With word coming from The White House that President Barack Obama is open to meeting with Iran’s new President, Hassan Rouhani, the President’s recent Syria debacle, the Edward Snowden-Russian asylum fiasco, among other foreign policy blunders, now is the perfect time to jump into the way-back machine and revisit a post on ThinkFY from May 2012:
President Barack Obama is set to deliver his State of the Union Address tomorrow. In it, he’ll push for new stimulus spending, pay raises for federal employees (public sector unions) and a host of other programs including immigration reform and methods to address “climate change.” Also on the President’s agenda is a move to further reduce America’s nuclear arsenal.
This is a dangerous continuation of Obama’s irresponsible, perhaps reckless, agenda regarding our nuclear deterrence. Consider the events of the last four years and ask yourself whether or not the President is jeopardizing our national security.
As the Presidential election kicks into high-gear, foreign policy has been brought to the fore with the one year anniversary of the killing of terror mastermind and al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden. With some tit-for-tat going back and forth between President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney over whether Romney would have ordered “the raid to capture Osama bin Laden last year,” I began to think about President Obama’s record as Commander-in-Chief. The more I thought and the more I dug into his record, the more I couldn’t help but think about Ronald Reagan and a few choice words he had to say:
Remember that START Treaty President Barack Obama insisted the lame-duck Congress pass?
In December 2010, Obama Used His Weekly Radio Adress To Push For Lame-Duck Vote On His START Treaty. “‘Before going away for the holiday break, I’m hopeful we can also come together on another urgent national priority – and that is, the new START treaty that will reduce the world’s nuclear arsenals and make America more secure,’ Obama said in a weekly address delivered Saturday.” (Alexander Bolton, “Obama Aims For Second Lame-Duck Victory With START Treaty Push,” The Hill, 12/18/10)
Well, Obama signed what is considered to be a cornerstone of his Presidency in foreign policy this week, but did so without reporters and without TV cameras.
Obama has made it his goal to see a world without nuclear weapons. Idealistic? Naïve?
Both. The fact of the matter is nuclear dangers are growing. Without getting into North Korea’s nuclear program or their efforts to transfer technology to Syria and Myanmar, or Iran’s drive to acquire a nuclear capability, we need look no further for evidence than our old Cold War foe, Russia, or the emerging Communist superpower, China.
Nine months ago, the Obama Administration released a revised Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) designed to limit the uses of our nuclear weapons.
President Obama Called New U.N. Sanctions On Iran An “Unmistakable Message.” “The U.N. Security Council’s vote Wednesday ‘will put in place the toughest sanctions ever faced by the Iranian government and it sends an unmistakable message about the international community’s commitment to stopping the spread of nuclear weapons,’ Obama said after the vote.” (“Obama: Sanctions ‘Send Message’ To Iran,” UPI, 6/9/10)
Shot: “Russia may help build a nuclear power plant in Syria. . .”
Chaser: “President Barack Obama revived on Monday an agreement with Russia in which the two countries would cooperate on civilian nuclear energy . . . . The proposed agreement has a term of 30 years, permits the transfer -- subject to U.S. licensing decisions -- of technology, material, equipment including reactors and components for nuclear research and nuclear power products.”
More on this in a bit.
Much has been made of the newly drafted Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) and President Barack Obama’s plans to revamp the rules of engagement over the use and application of America’s nuclear weapons arsenal. It should not have come as a surprise, the Obama Administration telegraphed this last fall. Critics fear Obama aims to use the new NPR and recently negotiated START Treaty with Russia as a pretext to unilaterally disarm the United States. Others (liberals) contend Obama doesn’t go far enough.
There’s plenty of room for debate over the merits and real world application of the NPR and whether START should be ratified by the U.S. Senate. We’ll let policy wonks battle this out who have far greater expertise on how many missiles our country really needs, whether we still need the TRIAD of missiles, bombers and submarines to launch such weapons, and the nuts and bolts of the rules of engagement.
President Ronald Reagan was fond of saying to the Russians, “trust, but verify.” President Reagan was referring to relations with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. It was meant to convey to the Russians that the U.S. believes you, but we’re going to make sure you’re telling the truth. It was the kind of hard nosed diplomacy that Reagan used to defeat the Russians.
Well, that’s all gone now. We won’t be verifying what the Russians are doing when it comes to their nuclear weapons, specifically the manufacturing of new intercontinental ballistic missiles.
“The United States Is About To Lose A Key Arms-Control Tool From The Closing Days Of The Cold War -- The Right To Station American Observers In Russia To Count The Long-Range Missiles Leaving Its Assembly Line.” (Nicholas Kralev, “Exclusive: U.S. To Stop Counting New Missiles In Russia,” The Washington Times, 12/1/09)
Not even sure where to begin with this one. The New York Times is reporting that President Obama said “the reset button has worked,” a reference to “the administration’s early promise to ‘reset’ the bilateral relationship after several years of bickering over a variety of issues from missile defense to Kosovo.” President Obama met with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev during the Asia-Pacific summit in Singapore.