Ziggy: Is Arms Control Working in North Korea?
The recent North Korean nuclear test – the third in just 7 years – which North Korea threatens to follow up with a test of its new road-mobile KN-08 ICBM – is yet more proof of the discreditation and utter failure ofarms control, including but not exclusively the arms control policies which the Obama Administration and leftist pro-arms-control, pro-disarmament groups (such as the Arms Control Association, the Council for a Livable World, the Ploughshares Fund and Chuck Hagel’s Global Zero) have been advocating for many years.
It’s not a mere “failure”; it’s a total, abject, abysmal failure and discreditation of these leftist groups and this leftist administration and the policies and ideology they’ve advocated.
For many years, we’ve been told that America’s nuclear weapons pose a huge danger to America itself and the world; that getting rid of them (and cutting their inventory as a first step) will make America and the world safer; that if the US cuts and eventually eliminates its nuclear arsenal – even unilaterally – other nuclear powers will follow, while the “international community” will put sufficient pressure on rogue states who don’t yet have nuclear arms to forego them; that eliminating America’s nuclear arsenal will stop nuclear proliferation; that American nuclear weapons are liabilities these days, not assets; and that they’re relics of the Cold Warno longer needed or relevant in the 21st century environment.
All of these claims – repeated incessantly by pro-arms-control groups and by leftist politicians like Barack Obama over the last several decades – are blatant lies, and will remain such no matter how many times they’re repeated. Even if Barack Obama makes such false claims during his SOTU speech tonight, they will remain blatant lies.
As real-world events, including yesterday’s nuclear test by North Korea, have proven beyond any doubt.
America’s nuclear weapons do not pose any danger to anyone, except those who’d like to make war on the US or its allies. (But if you DO plan to make war on the US or its allies, then yes, America’s nuclear arsenal is a huge threat to you.) In fact, it is this arsenal that has kept America and its allies safe for the last 67 years (and counting), and which continues to keep all of us safe to this day. It is America’s and her allies’ life insurance – and the best one you could ever get.
Getting rid of America’s arsenal will not the make the world any safer; in fact, the contrary will happen. It will only deprive the US and its allies of their most powerful deterrence instrument, and the only one which can protect them against the most lethal threats – that of a massive nuclear or conventional attack by a hostile power, and that of a limited nuclear attack by a rogue state. It – like all other forms of arms reduction and disarmament will only weaken the West’s and America’s defenses (and severely so), thus only encouraging potential aggressors (such as Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran) to attack the US and/or its allies. Don’t delude yourself for a moment that they wouldn’t do that if they could.
If the US cuts its nuclear arsenal – unilaterally or bilaterally with Russia – other nuclear powers will not reciprocate and will not be impressed by America’s meaningless gestures and “moral leadership” or “leadership by example”. They don’t give a damn about that; they only care about THEIR military power and what it will take to outmatch the US militarily or otherwise harm the US. China, North Korea, Iran, and Pakistan are all hostile to the US and will not follow America’s “leadership by example”; they will only capitalize on America’s nuclear disarmament by flexing their own nuclear muscles further.
Nor will the “international community” put any meaningful pressure on rogue states like North Korea and Iran or care about America’s “credibility” on nuclear disarmament. The international community has utterly failed in the last 20+ years to put any meaningful pressure on Pyongyang and Tehran, and both of these regimes continue to be protected by Russia and China, both of whom are also unrelentingly hostile to the US.
This is and has been true despite the fact that over the last 21 years, the US has dramatically cut its nuclear arsenal – by over 75%, from over 20,000 warheads in 1991 to just 5,000 today, and despite the US signing, ratifying, and complying with numerous arms control treaties since then: START-1, START-2, SORT, and New START – none of which Russia ever complied with, by the way.
In 1992, as a part of the “Agreed Framework”, President George H. W. Bush agreed to withdraw tactical US nuclear weapons from South Korea in exchange for the North’s worthless promise of not pursuing nuclear weapons. The US did its end of the bargain, North Korea has not. Yet, the US has, since then, continued its unilateral disarmament.
Over 21 years of cutting the US nuclear arsenal have utterly failed to even slow down nuclear proliferation or otherwise make the world and America safer. In fact, the exact opposite has happened: nuclear proliferation has accelerated (two new countries, Pakistan and North Korea, have joined the nuclear club in the last 15 years alone), America’s deterrent has been dramatically weakened, and the US (as well as the world at large) is much less secure than it was when it had a larger arsenal.
Meanwhile, China and India have significantly increased their nuclear arsenals (especially China, which now has up to 3,000 nuclear warheads and the means to deliver at least half of them, as well as a vast, 3,000-mile long network of tunnels and bunkers designed to hide its nuclear-armed missiles). Meanwhile, under Vladimir Putin, Russia has been busy steadily rebuilding and modernizing its nuclear arsenal, strategic and tactical. It now has 434 ICBMs (capable of delivering 1,684 warheads to the CONUS), over 250 strategic bombers (Tu-95, Tu-160, Tu-22M) capable of carrying 7 warheads each, and 12-13 SSBNs with 16-20 SLBMs each – and each of their SLBMs, in turn, can carry 10-12 warheads.
This utterly refutes the lie (propagated by groups such as ACA) that “the world is safer for it”, it being the dramatic cut of the US nuclear arsenal over the last 21 years.
This also utterly refutes the Left’s lies that American nuclear weapons are liabilities these days, not assets; and that they’re relics of the Cold War no longer needed or relevant in the 21st century environment. No, they’re not.
As Russia’s, China’s, and North Korea’s nuclear buildup prove, nuclear weapons are actually more needed now than during the Cold War, because the US now has to deter THREE (soon to be four) nuclear-armed adversaries, two of whom (Russia and China) have large, dispersed, and very survivable nuclear arsenals. The US also has to provide a nuclear umbrella not only to itself, but also to over 30 allies who depend on it for their security and indeed, their survival.
Without an adequate American nuclear umbrella – a small one will not suffice – they will have no choice but to develop their own nuclear arms, as they will no longer be able to count on the US nuclear umbrella. This will make the proliferation problem much worse.
Indeed, America’s nuclear deterrent has done more to prevent or at least slow down nuclear proliferation than any arms control agreement in history.
Also, as America’s conventional military power atrophies steadily due to numerous, deep budgetary and programmatic cuts (including sequestration), the nuclear deterrent becomes even more important as a deterrent against a large-scale conventional aggression by China, North Korea, and Russia – against the US or any of its allies.
Thus, contrary to Obama’s and arms controllers’ lies, nuclear weapons are highly relevant in today’ security environment, and will be for the foreseeable future.
In these circumstances, as Russia and China retain large, survivable nuclear arsenals (and continue to grow and modernize them), and as North Korea and Pakistan grow theirs and Iran races towards nuclear arms, it would be utterly suicidal to cut, let alone scrap, America’s nuclear deterrent – whether uni- or bilaterally.
We must not allow that to happen under any circumstances.
Folks, please call your Congressman and both of your Senators and tell them that you will never vote for them again if they don’t effectively stop Obama’s unilateral disarmament of America by passing adequate funding for the nuclear deterrent and a firm legal prohibition on any further cuts in the deterrent.
The opinions expressed by Ziggy’s Defense Blog do not necessarily reflect those of ReaganGirl.com.