When he delivers the SOTU tonight, Obama will likely mention his plan to deeply cut (read: dramatically weaken) further America’s already excessively cut nuclear deterrent at a time when Russia, China, North Korea, Pakistan, and India are all growing and modernizing nuclear arsenals, and just a day after North Korea tested a nuclear weapon – thus utterly refuting Obama’s notions of a “nuclear-free world”.
Republicans have the duty and the power to stop his cuts of America’s nuclear deterrent while explaining to the public – in their rebuttal of Obama’s SOTU as well as on other occassions – why Obama’s policy is suicidal and treasonous and why America needs a large nuclear deterrent and will need it for the foreseeable future.
The following is offered as advice on how to refute the lies that Obama is likely to make in his remarks.
Obama will likely falsely claim that:
1) “America has more nuclear weapons than needed for national security.”
Yet, on close inspection, this claim is completely false.
A significantly smaller nuclear arsenal will not be able to meet most, let alone all, of America’s defense requirements and those of its allies. It will not be able to effectively deter America’s enemies for the simple reason that it will be too small. Being significantly smaller, it will not be survivable enough and will thus be much easier for both Russia and China to destroy in a nuclear first strike on the US. Even if they refrain from such a drastic action, they will certainly use America’s weakness to intimidateWashington and its allies and to attack American allies and interests around the world.
Don’t delude yourself that Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran would refrain from doing that if they had the opportunity to do so.
The fact is that a nuclear arsenal, in order to be survivable, MUST be large – there’s no way around that fact. In order to be an effective deterrent, it also must be able to hold the vast majority of enemy military and economic assets at risk. A smaller arsenal and the new nuclear strategy prepared for Obama’s signature will be utterly unable to do so.
This is because there are simply so many strategic and nonstrategic weapon sites and other important military (and economic) targets in Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran that being able to target a majority of them will require far more warheads than Obama would allow – not a mere 1000-1100, but at least 1,550, if not more. The Heritage Foundation’s nuclear weapons experts have estimated that about 2,700-3,000 nuclear warheads are required for that.
And why is it important to target at least a majority, if not the vast majority, of an enemy’s assets? Because only then will he suffer a truly devastating and prohibitively costly retaliation if he commits aggression. If he loses only a minority of his assets – even if they’re the most important ones – he will not be deterred from attacking. Only if the vast majority of his assets are held at risk will he refrain from aggression.
A small nuclear arsenal could only target Russian, Chinese, North Korean, and Iranian population centers, as it would be woefully insufficient to hold the majority of enemy military assets at risk. This would mean a shift from counterforce to countervalue targeting – i.e. targeting innocent civilian populations (which Russian, Chinese, NK, and Iranian leaders don’t value anyway) instead of enemy warmaking capability. Is this the policy we want? The proponents of arms reduction do.
But such a policy would arguably be immoral, and would not be accepted by most Americans. So the only credible and acceptable policy is counterforce – which requires a large number of warheads.
Yet, Obama and his bureaucrats and apparatchiks don’t care about that. All they care about is disarming the US and creating their pipedream “world without nuclear weapons”, a fiction that will never exist (as NK’s nuclear test yesterday proves).
So instead of reviewing possible targets and then deciding on how many warheads the US needs, they’ll instead impose an ideological, arbitrary warhead cut on the military: no more than 1000-1100 warheads, and the military will have to adapt its targeting strategy to that.
They’ve got it exactly backwards. They’re imposing an arbitrary warhead limit on the military and forcing it to THEN come up with a targeting strategy to fit that limit.
2) “Nuclear weapons are relics of the Cold War.”
This false claim doesn’t even meet the straight face test. Nuclear weapons are highly relevant in today’s security environment.
The biggest military threats to America are Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran. The first three have nuclear weapons; Iran is racing to acquire them. The biggest threat posed by these countries is that of a large-scale nuclear or (in Russia’s or China’s case) attack by them.