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.