In the nuclear game, the one who plays by the rules is the one who loses.


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February 23, 2010

When a crucial cabinet office, which is close to the President and more influential than any other arm of the executive branch, is so misguided, delusional, or contemptible, as to espouse a plan to place American interests at the mercy of nuclear states and the dishonest and manipulative leaders who run them, it is difficult to discern who the real enemies are.

In the nuclear game, the one who plays by the rules is the one who loses.

In the nuclear game, the one who plays by the rules is the one who loses.

On February 18, 2012, the acting Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, Rose Gottemoeller, delivered a speech on her plan for making the outbreak of nuclear attack against the United States a 100% certainty.

Delivering the talk to students and faculty at Yale University, Gottemoeller began by citing McMurdo Station, an outpost in Antarctica that is used by international climate scientists, geologists, as well as experts in other disciplines, on a rotating and cooperative basis, as the model of how the world will get to “zero.”  “Zero” is the theoretical concept of a world completely void of nuclear weapons.  Gottemoeller spilled the beans in this recent speech, making it clear that “nuclear zero,” not military superiority, is the end game of the Obama Administration.  The world looked on when the New START treaty was signed by Obama 3 years ago, and assumed that this was another step in a strategic partnership between Russia and the United States, to reduce and manage their nuclear stockpiles and bring defensive capabilities into equilibrium, while maintaining a measure of deterrence.   START was, instead, a first step in a radical plan that will leave the United States completely helpless in a world where nuclear non-proliferation is a joke to established nuclear regimes like North Korea and emerging menaces such as Iran.

Gottemoller asserted:

New START was just the beginning. Going forward, we know that we are going to have to think bigger and bolder. With this is mind, I have been travelling to different universities to talk through some new ideas. Last October, I was at Stanford to talk about the use of social media and open source technologies in arms control and nonproliferation verification. In January, I spoke at the University of Washington on how new media is changing the nature of diplomacy. This will be the third stop on my “big think” tour and I would like to talk to you today about how we can best use all the tools at our disposal to get to “zero.” I’d like to start out by making it clear that this is not a policy speech, this is an ideas speech.

Apparently the Obama Administration is going to recruit users of social media, and an army of tweeters and leftist bloggers, to drive the course of nuclear policy.  Gottemoeller is calling out legions of university students to participate in the “big think” of nuclear zero, precisely to influence policy.  Her reference to “open source technologies in arms control and non-proliferation verification,” is nothing less than a call to the members of her audiences to become self-styled wiki-leakers, in the tradition of Julian Assange, who will use the constant threat of having sensitive information exposed on the Internet, as a tool to push their radical “nuclear zero” agenda.

Gottemoeller intimated that it is a key role of the State Department to effect arms control and non-proliferation, and that her department is using the power of its three bureaus, Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Political-military Affairs, to “achieve the goal of zero.”  It is probably news to many both in and outside of the Obama Administration that the primary purpose of the Arms Control and International Security arm of the State Department is to accomplish the fanciful, and impossible, goal of  giving us a nuke-free world.

The Under Secretary cited the fact that Russia and the United states control some 90% of the worlds existing nukes.  In this she characterized the United States and Russia as equivalent nuclear threats; both equally dangerous, and both equally trustworthy.  She did not mention that Russia has a greater portion of nuclear weapons on hand and that they are building their nuclear capabilities–possibly in conjunction with Iran–while the United States, under the Obama Administration, is negating the maintenance of existing stockpiles, and planning on eliminating another 80% of its current nuclear arsenal.

In the speech Gottemoeller actually shared her plan for arriving at the mythical destination of “nuclear zero.”  She offered up the simplistic notion that treaties, and “the formal, legally-binding negotiation process,” are sufficient to confront the nuclear problem in a world where rogue regimes run by despots rattle their nuclear sabers on a regular basis, backed up with nuclear arsenals that are not governed by the New Start.

She continued:

The day the START Treaty went out of force in December 2009, all of our inspectors had to be out of Russia by midnight. Otherwise, they would no longer have the privileges and immunities the Treaty provides, and would be subject to Russian laws – and the same would have happened to Russian inspectors in the U.S. That is why it was so important to get the new treaty in force – to get boots back on the ground. A legally binding treaty was the best way we could accomplish that. In December 2010, the Senate gave its advice and consent to ratification of the New START Treaty, and it entered into force in February 2011.

In the United States, we also have international agreements that do not require Senate advice and consent; they are called “executive agreements.” They too are legally binding. While these types of agreements are not used for reductions, they could be useful in securing agreements on confidence-building, verification or other initiatives that may be as important as future treaties.

“Reciprocal Actions,” are cited as another way that the world can achieve “nuclear zero.”  “Parallel reciprocal reductions,” in which the United States decreases its nuclear stockpiles as Russia, or other treaty-bound nations, reduce theirs as the the same rate, eliminating the same, or similar, nuclear capabilities, is portrayed by Gottemoeller as a given.  She id, however, wisely note that such a plan is difficult to verify.  In real practice, and historical experience, it is also very likely that Russia, and any other nuclear state, friendly or not, would cheat, demonstrating on paper that they’re doing one thing, while in reality doing another.  In other words, while the United States abides the terms of a “reciprocal action” agreement and unilaterally disarms itself, our potential enemies continue to out maneuver, and out gun us.

