US revises nuclear strategy

mcrain

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 8, 2002
1,768
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This seems like a big deal, and the right thing to do...

Reducing the role of nuclear weapons:

Declaratory policy has been updated to bring it into alignment with 21st century needs.

The United States will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons states that are party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and in compliance with their nuclear nonproliferation obligations.

The United States would only consider the use of nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States or its allies and partners.

The United States will continue to strengthen conventional capabilities and reduce the role of nuclear weapons in deterring non-nuclear attacks, with the objective of making deterrence of nuclear attack on the United States or our allies and partners the sole purpose of U.S. nuclear weapons. [Defense Department fact sheet, 4/6/10]
If anyone wondered where the Republicans would fall on this...

Limbaugh: Obama "has done a great job of undermining our national defense." On his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh commented that Obama is sending "a message to the world that our conventional weapons is enough of a deterrent." He concluded that Obama "has done a great job of undermining our national defense."

Beck: Policy is "the most dangerous thing I think I've ever heard a president say." On his radio show, Beck said of the policy: " 'We're never going to use nuclear weapons.' That's the most -- that's the most dangerous thing I think I've ever heard a president say." Beck also characterized the new guidelines as "Barack Obama's nuclear social justice chart." He continued: "If you didn't have a chance, because you don't have enough money to make a lot of chemical or biological weapons -- you just had the opportunity to make a little -- well, then, we're not going to fight unfairly."

Gaffney: "President Obama is compromising our deterrent to chemical and biological attacks on this country." In a post titled "Disarmer-in-Chief" on National Review Online's The Corner blog, Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney wrote: "Most Americans will be horrified that President Obama is compromising our deterrent to chemical and biological attacks on this country."

Geller: Obama is "leaving us bare naked vulnerable like a virgin slipped a Rohypnol on her first date with a Chicagoland gangsta." On her Atlas Shrugs blog, Pamela Geller wrote:

--Obama says to our enemies, bring it on, we won't fight ya -- leaving us bare naked vulnerable like a virgin slipped a Rohypnol on her first date with a Chicagoland gangsta.

--Obama is removing nuclear defense at a time when Iran's devout mullahcracy is building their nuclear arsenal with the global objective of a universal caliphate.
What does the military say?

Adm. Mullen reportedly "wholly endorses" plan, which "includes effective deterrents." An April 6 Associated Press article reported: "Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he 'wholly endorses' the plan and believes it includes effective deterrents." American Forces Press Service stated: "The review has the full support of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mullen said. 'We believe it provides us and our field commanders the opportunity to better shape our nuclear weapons posture, policies and force structure to meet an ever-changing security environment,' Mullen said. 'This Nuclear Posture Review reaffirms our commitment to defend the vital interests of the United States and those of our partners and allies with a more balanced mix of nuclear and non-nuclear means than we have at our disposal today.'"
I stopped on FoxNews last night, and Hannity was interviewing Former Speaker Gingrich, and they both said on several occassions that this revision was the President saying there would NEVER be a nuclear response, and they even said Obama was saying that if 10,000 Americans were killed in a chemical or biologic attack, America would NOT respond.

I read the policy change, and we will use nukes against a country that is not a party to the NPT or who are not in compliance with that treaty (e.g. North Korea and Iran). We will be strengthening our conventional assets so we won't need to nuke someone.

Can anyone explain how Hannity and Gingrich take that to mean we won't retaliate if we are attacked?

I actually caught myself ready to throw something at my TV. The lies are incredible, and Hannity and Fox News are doing everything they can to perpetuate them and to scare the public. They should be ashamed.

Ohhh, but they have such good ratings... blah blah blah

(I'm sorry to include my opinions about the reactions in this original post. I would prefer a discussion about the actual policy shift, but I think in order to get there, it is necessary to address the lies and fearmongering that have already started.)
 

184550

Guest
May 8, 2008
1,978
2
While I certianly don't support this policy shift as I believe that the US should keep every option open and available in order to be able to best respond to any type of attack or threat, these out right lies help no one and only hinder the actual debate on this policy.
 

mcrain

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 8, 2002
1,768
11
Illinois
While I certianly don't support this policy shift as I believe that the US should keep every option open and available in order to be able to best respond to any type of attack or threat, these out right lies help no one and only hinder the actual debate on this policy.
Why don't you support the policy shift? If someone nukes us, they probably are not in compliance with the NPT, so we can nuke them back. If a country that is not a part of the NPT nukes us or attacks us in anyway, we can nuke them. If anyone attacks us, we will have a stronger conventional force to respond.

It seems like the only thing this does is tell the world that we won't initiate a nuclear response against a country that has agreed not to proliferate the spread of nuclear weapons.
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors 604
May 28, 2005
7,984
532
Pennsylvania
This was on the front page of Reddit this morning, and somehow it seems very relevant.

