May 1, 2010  

Nuclear ambiguity

To the Obama administration for the ambiguous declaratory policy in its Nuclear Posture Review. If there’s one thing a nuclear-armed superpower should be clear on, it’s the circumstances in which it may use those weapons. An unambiguous declaratory statement is critical to the core strategic mission of deterrence that our nuclear forces perform. The new policy, however, is so littered with exceptions and caveats that neither our enemies nor our allies can be clear on the circumstances that would compel the U.S. to push the button. If North Korea and Iran believe the U.S. must now consult a host of lawyers to determine compliance with its own nuclear strike policy, then America has weakened itself. And if our non-nuclear partners are similarly unsure on where the U.S. stands, then Obama may have inadvertently opened the gate to greater nuclear proliferation.