September 21, 2009

If only everyone would pretend, too

With Iran on the brink of producing it's own home-grown nuclear weapons -- and vowing to erase Israel from the map -- mere months after the North Koreans detonated their own nuke, Pres. Obama announces his intention to pretend that we can make nukes magically disappear, beginning with our own.

Barack Obama has demanded the Pentagon conduct a radical review of US nuclear weapons doctrine to prepare the way for deep cuts in the country's arsenal, the Guardian can reveal.

Obama has rejected the Pentagon's first draft of the "nuclear posture review" as being too timid, and has called for a range of more far-reaching options consistent with his goal of eventually abolishing nuclear weapons altogether, according to European officials.

Those options include:

• Reconfiguring the US nuclear force to allow for an arsenal measured in hundreds rather than thousands of deployed strategic warheads.

• Redrafting nuclear doctrine to narrow the range of conditions under which the US would use nuclear weapons.

• Exploring ways of guaranteeing the future reliability of nuclear weapons without testing or producing a new generation of warheads.

The review is due to be completed by the end of this year, and European officials say the outcome is not yet clear. But one official said: "Obama is now driving this process. He is saying these are the president's weapons, and he wants to look again at the doctrine and their role."

The move comes as Obama prepares to take the rare step of chairing a watershed session of the UN security council on Thursday. It is aimed at winning consensus on a new grand bargain: exchanging more radical disarmament by nuclear powers in return for wider global efforts to prevent further proliferation.

That bargain is at the heart of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, which is up for review next year amid signs it is unravelling in the face of Iranian and North Korean nuclear ambitions.


According to a final draft of the resolution due to be passed on Thursday, however, the UN security council will not wholeheartedly embrace the US and Britain's call for eventual abolition of nuclear weapons. Largely on French insistence, the council will endorse the vaguer aim of seeking "to create the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons".


The Obama strategy is to create disarmament momentum in the run-up to the non-proliferation treaty review conference next May, in the hope that states without nuclear weapons will not side with Iran, as they did at the last review in 2005, but endorse stronger legal barriers to nuclear proliferation, and forego nuclear weapons programmes themselves.

Because, you see, tyrannical regimes like Iran and North Korea will gladly give up their nukes, notwithstanding the fact that having nuclear weapons makes them relatively invulnerable to pressure from the rest of the world.

But the explicit desire to eliminate nuclear weapons completely, as stated by Obama, is delusional ... and deeply dangerous. Knowledge is eternal, and we're nearly 65 years past the birth of the nuclear age. Much as some would like to pretend that we can stuff the atomic genie back in the bottle, basing our security -- our survival -- on such hope and changey cock-eyed optimism is a reckless desire, indeed. And it's now the explicit policy of the United States.

Posted by Mike Lief at September 21, 2009 05:01 AM | TrackBack


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