rarely had to use force.

  • AGrimm

    I would suggest actually reading the document in question and maybe studying the past 60 years of history you reference prior to writing an opinion on said document. It appears the only sources you have provided for the conclusions you have drawn are the comments of Fox News anchors, a clearly unbiased group of individuals who never manipulate or misrepresent the facts.

    • http://www.caffeinatedthoughts.com Shane Vander Hart

      @AGrimm, That’s fascinating commentary since I didn’t quote a Fox News anchor and only linked to them once highlighting things Republican leadership said.

      I know MSNBC and CNN *never* misrepresent the facts. How about actually trying to refute what I’m arguing rather than smearing people I’m not even quoting?

      • AGrimm

        @Shane Vander Hart, So I will grant you that taking a shot at Fox detracted from the question at hand. Have you actually read the document, are you sure you understand what you are speaking against? I did not say CNN or MSNBC were unbiased sources of information or that they should be relied upon as a source for which to base one’s opinions on the agreement. Here is a link for CBS news, just happened to be the link that popped up first when I searched for the treaty text. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/04/08/politics/main6373950.shtml Read it, then decide what you think and not what the “Republican Leadership”, Fox, MSNBC, CNN, or anyone else is stating.

  • http://www.ericgoranson.com Eric Goranson

    I’ve read it. It’s pie-in-the-sky thinking and includes language that allows virtually not change in the present situation if one party feels it can’t participate any longer. It also falsely presumes that current policies have helped global security. We have more states nuclear than ever. EPIC FAIL. It also isn’t the whole story. Obama’s comments surrounding this treaty are of a much larger concern than even the treaty itself.

    • http://www.caffeinatedthoughts.com Shane Vander Hart

      @Eric Goranson, Exactly.