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WASHINGTON, D.C. —If you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind. It’s a bromide, yes, but undeniably true when talking about the state of our nuclear weapons program.
In this area, America is falling further and further behind our competitors. It leaves us more vulnerable, and the world less safe.
Deterrence - Way - Crisis - America - Arsenal
Deterrence remains the surest way to prevent a future nuclear crisis, and that requires modernizing and upgrading America’s nuclear arsenal.
President Obama took U.S. nuclear policy in the opposite direction. Deemphasizing the tried and true deterrence model, he took us on a journey the “road to nuclear zero.”
Milestone - Way - US - Commitment - START
An early milestone on way was the U.S. commitment to the new START nuclear agreement with the Russians, which placed limits the types and numbers of nuclear weapons each country could have.
It was one of the most lopsided pacts in history. Only the U.S. had to cut its arsenal. The Russians could build more—which, in fact, they did. The supposed “denuclearization” agreement actually resulted in more nuclear weapons—only all of the new ones were Russian.
Agreement - Weapons - Russians - Advantage
Further, the agreement did not cover tactical nuclear weapons where the Russians already had an overwhelming advantage.
The Russians went on to cheat under another pact, the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, by introducing a new class of nuclear weapons.
Obama - Way - Denuclearization - Nothing - Result
Again, Obama opted to lead the way to denuclearization by doing nothing. The result: Putin’s arsenal became even larger and more diverse, threatening the delicate balance of deterrent power.
Eventually, even Obama recognized the imprudence of allowing Russia nuclear might to go unchecked and started a modest modernization program of our triad of nuclear delivery systems—air, land and sea.
President - Trump - America - Road - US
Under President Trump, America took an off-ramp from the road to zero. The official U.S. Nuclear Posture Review called for a robust upgrade of our nuclear deterrent and negotiating arms control agreements from a position of strength.
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