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=565866

I didn't quote it all, but you get the idea.

"You know when I was a little boy, there was an old negro farmer that lived down the road from us, named Monroe. He was ... (subtle laugh), I guess he was just a little more luckier than my daddy was. He bought himself a mule.

It was a big deal in round that town. Now my daddy hated that mule. Cause, his friends were always kidding him about, "They saw Monroe out plowing with his new mule and Monroe is going to rent another field now he had a mule."

One morning that mule showed up dead. They poisoned the water. After that, there wasn't any mention about that mule around my daddy. It just never came up. One time we were driving down that road and we passed Monroe's place and we saw it was empty. He just packed up and left, I guess, he must of went up north or something.

I looked over at my daddy's face, I knew he done it. He saw that I knew. He was ashamed. I guess he was ashamed. He looked at me and said, "If you ain't better than a ****** son, who are you better than?"" - Agent Anderson, Mississippi Burning
And welcome to the Tea-hadist mindset. With Barack Obama in charge...who are you going to be better than?

And don't think some of us recognize the symptom because we are a pack of condescending know-it-all asshats. We are...but that has ****-all to do with the observation.

It's just that we have seen this before. Up North...in our so-called "enlightened" neck of the woods.

Want to know the difference between North and South? Well, a man once told me that up North, it is OK to have a Black as your boss, but you will be damned if you will have one for a neighbor. Down South, it is OK to have a Black neighbor...but you will damned if you will have one as a boss.

So we went through all this Tea Party nonsense up North, about 20-30 years ago. And the reaction was just as vehement, inarticulate, and dumb as what is being spewed now. If you want to see hate and spittle, you should have seen how South Boston reacted to school integration.
 

IntheNet

macrumors regular
Oct 6, 2009
190
0
This seems like a big deal, and the right thing to do...
If one has nothing better to do perhaps; but I am sure domestic matters are a tad more urgent than regurgitating Cold War doctrine! Yes the Nuclear Posture Review is long overdue; that said, one doesn't have to give away the store of nuclear deterrence in order to show you revised the policy! Moreover, what is the United States obtaining from such nuclear capitulation? Like agreements/commitments from our NATO allies? Hardly. Like commitments from anyone? No. Moreover, he has abandoned the potential for the RRW program urged to replace aging and legacy weapons in the stockpile, a decision that alone threatens our security. There was an opportunity for president Obama to lead here with a strong showing on US nuclear deterrence; instead he's obviously getting his foreign policy Cliff Notes from Greenpeace! Giving up a third of what has maintained world peace for the longest period in history, as well as removing 'Islamic radicalism' from terror terms shows the weak pacifism of our rookie Harvard Yard professor; expect to see our competitors lining up soon in New York harbor since the surrender sign has now been issued! I think when even our enemies catch on it is time for some scrutiny of the Oval Office by the lame stream liberal media:

(Reuters) - Iran's president made a scathing and personal attack on U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday as an "inexperienced amateur"...
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6362IJ20100407
 

kavika411

macrumors 6502a
Jan 8, 2006
617
3
Alabama
I read the policy change, and we will use nukes against a country that is not a party to the NPT or who are not in compliance with that treaty (e.g. North Korea and Iran).
I'm confused, but perhaps it's because there isn't a link to the policy change language. The first hit I got was from a USA Today article, entitled "Obama's critics zero in on no-nukes policy," that says:

The United States will not use nuclear weapons to respond to a chemical or biological attack.
Gibbs says that for the US to use nuclear weapons, they would have to change these current revisions again in the future. I don't see an exception for use against a non-NPT country, but again, perhaps it's there. Or perhaps the distinction is one of a chemical vs. biological vs. nuclear response. Just don't know.

Anyway, here's the article:

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2010/04/obamas-critics-zero-in-on-no-nukes-policy/1

EDIT: I see now that the OP has the Defense Department Fact sheet, so I guess that's indeed the revision. Trying to figure out now how that jives with the USA Today article and Gibbs' comments.
 

