Disarming America

On the presidential campaign trail, Barack Obama was often critical of the Bush doctrine of preemptive war. But apparently preemptive disarmament is just fine in the president’s dossier. How else to describe the administration’s infinitely naïve decision yesterday to, in effect, fold up the American nuclear umbrella?

Henceforth, on the administration’s initiative, the United States must desist from using nuclear weapons against officially non-nuclear countries – even if they use such weapons first against the United States – while halting the development of new nuclear weapons. The reasoning seems to be that even if this ends up emboldening America’s enemies and endangering global security, we can all sleep better at night knowing that we’ve “done the right thing.”

To soft-peddle the perils of this monumental concession, the administration has made exemptions for rogue states like North Korea and Iran, for whom “all options” will still be available. But even with this modest nod to the reality of a dangerous world it’s hard to see how surrendering the nuclear option is anything but a setback for U.S. security

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