The ever optimistic Rose Gottemoeller also named “Mutual Confidence Building Measures,” and “Lab to Lab Cooperation,” and “The global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism,” as stepping stones in her dreamy path to a world sans nukes.  Like the other methods she mentioned, these also require an absolute measure of good faith on the part of all players on the nuclear stage.  As she stated in her reference to the “Proliferation Security Initiative,” which was launched to control the international trafficking of WMD, the operations to interdict WMD are voluntary.  All of these efforts perch on the fragile point of voluntary cooperation by often hostile nations in cutting back their strategic nuclear capabilities.  One is tempted to ask Rose Goettemoeller whether or not she realizes that the United States is the only nation that can be trusted to voluntarily decrease its nuclear defenses?

She concluded:

As you have heard, there is no single way to get to zero. Traditional arms control measures still have their role, and I am glad to see the New START Treaty bolster U.S. national security every day. But to get to zero, we will have to work on multiple fronts to build mutual confidence and predictability and a level of cooperation that is nowhere near the situation we have today. Many of the tools I have discussed today could play an important role in that very long term process.

At the State Department, the office next to mine belonged to General Leslie Groves, the man in charge of the Manhattan Project. I often feel the pull of history in that place. It seems to me that if the minds behind the Manhattan Project were clever enough to invent the nuclear bomb, then surely we are clever enough to get rid of it.

Gottemoeller’s address reveals a philosophy which I believe is shared and applauded by the Obama Administration.  They see America as a superpower who needs to be cut down to size, to become strategically equal with all other industrialized nations, from Russia to China.  Obama and the Progressives who have a great deal of influence in the government, do not regard the United States as morally superior to other countries.  They ignore or discredit her history, the fact that the United States Military has always been a defender, and not a conquerer.  They are blind to the fact that treaties are only as good as those who actually do what they agree to do, and that the United States is the rare nation who keeps its promises, even to its own detriment.

Americans need to take notice of this philosophy pervading our own State Department.  When a crucial cabinet office, which is close to the President and more influential than any other arm of the executive branch, is so misguided, delusional, or contemptible, as to espouse a plan to place American interests at the mercy of nuclear states and the dishonest and manipulative leaders who run them, it is difficult to discern who the real enemies are.  The fantasy of a nuclear zero world is a fantastical and dangerous idea.  It is particularly dangerous to the United States, who, unlike any other nuclear power in the world, has people in high office who are willing to impose that ideal only upon us, while other nations of the world ramp up the effort to become nuclear number one.

 By Marjorie Haun 2/23/12

  1. Great post, Marge! My sentiments exactly. I’d add only a few points.

    Firstly, the Obama Admin’s entire nuclear disarmament policy is based on four irredeemably flawed assumptions:

    1) That nuclear weapons are bad per se and the world must be “freed” from them. In fact, these weapons are good if they are in the right hands. They have made war LESS LIKELY by forcing nuclear-armed powers to, at least, tolerate each other (vide the Cuban Missile Crisis). They also constitute an irreplaceable deterrent that no other type of weapons can replace.

    2) That a world without nuclear weapons is achievable. But doing so would require convincing China, North Korea, and Pakistan to give up their nukes, and to convince Iran to stop developing them. That is not, and will never be, possible.

    3) That unilateral nuclear disarmament is acceptable and safe. But it is not. It only emboldens aggressors and invites a nuclear first strike.

    4) That bilateral or multilateral nuclear arms reduction is acceptable and safe. But it is not. Any further cuts to the US nuclear arsenal, whose size is, according to US military officials and outside experts such as former SECDEF James Schlesinger, at its MINIMUM NEEDED SIZE, would make it impossible for America to deter its enemies, worry America’s friends, prompt them to develop nuclear weapons, encourage China to reach nuclear parity with the US (if it hasn’t achieved that already), and, if cuts go to 300-400 nuclear warheads, encourage many countries to develop nuclear weapons, because now any idiot will need to build only 300 nuclear warheads to achieve nuclear parity with the US.

    BTW, the New START treaty was not signed 3 years ago. It was signed less than 2 years ago, on April 8th, 2010, in Prague, and was ratified in the lame-duck session of the infamous 111th Congress on December 22nd, 2010.

    The DOS has always been infected with the pacifist virus, but this disease has particularly afflicted it since Obama became President. Voting Obama out of office and sacking all those pacifist DOS officials, including Clinton and Goettemoeller, will not be enough. The ideology of pacifism, the goal of nuclear disarmament, and all pacifist policies will have to be officially repudiated and abolished along with the ACDA, and the US needs to withdraw from the UN Conference on Disarmament. Nothing short of that will suffice.

    The US nuclear arsenal should be increased, not cut.

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