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Common Defense &Politics Richard Falknor on 07 Apr 2010 02:58 pm

Flash Points 6: RNC’s Steele Again| Eliminating Nukes?

Regrettably but necessarily in view of the wide public attention to Michael Steele’s most recent mishap, we have to say something about the current discontents with the Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman – – having already written so much about Mr. Steele’s policy missteps.  It is ironic that the “sex club scandal,” not serious policy blunders here and here and here and here now appear to be bringing the RNC chairman down.  But to paraphrase Machiavelli, it is the little but easily grasped errors that are often the most perilous politically.

Last year Maryland Republican leaders of many stripes appeared to celebrate their native son Steele’s selection as Republican National Committee chairman. Unfortunately the Old Line State‘s former lieutenant governor’s faulty judgment as well as policy deafness have now come back to haunt them: at the kick-off today of former governor Bob Ehrlich’s campaign, as well as the Party itself during an election year. Let’s hope the fresh energy that the Tea Partiers can bring to the Maryland GOP will help head off future unwise selections.

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We began this post with “regrettably” because conservatives everywhere in the U.S. now need to focus on the grave threats the Obama Administration poses not just in domestic matters – – but also to our national safety.

As chief national-security-policy sentinel Frank Gaffney explained yesterday in his “Disarmer-in-Chief” on National Review on Line (NRO) – –

“I believe that the most alarming aspect of the Obama denuclearization program, however, is its explicit renunciation of new U.S. nuclear weapons — an outcome that required the president to overrule his own defense secretary. Even if there were no new START treaty, no further movement on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and no new wooly-headed declaratory policies, the mere fact that the United States will fail to reverse the steady obsolescence of its deterrent — and the atrophying of the skilled workforce needed to sustain it — will ineluctably achieve what is transparently President Obama’s ultimate goal: a world without American nuclear weapons. (Underscoring Forum’s.)

Former Reagan defense aide Gaffney earlier revealed in his “False START” – –

“[T]he newly unveiled START accord fails to take into account or otherwise limit several thousand Russian ‘tactical’ nuclear weapons.  The Kremlin has focused for twenty years on such low-yield devices; some with the explosive power of the Hiroshima weapon and fitted on submarine-launched cruise missiles are deployed off our coasts today.  While the administration says such armaments could be the subject of a future, bilateral treaty that makes still deeper reductions in U.S. and Russian nuclear stocks, don’t count on it.  In any event, they will constitute a real, asymmetric advantage for Russia for many years to come. This is a particularly worrisome prospect to American allies in Europe who have long relied on America’s ‘extended deterrence’ to counteract such threatening Kremlin capabilities.

“Then, there is the matter of missile defense.  The Obama administration tried to finesse Russian insistence on including in the new accord language that would capture American defenses against missile attack by confining to the preamble an acknowledgement of a “relationship” between such systems and offensive forces.  The United States claims that, by its nature, such preambular language is not binding.  Yet, a Kremlin spokesman has already served notice that Moscow will feel free to abrogate the START follow-on treaty if it believes that U.S. missile defenses in Europe are a threat to its deterrent.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

John Hinderaker at Power Line points to another danger in his “A Dumb Policy on Nuclear Weapons: Does It Matter? ” – –

“Does anyone doubt that the administration would use nukes in a heartbeat if it considered such measures necessary? I don’t. The problem is that when the time comes to actually use nuclear weapons, it is too late. The danger here is not that the Obama administration has really gone pacifist. On the contrary, the significance of today’s announcement appears to be entirely symbolic–just one more chance to preen. The problem is that our enemies understand symbolism and maybe take it too seriously. To them, today’s announcement is another sign that our government has gone soft, and one more inducement to undertake aggressive action against the United States.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

Illustrating Hinderaker’s concern, Chuck Downs, in a 2000 Heritage lecture, explained how past U.S. foreign-policy misstatements contributed to disasters – –

“In a speech before Washington’s National Press Club on January 12, 1950, Secretary of State Dean Acheson described a ‘defensive perimeter of the Pacific’ encompassing countries like Japan and the Philippines which the United States would be compelled to defend. Korea, he said, was an area of ‘lesser’ interest, susceptible to ‘subversion and penetration’ that ‘cannot be stopped by military means.’By 1950, the government of Syngman Rhee appeared to the North to be weak and fraught with internal disunity. Hearing Acheson’s public statements and seeing that the United States had not intervened when mainland China fell to the Communists, Communist leaders concluded that the United States would not support Syngman Rhee with troops. These indications of U.S. indifference to Korea are likely to have given weight to Kim Il Sung’s arguments in Moscow and Beijing. Finally, the Soviet Union and China gave in to Kim Il Sung’s persistent pleas to permit him to seize South Korea.His remarks earned intense public scrutiny. At the same time, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) concluded that the United States had ‘little strategic interest’ in its bases in Korea. The JCS conclusion was classified, but Soviet spy Kim Philby may have relayed it to Moscow.”

Herman Kahn used this sequence of events in his seminars as an example of the “inscrutable Occidental.”

But blogger Hinderaker assumes, of course, that, in his ultimate scenario, we would still have reliable nuclear weapons and delivery systems and well-trained operators.

Somehow in spite of all the other mischief from Team Obama – – and distractions from a few of our inept Republican friends, we have to keep watch on this administration’s undermining of our military capability, and guard our alliances – – yes, our ’special relationships’ with our long-time friends, as well as demanding vigilance on our southern border.  While first disabling, then repealing Obamacare will be a hard climb, the rebuilding of our alliances and upgrading our defenses could be an even harder one – – if we do not pay attention now and push back.

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