Thank you New York Times for giving the whole world Obama's new strategy for nuclear weapons. The Obama's Doctrine for Nuclear Weapons is - "We really really won't use them unless my arugula is nuked."
On to the dissection shall we?
To set an example, the new strategy renounces the development of any new nuclear weapons, overruling the initial position of his own defense secretary. As Russia modernizes its nuclear arsenal and such fun countries as North Korea and Iran work on nuclear missiles, Obama wants to pull the plug on the US nuclear weapons manufacturing capability. And Obama wants to reduce the US arsenal of aging weapons while Russia will merely scrap its oldest weapons to meet the treaty requirements of the treaty that is supposed to be signed in Prague.
It eliminates much of the ambiguity that has deliberately existed in American nuclear policy since the opening days of the Cold War. For the first time, the United States is explicitly committing not to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states that are in compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, even if they attacked the United States with biological or chemical weapons, or launched a crippling cyberattack. What ambiguity? US policy has always been if you use a chemical agent or a bio-agent against the US, then the US treats it as a nuclear device and proceeds to nuke the offender. Now Obama is going, well we wont nuke you if you use Sarin gas or anthrax on us, unless you really are mean to us. And why bring in cyber terrorism? So if a PRC hacker college sucks dry Obama's Blackberry, Obama will nuke Beijing? That right there introduces dangerous uncertainty.
Those threats, he argued, could be deterred with “a series of graded options” -- a combination of old and newly designed conventional weapons. Satayana was right, those who fail to learn are doomed to repeat history. Graduated response worked so well for Sec of Defense Robert McNamara in prosecuting the Vietnam war didn't it? For those who think Vietnam is not important because it happened before they were born, McNamara's strategy allowed North Vietnam defenses to keep pace with increases in American military attacks, resulting in a longer war with far more casualties. But Obama thinks it will work with nuclear weapons now.
Mr. Obama’s plans to fly to Prague to sign a new arms control agreement with Russia on Thursday and then next week will host 47 world leaders in Washington for a summit on nuclear security. The London and Washington Naval Treaties after World War One worked so well after all. Or the treaty between the US and USSR on biological weapons, the US destroyed its stockpiles but the USSR kept at it. Treaties work when enforcement has consequences. I do not see North Korea, Iran, or Venezuela being impressed by the Obama Administration's determination.
“I’m not going to parse that right now,” he said, sitting in his office as children played on the South Lawn of the White House during a day-long Easter Egg roll. However, he cited the example of North Korea, whose nuclear capabilities were unclear until it conducted a test in 2006, which it followed with a second shortly after Mr. Obama took office. Lets face it, containment of North Korea was a failure of the Clinton and Bush administrations. But the way I read this statement and its following paragraph of Obama's, it seems our President is okay with Iran going nuclear. These are dangerous times and the nuclear clock I think has moved one more minute closer to midnight with this misguided revamping. History will judge, may we all live to see that judgement.