IntheNet

macrumors regular
Oct 6, 2009
190
0
ITN, what's your opinion on Reykjavik?
The rookie Cicero response above aside, I assume you are asking about the Summit held there in 1986 between the One who ended the Cold War and Secretary-General Gorbachev, rather than directly inquiring about the the world's northernmost capital of a sovereign state! That said, I happen to think this locale, in 1986, prompted the global realization that, during the Cold War, both sides discovered the extent of the concessions each side was willing to make - a point Obie in the White House should study during his homework. Should he realize that diplomacy means both sides make concessions he would be leagues better off than he is now, making all the concessions himself!
 

mcrain

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 8, 2002
1,768
11
Illinois
The rookie Cicero response above aside, I assume you are asking about the Summit held there in 1986 between the One who ended the Cold War and Secretary-General Gorbachev, rather than directly inquiring about the the world's northernmost capital of a sovereign state! That said, I happen to think this locale, in 1986, prompted the global realization that, during the Cold War, both sides discovered the extent of the concessions each side was willing to make - a point Obie in the White House should study during his homework. Should he realize that diplomacy means both sides make concessions he would be leagues better off than he is now, making all the concessions himself!
Two things. First, Reagan only gets credit for "ending the cold war" if you consider the U.S.S.R.'s realization that spending on military that puts your country into bankruptcy is a bad thing. If so, then GWB should be given credit for "ending US post-cold war status."

Second, diplomacy led to the new START arms treaty. We got a new nuclear treaty. This is our internal policy on the usage of nuclear weapons, and it gives our military a lot more flexibility, which, in case you didn't know, is a good thing.

Adm. Mullen reportedly "wholly endorses" plan, which "includes effective deterrents." An April 6 Associated Press article reported: "Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he 'wholly endorses' the plan and believes it includes effective deterrents." American Forces Press Service stated: "The review has the full support of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mullen said. 'We believe it provides us and our field commanders the opportunity to better shape our nuclear weapons posture, policies and force structure to meet an ever-changing security environment,' Mullen said. 'This Nuclear Posture Review reaffirms our commitment to defend the vital interests of the United States and those of our partners and allies with a more balanced mix of nuclear and non-nuclear means than we have at our disposal today.'"
BTW, I may be a rookie Cicero, but what are you? Still unwilling to answer my questions? Did you study Latin at Yale? :rolleyes:
 

Zombie Acorn

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2009
1,301
9,062
Toronto, Ontario
This is just a load of talk in all reality, if **** starts to go down the tubes we are going to unleash some nukes before we get hit with one regardless of policy.
 

jb1280

macrumors 6502a
Jan 13, 2009
813
25
If one has nothing better to do perhaps; but I am sure domestic matters are a tad more urgent than regurgitating Cold War doctrine! Yes the Nuclear Posture Review is long overdue; that said, one doesn't have to give away the store of nuclear deterrence in order to show you revised the policy! Moreover, what is the United States obtaining from such nuclear capitulation? Like agreements/commitments from our NATO allies? Hardly. Like commitments from anyone? No. Moreover, he has abandoned the potential for the RRW program urged to replace aging and legacy weapons in the stockpile, a decision that alone threatens our security. There was an opportunity for president Obama to lead here with a strong showing on US nuclear deterrence; instead he's obviously getting his foreign policy Cliff Notes from Greenpeace! Giving up a third of what has maintained world peace for the longest period in history, as well as removing 'Islamic radicalism' from terror terms shows the weak pacifism of our rookie Harvard Yard professor; expect to see our competitors lining up soon in New York harbor since the surrender sign has now been issued! I think when even our enemies catch on it is time for some scrutiny of the Oval Office by the lame stream liberal media:

(Reuters) - Iran's president made a scathing and personal attack on U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday as an "inexperienced amateur"...
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6362IJ20100407
Have you actually read the report?

On RRW, please refer to page 39 of the NPR:

"In any decision to proceed to engineering development for warhead LEPs, the United States will give strong preference to options for refurbishment or reuse. Replacement of nuclear components would be undertaken only if critical Stockpile Management Program goals could not otherwise be met, and if specifically authorized by the President and approved by Congress."

Despite the fact that Obama may be personally against the idea of the RRW program, there is a contingency in the NPR that allows for the refurbishment, reuse, or replacement of components on a case by case basis.

On this rhetoric of "threatening the national security," even should the new START be ratified, there will still be a significant arsenal of nuclear weapons for a strong deterrent to be present.

The concessions being made in the NPR on when nuclear weapons would or would not be used have very little to do with bilateral relations concerning Iran or the DPRK. They are towards maintaining a level of seriousness about non-proliferation in the United States that is important towards fostering support from signatory states. This is important in coalition building vis-a-vis the DPRK and Iran, and it is important to keep countries in the NPT.

Once you get through all of the rhetorical bluster of the NPR and the new Treaty, the reality is that all of this is costing the United States very little in terms of its own security in the world. Since it is costing the United States very little, any benefit reaped from cooperation by signatory states of the NPT who might otherwise not totally agree with US policy is getting something for free.

Despite the fact that MAD maintained stability and peace during the Cold War, as early as Eisenhower, it was realized that they were unusable. Total war in a nuclear age was impossible. One might even make a strong argument that even without nuclear weapons, the Soviet Union and United States were content on fighting proxy wars rather than total war between the two states. This of course is counterfactual and I don't professionally ascribe to it.
 

