When it comes to security policy, it seems everyone wants to be a "realist" these days. If that term has any meaning at all, though, Barack Obama's nuclear weapons and missile defense policies certainly would not qualify.
To the contrary, these examples of what some call "progressive realism" constitute a near-parody of the ideologically driven disarmament agenda of the radical left. If the implications were not so serious, the discrepancy between Mr. Obama's plans and real world conditions would be hilarious.
Take, for example, Mr. Obama's announced intention to rid the planet of nuclear weapons. The truth is that, no matter how many world leaders, elder statesmen and other advocates champion this goal, it is not going to happen. The associated technology is too widely available, the strategic value of nuclear weapons too great and the possibilities of concealment in closed societies too immutable for all nations actually to forego the temptation to retain covert arsenals.
There is only one country on earth that Team Obama can absolutely, positively denuclearize: Ours. To be sure, the President professes his realism by recognizing that, even as he declares a goal of no nukes, he emphasizes it is unlikely to be achieved any time soon. Still, the cumulative effect of his nuclear agenda would be to advance inexorably the denuclearization of the United States.
This is how Mr. Obama's Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, described our nuclear posture before last Fall's election: "Currently, the United States is the only declared nuclear power that is neither modernizing its nuclear arsenal nor has the capability to produce a new nuclear warhead." By contrast, he noted, "China and Russia have embarked on an ambitious path to design and field new weapons." Even "the United Kingdom and France have programs to maintain their deterrent capabilities." In fact, every other actual nuclear power and wannabe is building up as we are going out of the business.
President Obama not only refuses to modernize our deterrent and establish the capability to produce new warheads. His administration is doing nothing to slow, let alone reverse, the steady decline of the infrastructure - both human and physical - required to maintain the nuclear weapons upon which we currently rely.
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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