Stuck In The Middle With A Nuclear You

The Washington Post reports; “the nuclear policy that President Obama will unveil today is a middle-of-the-road approach.”  Excuse me! The last time I checked, the best of all possible options for getting run over by a large truck is to plant yourself firmly in the middle of the damn road. 

While the policy will reportedly foreswear the use of nuclear weapons on non nuclear powers and describes the purpose of these weapons as a deterrent if you swear you won’t use them is it a deterrent?

The policy will, according to reports, eliminate a nuclear retaliation option in the event of a biological or chemical attack.  The question again occurs, what deterrent?  Will we use our own bugs to retaliate?  Will we retaliate at all?  Will a conventional response be enough?  Recent history with Saddam tends to indicate that, when prepared for it, the ability to hold out against conventional responses is significant.   

Apparently, we will not modernize our arsenal; this, despite Secretary Clinton running around the Middle East promising a U.S. Nuclear umbrella in exchange for, for, for, hell I’m not sure what the benefit to that is.

It is true that cold war threats have changed and evolved.  It is true that new strategic prerogatives are in place.  It is true that asymmetric threats dominate.

It is, however, also true that the major sources of asymmetric threats enjoy state sponsorship, countries such as Syria, Libya, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and others. It is also true that Russia and China have not adopted any lessening of their nuclear stance.

Russia and China have categorically refused to rein in Iran and North Korea.  Pakistan remains a disturbingly volatile nuclear power.  India’s policy of retaliation against the potential of a Pakistani action  is clear. Experts of all stripes opine that an Iranian nuclear weapon will set off a nuclear arms race in the region.  It remains questionable if the A.Q. Khan network has been fully dissembled.  Experts were shocked at the scope of nuclear technology that existed in Libya when Libya decided to negotiate away their WMD programs.  Syria was well along the way to completing a nuclear facility when the Israelis put a stop to it.  A North Korean presence has been reported in both Syria and Iran. 

Is this a good time to head for the middle of the road?  Even if you are heading for the middle of the road is it a good idea to announce it?         

Russia announced a much more aggressive nuclear use policy in October of 2009 (Stratfor).  Russia reserved the right to generate preemptive strikes if it determines that its security is in jeopardy.   Russian Security Council chief Nikolia Patrushev announced; “Conditions for the use of nuclear weapons to repel an aggression not only in a large scale conflict but also in a regional or even a local war have been revised.”

There is no question that Russia, China and their surrogates have no intention of joining President Obama in the middle of this potentially dangerous road.