National Security

President Obama’s Radical Agenda

Nuclear warhead / AP

President Obama is not satisfied with the progress of U.S. nuclear disarmament, the New York Times reports:

Mr. Obama, administration officials say, is unlikely to discuss specific numbers in the address, but White House officials are looking at a cut that would take the arsenal of deployed weapons to just above 1,000. Currently there are about 1,700, and the new strategic arms reduction treaty with Russia that passed the Senate at the end of 2009 calls for a limit of roughly 1,550 by 2018.

Obama's planned cuts, the Times also reports, are not as steep as those championed by Gen. James E. Cartwright, who wants to reduce America's deployed nuclear force to 900 weapons, and "whom Mr. Obama continues to turn to on strategic issues." Cartwright's proposal, writes David E. Sanger, is "more radical" than Obama's. Which is still "pretty radical," says an "official who was involved in the deliberations."  (My emphasis.) A difference of 100 nukes seems to me to be rather a quantitative than a qualitative one. After all: What are 100 warheads between friends?

Gen. Cartwright made his proposals in a 2012 report for Global Zero co-signed by President Obama's nominee for Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel, who misrepresented the report and his stance on nuclear disarmament during his recent confirmation hearings. Bill Gertz reported on these misstatements for us here. Sanger mentions neither Global Zero nor Hagel in today's piece. But nobody's perfect. It's enough to see an official describing Obama's policies in language you'd expect to read on World Net Daily.