“Today, I state clearly and with conviction America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons” - President Obama, April 5th, 2010
For one moment lets make Obama's dream a reality. Lets imagine a world in which every nation has set aside its nuclear weapons or terminated its nuclear weapon programs. Now imagine yourself the leader of a relatively small nation with a great deal of potential. Imagine that with one weapon you could bring the strongest nations in the world to their knees, and there would be nothing they could do in retaliation. In a single act you could catapult your people to superpower status, and bring about a dominance that could potentially last for a hundred or more years. Would you do it?
Even if you wouldn't you have to admit that there are billions of people who eagerly would, and that's what makes Obama's quote so childish and so incredibly dangerous. Nuclear weapons can't be undone. They happened, and they're a reality that we have to live with. A good analogy would be the story of Pandora and her box. Once the box was opened and its contents were unleashed into this world they couldn't be put back in.
Regardless, Obama is pursuing his dream of a world without nuclear weapons, and it will likely come at the expense of America. His ends are downright insane as is, but the means to that end aren't much better. Charles Krauthammer explains it brilliantly (as always):
The Obama administration has just issued a new one that "includes significant changes to the U.S. nuclear posture," said Defense Secretary Bob Gates. First among these involves the U.S. response to being attacked with biological or chemical weapons.
Under the old doctrine, supported by every president of both parties for decades, any aggressor ran the risk of a cataclysmic U.S. nuclear response that would leave the attacking nation a cinder and a memory.
Under President Obama's new policy, however, if the state that has just attacked us with biological or chemical weapons is "in compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)," explained Gates, then "the U.S. pledges not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against it."
Imagine the scenario: Hundreds of thousands are lying dead in the streets of Boston after a massive anthrax or nerve gas attack. The president immediately calls in the lawyers to determine whether the attacking state is in compliance with the NPT. If it turns out that the attacker is up-to-date with its latest IAEA inspections, well, it gets immunity from nuclear retaliation. (Our response is then restricted to bullets, bombs and other conventional munitions.)
However, if the lawyers tell the president that the attacking state is NPT noncompliant, we are free to blow the bastards to nuclear kingdom come.
Look: Nuclear weapons are scary things. No one wants to see the world end in a nuclear holocaust, but no matter how hard we wish it so we can't wish them away. They're here. They're a reality. The best we can do is continue to use them as a means to prevent wars that would otherwise cost tens of millions of lives, if not more. Deterrence worked against the Soviets, and it works now. This is exactly the kinda ideological, naive view that liberals like to preach about.
My exit question: If we really want to see the threat of nuclear weapons reduced in the long term, wouldn't it make more sense to continue development of missile defense technology?