In a Kaiserlicious Brandenburg Gate Redux - 44 yday LOL"d to “seek negotiated cuts with Russia” in order to reduce Great Satan's “deployed strategic new clear weapons by up to one-third.”
Gott Im Himmel!
Such a plan (of sorts) to Unass Great Satan's new clear arsenal seems to be kinda hokey in timing and dangerously tarded as well While 44 sees his plan as the next step in someday achieving his dream of a “world without nuclear weapons.”
Yet the world has a vote too. Even if Russia is open to further nuclear cuts—something which remains unclear at this point—other nations do not appear to share 44’s grand hello.
In the Asia-Pacific, both China and North Korea are modernizing and expanding their nuclear arsenals. In turn, that’s making Japan and South Korea—technologically-capable U.S. allies who have eschewed building their own atomic arsenals thanks, in no small part, to the preponderant strength of America’s nuclear deterrent—increasingly nervous.
In the Middle East, Iran—in ongoing defiance of both the U.N. Security Council and the 35-nation Board of Governors of the world’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)—is nearing the capability to make a nuclear weapon on alarmingly short notice. If Iran gets nuclear weapons, it likely will spark a sprint for nuclear arms in the Middle East, perhaps led by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.
Some may argue that further new clear reductions will help somehow to persuade China, North Korea, Iran, or other competitors to halt or even reverse their nuclear ambitions. However, that argument calls to mind Secretary of Defense Harold Brown’s famous warning to Congress in 1979 about how U.S. restraint does not necessarily lead to restraint by the Soviets (or, for that matter, by other potential aggressors): “when we build, they build; when we cut, they build.”
44 is also seeking nuclear cuts when the U.S. conventional military is getting slashed by sequestration. In parallel to the Berlin speech today, the White House released a summary of 44's controversial new guidance on nuclear strategy—which, among other things, directs the Pentagon “to strengthen non-nuclear capabilities” as America seeks to reduce its reliance on nuclear weapons.
American military cats have repeatedly OMG'd that defense sequestration will be “devastating.” In the near term, sequestration is worsening the readiness of America’s conventional air, sea, and land forces. In the long term, it risks undercutting efforts to upgrade and replace her aging ships, submarines, fighters, bombers, and other conventional military platforms.
In an unclassified portion of an April 2013 report to Congress, the Pentagon warned that "with sufficient foreign assistance, Iran could probably develop and test an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching Great Satan by 2015.” If Iran succeeds in building nuclear warheads and an ICBM, America will need a “third site” with anti-ICBM interceptors and related radar systems to better protect the East Coast from potential attack—and sooner rather than later. However, sequestration is creating another obstacle to congressional efforts to fund and establish East Coast missile defense.
Given that the U.S. nuclear forces consume, at the very most, 4.5 percent of the Defense Department’s annual budget, further nuclear cuts will not provide anywhere near enough savings to pay the shortfalls of the Pentagon’s readiness and modernization bills. In sum, so long as sequestration is law of the land, it will be impossible for the Pentagon to implement the President’s directive “to strengthen non-nuclear capabilities.”
Given the world’s growing nuclear dangers, sequestration’s damage to the military, and what’s known in the unclassified realm about Russia’s history of violating non-treaty presidential nuclear initiatives to limit nuclear arms, 44’s plan to further cut the new cleararsenal appears imprudent. There is a strong argument that the President should not rush nuclear reductions either unilaterally or through informal bilateral means like PNIs.
If 44 proceeds, then he should pursue a formal treaty process—requiring the Senate’s “advice and consent”—to advance any new effort to limit nuclear arms with Russia.
Pic - "44's New Clear Weapons Fact Sheet"