President Obama is conducting, without the consent of Congress or the American public, a high-risk experiment in unilateral disarmament. He is doing so despite all evidence that his concept is fundamentally flawed. His action is exceptionally endangering the safety and sovereignty of both the United States and its allies.
Andrew C. Weber, assistant secretary of defense for nuclear, chemical and biological defense programs, and Elaine Bunn, deputy assistant secretary of defense for nuclear and missile defense policy, testified last week before the House Armed Services Committee that the United States will cut nuclear stockpiles under the New START treaty with Russia.
In October, Russia tested it SS-25 mobile ICBM, the fourth time in the past two years it engaged in tests violative of the 1987 agreement. In January, the treaty was again violated by the deployment of the RS-26 missile test.
In January, it became public that Russia was also violating the 1987 missile treaty. Despite that fact, the U.S. has taken no action.
The Administration’s move comes despite Russia’s placement of nuclear-armed ISKANDER missiles on the border of Europe in response to absolutely no threat from NATO.
It is done in compliance with a treaty despite Moscow’s obvious current and historical record of treaty violations, in response to a treaty that was bad for the United States since it allowed Moscow a 10-1 advantage in tactical nuclear weapons, and one that is especially inappropriate in the face of the dramatic change in international conditions since the rise of China as a nuclear power that is hostile to the United States and its allies.
In addition to the development and deployment of new atomic weapons systems, Russia has engaged in updating and testing of its nuclear weapons, while the American arsenal has gone untested and un-updated for decades.
President Obama’s planned cutback comes in the face of undeniable evidence of massive Russian cheating. It comes at a time when Russia has evidenced its hostile intent through its invasion of Crimea, its threats to other parts of the former Soviet Empire, and its return to engagement in military-related activities in Latin America, especially in Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. It comes as the United States has slashed its military spending, while Russia and China dramatically expand their armed forces budget.
A full analysis of the nuclear weapons reduction issue will be published Monday, April 14.