Obama and Company also agreed to terms in New START that forced us to dismantle strategic weapons, but not the Russians. Worse yet, the Kremlin got to keep its entire, vast arsenal of shorter-range, relatively low-yield "tactical" arms. By some estimates, they enjoy a 10-to-1 advantage in such weapons.
Even more ominous is the fact that some of those weapons are believed to be aboard cruise missile-armed submarines known to operate within striking distance of our coasts. And like Russia's strategic forces, these tactical weapons are being upgraded - in some cases with advanced technologies whose military effects, and therefore lethality, are not fullyunderstood by our weapons designers.
In the course of what passed for the Senate ratification debate on New START during the lame duck session late last year, administration spokesmen blithely assured skeptics that the next treaty with Moscow would capture tactical weapons and otherwise correct the myriad deficiencies of the 2010 accord.
On the basis of such dubious promises, Senator Lamar Alexander and a handful of other Republicans joined all Senate Democrats to provide the necessary two-thirds majority. Sen. Alexander evidently enjoyed so much the favorable press and other accolades he achieved for breaking ranks with the rest of the GOP leadership that he has just announced that he will give up his post as chairman of theSenate Republican Policy Committee - presumably in the interest of having more latitude to engage in such defections in the future.
As with other Obama delusions, there has never been any basis for believing the Russians would give up weapons that they assert could be used to shape and prevail in tomorrow's battles. Even if, against all odds, the Kremlin were to agree to curbs on tactical nuclear weapons, their relatively small size and ease of portability means that any such limitations would be inherently unverifiable.
No worries. According to the Washington Times' invaluable "Inside the Ring" column, the administration will not be dissuaded from its goal of ridding at least America of its nuclear arms by Vladimir Putin's continuing recalcitrance or other obstacles. Columnist Bill Gertz reports that Gary Samore, the top arms control guru on President Obama's National Security Council, "noted that if there is no agreement or treaty, ‘even unilateral' cuts are being considered."
In other words, despite the fact that Russia's once-and-future president is not going along - and, for that matter, neither is any other nuclear weapon state, the Obama administration blithely plans to reset America's deterrent. Gone will be the time-tested strategic Triad of intercontinental-range bombers and land- and sea-based missiles. If we are lucky, we will be left with a far-less-resilient "Dyad" equipped with obsolescing, untested weapons. Never mind that the world is becoming more dangerous by the day; a new study dubbed a mini-Nuclear Posture Review has been ordered up to justify such unilateral disarmament.
With the successive budget cuts eviscerating our conventional forces, it is not clear how much of a fight the military leadership will put up to preserve weapons that may be the ultimate guarantor of our security but that some deem unusable. Expect no complaints from Vladimir Putin and his friends. This is just the sort of reset - read, self-inflicted American wound - that he relishes most.
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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