Gelfin

macrumors 68020
Sep 18, 2001
2,166
4
Denver, CO
This is just a load of talk in all reality, if **** starts to go down the tubes we are going to unleash some nukes before we get hit with one regardless of policy.
And furthermore, we all pretty much knew already that the U.S. wasn't going to just haul off and nuke somebody (else), except in the wet dreams of certain extremists anyway, so what is wrong with simply stating it? It's diplomacy. The practical situation has changed not one bit: Nuclear weapons are a terrifying last resort, and our approach to their hypothetical use, while not entirely unthinkable, will be carefully measured.
 

jb1280

macrumors 6502a
Jan 13, 2009
813
25
The rookie Cicero response above aside, I assume you are asking about the Summit held there in 1986 between the One who ended the Cold War and Secretary-General Gorbachev, rather than directly inquiring about the the world's northernmost capital of a sovereign state! That said, I happen to think this locale, in 1986, prompted the global realization that, during the Cold War, both sides discovered the extent of the concessions each side was willing to make - a point Obie in the White House should study during his homework. Should he realize that diplomacy means both sides make concessions he would be leagues better off than he is now, making all the concessions himself!
Again, he's not making any real concessions here. It's also important to remember he's getting START done this week and has a meeting with the Chinese next week where nuclear issues will be discussed. If the NPR gives the President even an ounce more credibility to talk with the Russians and the Chinese the release of the document is worth it. Again, this is costing the United States very little.

On the nuclear issue, there is actually very little light between the position held by Reagan and the position held by Obama. I would even argue that Reagan was a more fervent nuclear abolitionist than Obama. Both presidents, however, pragmatically realized that the United States could not unilaterally do away with their own arsenals while taking into consideration the domestic and international ramifications of such a decision.
 

Macaddicttt

macrumors 6502a
Apr 22, 2004
992
2
San Diego, CA
The rookie Cicero response above aside, I assume you are asking about the Summit held there in 1986 between the One who ended the Cold War and Secretary-General Gorbachev, rather than directly inquiring about the the world's northernmost capital of a sovereign state! That said, I happen to think this locale, in 1986, prompted the global realization that, during the Cold War, both sides discovered the extent of the concessions each side was willing to make - a point Obie in the White House should study during his homework. Should he realize that diplomacy means both sides make concessions he would be leagues better off than he is now, making all the concessions himself!
Comedic gold. Come on guys you know he's a troll by now. Listen to how hard he's trying to sound smart.

The best part is that Gorbachev gets called by his full title, while Obama gets not his title, not his full name, but a nickname. The icing on the cake is that Reagan is referred to as "the One."

This guy is giving more respect to an "evil communist" than the President of the United States, despite all his patriotic rhetoric. He can't possibly be serious. You can all stop responding to his posts now.
 

IntheNet

macrumors regular
Oct 6, 2009
190
0
Again, he's not making any real concessions here. It's also important to remember he's getting START done this week and has a meeting with the Chinese next week where nuclear issues will be discussed. If the NPR gives the President even an ounce more credibility to talk with the Russians and the Chinese the release of the document is worth it. Again, this is costing the United States very little.
jb: You don't see the 1/3 stockpile abandonment without like agreement from other parties as a concession? How nice!

On the nuclear issue, there is actually very little light between the position held by Reagan and the position held by Obama. I would even argue that Reagan was a more fervent nuclear abolitionist than Obama. Both presidents, however, pragmatically realized that the United States could not unilaterally do away with their own arsenals while taking into consideration the domestic and international ramifications of such a decision.
Not sure I share that sentiment; former UN Ambassador John Bolton was on Hannity last evening warning of dire consequences here and miles of distance between Obie's novice bargaining here and Reagan. I think the world sees Obie as giving away the store, especially after his earlier capitulation on the missile defense shield for Europe.
 

Sydde

macrumors 68020
Aug 17, 2009
2,105
2,163
IOKWARDI
Comedic gold... Obama gets not his title, not his full name, but a nickname. The icing on the cake is that Reagan is referred to as "the One."
Doubly ironic when you consider that many right-wingers were sneeringly referring to Obama as "the One".
 

yayitsezekiel

macrumors 6502a
Aug 1, 2008
619
0
Irvine, CA
well either way, thanks to mutual assured destruction, anyone who tries to nuke us will be obliterated as well. Hopefully it won't come to that, but hey, they said that by 2000 we'd all be flying around in jet cars. look what happened lol ;)
 

Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,300
10,372
UK
well either way, thanks to mutual assured destruction, anyone who tries to nuke us will be obliterated as well.
Well I think if a 'bad country' did try and nuke someone the only question is whose nuke would land first in retaliation, or if in reality no-one would retaliate at all with nuclear weapons.