Not Knowing When To Hold ‘Em: Obama Tips His Hand On Nukes

I can remember back to the 1980s, when America had a President, and the worried talk in the halls of my college was about impending nuclear war.

“I’m worried about Reagan”…”he’s a cowboy”…”there’s going to be a nuclear war…”

Of course, those comments were from the professors. The student body was amazingly fine with Reagan, but then I didn’t go to Harvard. At that time, with visions of mushroom clouds dancing in their fevered heads, there were two schools of thought for the anti-nukes crowd. The first of these was called the Nuclear Freeze Movement, and it essentially was a moratorium on building new nuclear weapons. “We have enough to destroy the world a dozen times over,” they would say. “Why build more?” This involved the dream that the Soviet Union would agree to this, which wasn’t going to happen.

But the Freeze people were downright sane compared to the Unilateral Disarmament folks. These were the people who believed the United States should systematically destroy all of their nuclear weapons immediately. This, it was believed, would set a moral example to the rest of the world and the other nuclear powers would similarly disarm out of a sense of newly found morality. No, really, that’s what they thought. It should be noted that neither of these beliefs won the Cold War, though either might well have lost it.

Lots of words leap to mind, including “stupid” and “naive.” Today, another word leaps to mind: “Obama.”

In a stunning example of naivete, President Obama has announced to the world that we won’t use nuclear weapons, ever, against non-nuclear countries even if they were to hit us with all of the biological and/or chemical weapons at their disposal. Why is he doing this? From the New York Times:

Discussing his approach to nuclear security the day before formally releasing his new strategy, Mr. Obama described his policy as part of a broader effort to edge the world toward making nuclear weapons obsolete, and to create incentives for countries to give up any nuclear ambitions. To set an example, the new strategy renounces the development of any new nuclear weapons, overruling the initial position of his own defense secretary.

That sounds a whole lot like the old Unilateral Disarmament rationale to me. Obama might want to explain to folks how our disarming “provides incentives for countries to give up nuclear ambitions.” A quick look at a world map would lead you to think the opposite.

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 cyberattack.

Those threats, Mr. Obama argued, could be deterred with “a series of graded options,” a combination of old and new conventional weapons. “I’m going to preserve all the tools that are necessary in order to make sure that the American people are safe and secure,” he said in the interview in the Oval Office.

Except that’s exactly what you’re not doing, Mr. Obama. You’re not preserving “all the tools that are necessary.” You are, in fact, promising that we will not respond with the biggest trump card we’ve got. And since the United States does not use biological or chemical weapons, you are putting us in the position of responding to such an attack (which theoretically could be as bad as a nuke) with insufficient force. Even a cyberattack could have the effect of destroying the economy, the infrastructure, the financial system.

The new policy tells all tyrants and tyrant wannabes that they can use a chemical weapon in New York City that kills a hundred thousand people and we will not respond by blowing their countries to smithereens. Does such a policy embolden our enemies? You bet it does. Does it weaken our bargaining hand as we enter into diplomacy with truly vile people who seek to harm us? That would also be a yes.

For decades, the stereotype of the Democrats has been that they are soft on foreign policy. President Obama’s “no nukes” policy is just the latest reason that stereotype still rings true.

At Hot Air, Allahpundit raises valid points and questions.

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