The United States will continue to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in deterring non-nuclear attacks. To that end, the United States is now prepared to strengthen its long-standing 'negative security assurance' by declaring that the United States will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons states that are party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and in compliance with their nuclear non-proliferation obligations. This revised assurance is intended to underscore the security benefits of adhering to and fully complying with the NPT and persuade non-nuclear weapons states party to the Treaty to work with the United States and other interested parties to adopt effective measures to strengthen the non-proliferation regime.
You goddamn idiot, Mr. President. "This revised assurance" goes farther than any statement by any past President, even ones as cojones deficient as James Earl Carter, in neutering our ability as a nation to meet the threat that comes from belligerent nations and bad actors within nations.
That we are a country with the capacity to wipe out any other country, and that we have leaders crazy enough to do it if provoked, has been a cornerstone of United States diplomacy and self defense since those two bombs we dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As the leading single economy, top military, and most prosperous state in the world, we are juicy target for any country, or group within a country, for some nasty bit of assymmetrical warfare directed at our population.
The threat that we would meet a WMD attack by a state, or state sponsored group (or even state tolerated group) with a WMD attack of our own on a biblical scale has been an integral part of our defense. That is, until we elected President Obama. Thanks a lot, the inevitable attack on a big city will be firmly and unequivocally your fault (and as a resident of likely target #2 or #3, with NYC always being target #1 for the crazies, I'd rate LA and DC neck and neck as 2nd or 3rd likely, a special personal thanks Mr. President).
The conventional wisdom regarding assymmetric warfare is that it favors the small over the big (David v Goliath), but the threat of an overwhelming and highly assymmetric response from our military given a major provocation used to be one of our big advantages over those weenies in Europe. Even while protesting us, and calling our leaders 'cowboys', Europeans knew that those 'cowboys' they derided were what kept them as safe as they were, and that our willingness to be more belligerent than the craziest of belligerents was good for democracies across the globe. Obama wants to dismantle that. Idiot, I guess it will be up to Sarkozy and the French to play the world's crazyman, now.
I can't believe we elected someone who ate up all that Soviet sponsored No Nukes crap that was being spewed across college campuses in the 70s and 80s, and thought that'd be sensible as a guiding principle for our defense posture. And just in case you think I'm making up the Soviet angle, from Time Magazine in 1983:
The question of Soviet influence becomes difficult to call when counterespionage officials try to uncover KGB links to the antinuclear movement in the U.S. and Western Europe. By CIA reckoning, the Soviets spend roughly $3 billion to $4 billion each year on overt and covert propaganda activities. According to a State Department official, as much as $600 million may have been spent so far on the peace offensive. Using national Communist parties or recognized Communist-front organizations like the World Peace Council, the Kremlin has been able to channel funds to a host of new antiwar organizations that would, in many cases, reject the financial help if they knew the source. Western intelligence experts believe that the mass movement in opposition to new NATO missiles in Europe probably was not Soviet-inspired, but they fear that the Kremlin's active measures have given the movement greater momentum.
So this latest bit of Obama-nonsense seems like it's just the 'radical' Occidental student (as pictured above) peeking out from the moderate facade that he wrapped himself in during his campaign. He's stuck in the mindset of the Vietnam-addled, USA must apologize for being mighty, late 70s, and the Reagan hating campus 'intelligentsia' with their, how dare we have a leader who is willing to defend our position in the world and recognize the Soviets as evil, mindset of the early 80s. Hard to believe that the subsequent decades haven't taught Obama the lessons that everyone else seems to understand. He's trying to undermine everything Reagan accomplished, both domestically and globally. He has a compliant media, and Democratic Party leadership willing to follow him to doom. Seems like the rank and file is starting to balk, and more importantly, voters are seeing red, but will that anger stick around till November? Depends on events.
I suspect Secretary of State Hillary Clinton must be scrambling to move up her exit from this sinking ship, and she's going to stage, as soon as possible, a very public conflict between the White House and the State Department so that she can resign as a sensible Hawk while Obama looks like the naive Dove. I don't see her sticking loyally by Obama and putting aside a lifetime of ambition to defer to this jerk, but you never know, maybe she trusts in him and took the job because she believes in the direction that Obama will lead.
(above, Obama at Occidental image, borrowed from this HuffPo piece, photo by Lisa Jack)