Saturday, September 17, 2016

President Obama Will Decide In October On Unilateral Cuts In America's Strategic Nuclear Arsenal

Obama offered to cut the US deployed strategic arsenal by a third in 2013, providing Russia did the same, but Vladimir Putin has shown little interest in disarmament. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

The Guardian: Obama to decide on cuts to US nuclear arsenal in October

Limited politically feasible options on table for president to cement a disarmer legacy, most far-reaching of which is a one-third cut to deployed strategic arsenal.

Barack Obama is expected to make a final decision next month on possible cuts to the US nuclear arsenal, in an attempt to consolidate his legacy as a disarmer before leaving office.

Options on the table include reducing the number of deployed strategic warheads, slimming down the reserve stockpile, cutting military stores of fissile material available for making new warheads, and putting off some modernisation plans, including the a controversial air force programme for developing an air-launched cruise missile.

The president is due to consult his principal national security officials in October on which, if any, of the options are still feasible in the time left before he leaves office.

Read more ....

Update: 3 Nuclear-Weapons Programs President Obama Should Kill (Will Saetren, National Interest)

WNU editor: After reading this Guardian post I have to wonder if President Obama is doing this to "puff-up" his legacy as a nuclear disarmer that would justify his Nobel Prize .... or that there are serious national security considerations at play and implementing these cuts would not impact national security. Sighhh .... the lack of transparency on this issue .... and the rush to do something right now .... tells me that this is more about legacy than anything else.

Update: I should also add that any decision that he does make in October could be (and probably will be) overruled by the next administration.

1 comment:

B.Poster said...

Cuts to the nuclear arsenal are a bad idea for at least two basic reasons. 1.) The US lacks the conventional military capabilities of either Russia or china and this disparity is likely to become more pronounced in the future. As such, the US is going to absolutely need a viable nuclear deterent to counter act the lopsided edges that Russia, China, and very likely soon to be other countries have over it in order to remain viable. 2.)A number of countries are under the so called "nuclear umbrella" of the US. While this was a very foolish thing to agree to on the part of the US and even dumber on the part of these other countries to agree to this, it was done nonetheless and these countries are going to need time and space to adjust to the new reality. To unilaterally cut our arsenal places these "allies" in even more danger than they are already in.

A bit off topic but if South Korea had nuclear weapons this would likely act to deter North Korea in a major way. 1.)North Korea understands in a conventional war with South Korea that while it would be costly ultimately victory for them is pretty near 100%. 2.)The US is not going to risk a conflict with North Korea to defend South Korea a nation thousands of miles away who would not assist us should we be invaded. Furthermore to try and defend South Korea places us at risk of the inevitable retaliation from the Norks either by ICBMs with nuclear weapons or by North Korean agents operating in the US killing 10s of millions of Americans and perhaps more all for a country that is of no benefit to us for such a staggering cost. For the US to use nuclear weapons to defend South Korea would be out of the question as this would definitely bring about retaliation against the US mainland by the Norks. If I understand this, I'm pretty sure North Korean leaders do.

Now if South Korea were nuclear armed, this would likely change the calculus of North Korea. As such, they'd be far more likely to be more amicable to a negotiated settlement.