Opinion

President’s plan to reduce nuclear weapons will undermine security

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Print this page by Zbigniew Mazurak

On June 19th in Berlin, President Obama announced his proposal to further cut America’s nuclear deterrent — our only defense against the most catastrophic threats — by a third and invited Russia to follow suit. He said he’s doing this to pursue “a world without nuclear weapons, no matter how distant that goal might seem.”
But that goal is not merely “distant”; it’s utterly unrealistic and impossible. The world is going in the exactly opposite direction, and there’s little chance it will denuclearize. Russia, China, North Korea, India, Israel and Pakistan are all growing and modernizing their arsenals, and Iran is racing to nuclear weapon status. It’s time for Western politicians to accept the fact that there will never be a world without nuclear arms — unless even more powerful weapons are invented.
Moreover, with just 1,000 deployed warheads, the U.S. won’t be able to provide effective deterrence. China, contrary to oft-made claims, has at least 1,600, and possibly up to 3,000 nuclear warheads, according to former Russian strategic missile commander Gen. Viktor Yesin and former Department of Defense nuclear strategist Dr. Philip Karber, respectively. Their estimates are based on many factors, including Russian intelligence data, China’s fissile material stockpiles and delivery system inventories, and its vast 3,000-mile-long network of tunnels for missiles. You don’t build such a vast network for only 250 or 300 warheads.
As for Russia, it has rejected Obama’s request. Moscow has up to 2,800 strategic and at least 3,500 tactical nuclear warheads — and the means to deliver all of them. Its triad has at least 375 intercontinental ballistic missiles or ICBMs (mostly equipped with a multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle, MIRVed, warheads); 251 bombers and 14 nuclear submarines (each capable of carrying 16 submarine-launched ballistic missiles; SLBMs, with four to 12 warheads each). Its tactical delivery systems include short-range ballistic missiles, surface warships, submarines, cruise missiles, tactical strike aircraft and artillery pieces. Russia is steadily replacing all old systems with new ones and is now developing a stealth bomber and several new ICBM types.
On top of that, the U.S. must deter North Korea and Pakistan.
President Obama’s nuclear cuts will severely undermine national security by greatly weakening America’s deterrent at a time when nobody else is disarming, and America’s adversaries are all growing and modernizing their arsenals. This is absolutely unacceptable.

Zbigniew Mazurak is defense correspondent for ConservativeDailyNews.com. He lives in Norfolk.


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