National Security

Nuking the Obama Summit

He's still living out his college dreams.

Michael Swartz · Apr. 1, 2016

Barack Obama played host Thursday as more than 50 world leaders converged on Washington, DC, for the fourth Nuclear Security Summit. In a Washington Post op-ed published Wednesday, Obama cited — of all things — Ronald Reagan’s second Inaugural Address, telling Americans that, like Reagan, “we seek the total elimination one day of nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth.” The comparison is not only obnoxious but utterly false.

Obama defined two of the goals of the event: “Nations, including the United States, will make new commitments, and we’ll continue strengthening the international treaties and institutions that underpin nuclear security.”

“Given the continued threat posed by organizations such as the terrorist group we call ISIL, or ISIS,” Obama added, “we’ll also join allies and partners in reviewing our counterterrorism efforts, to prevent the world’s most dangerous networks from obtaining the world’s most dangerous weapons.” (Perhaps, Mr. President, it wasn’t wise to give Iran a huge financial windfall and a head start on building its own nuclear arsenal.)

Unlike the days of the Cold War, today’s nuclear threat is more asymmetric: anything from the theft by a terrorist group or rogue state of a nuclear device to the detonation of a “dirty bomb.” After the murder of a Belgian nuclear plant worker last week, fears of an ISIL-sponsored inside incident leading to a nuclear disaster arose.

More important than the nations that did attend was one that didn’t. In a clear snub to Obama’s failed leadership, Vladimir Putin’s Russia skipped the Nuclear Security Summit altogether. Not only that, but according to a Pentagon spokesman, “The Russians are doubling their [nuclear] warhead output. They will be exceeding the New START [arms treaty] levels because of MIRVing [adding multiple independently targeted warheads to] these new systems.”

The Washington Free Beacon reports, “The State Department revealed in January that Russia currently has exceeded the New START warhead limit by 98 warheads, deploying a total number of 1,648 warheads. The U.S. level currently is below the treaty level at 1,538 warheads.”

So much for Hillary Clinton’s “reset.”

Furthermore, just hours after Obama’s summit attendees, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, discussed how to handle the threat of a nuclear North Korea, the hermit kingdom responded by conducting yet another test missile launch.

Obama doesn’t seem to care, either. In his drive to build for himself a legacy, he’s now trying to make deals on nuclear weapons with everyone else, all while reversing U.S. policy since Harry S. Truman. How can we provide a nuclear umbrella for our allies as the method of preventing proliferation when we no longer have an arsenal?

Nuclear disarmament is a goal Obama has sought since he was a dope-smoking college kid. (In fact, his “vision” for a nuclear free world is precisely why he won the Nobel Peace Prize before ever actually doing anything for peace.) In the early days of his administration, not only did we learn about his starry-eyed ideas for ridding the world of nukes, but we also uncovered a 1983 article Obama wrote while a senior at Columbia University. Bear in mind that while the youthful Marxist was waxing eloquent on the nuclear freeze movement, Reagan was facing down the Soviet Union and its thousands of nuclear weapons.

Both may have appeared to have the same goal, but Reagan was the ultimate anti-Communist who thundered from the Brandenburg Gate, “Mr. Gorbechev, tear down this wall!” Reagan knew that negotiating from a position of strength and being willing to walk away from a bad deal would bring us closer to the desired result — peace through American resolve and leadership. His steadfastness toppled the Soviet Union.

Instead, Obama employs his go-to “blame America first” approach, lecturing in the Post op-ed, “As the only nation ever to use nuclear weapons, the United States has a moral obligation to continue to lead the way in eliminating them.” And though he’s quick to add that “no one nation can realize this vision alone,” he has provided few incentives for nations on the nuclear path to deviate from their course of building, not reducing, nuclear arsenals.

Quite the contrary. Power doesn’t tolerate a vacuum, and if Obama is anything it’s vacuous.

Contemplate what the impact of our use of nuclear weapons brought about: It saved perhaps millions of lives, both American and Japanese, by avoiding what would have been a necessary full-on invasion of mainland Japan to finish World War II. Sadly, the next usage of nuclear weapons may be the beginning of a full-scale war, whether it’s Iran detonating one or more in Israel, North Korea attacking the U.S. West Coast, or a jihadi leveling the Big Apple. The genie is long since out of the bottle, and at this point we have to manage the situation as best we can.

We in our humble shop prefer that America do it from a position of strength.

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