Obama Puts Arms Control at Core of New Strategy

Posted: July 15, 2009 in Arms Control, Nuclear Weapons, Strategy

I’m not sure why the WSJ ran this article. It will not provide any profound insights and contains a number of non sequiturs. The title is eye-catching (well, to some), but the lead paragraph immediately launches into nuclear deterrence, which we know from our studies is not the same as arms control. The article’s purpose is further opaqueified when it then moves into the human rights arena.

Author Peter Spiegel points out the administration’s attempt to link human-rights and U.S. democratization efforts, using President Ronald Reagan as a model, since he “engaged with Soviet leaders on arms control even as he condemned their human-rights record.” Left unsaid was that President Reagan was able to engage from a position of strength, having plussed-up the nation’s nuclear capabilities with the Pershing II , Ground Launched Cruise Missile and Peacekeeper ICBM. systems.

The take-away is the assessment by Brent Scowcroft, who thinks the world is at a tipping point regarding nuclear proliferation. If Iran goes nuclear (anyone think they won’t?), will Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey follow? North Korea’s already gone nuclear and Japan has responded by buying more missile defense. Will they reach a point when they go nuclear, too?
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