FPI Executive Director Jamie Fly: Nuclear Posturing

The nuts and bolts of the NPR report are not that dramatic — the document has the imprimatur of Secretary of Defense Gates on it and therefore does not represent a major departure from the policies pursued by the Bush administration.

That said, there is also the clear imprint of this president’s conviction that by reducing U.S. nuclear weapons and, in the case of the new declaratory policy, limiting our use of them, we may be able to convince rogue regimes such as those in Iran and North Korea that the path to greater security lies in compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

This is pure fantasy. Iran and North Korea do not care how many nuclear weapons the United States possesses, and a promise to use nuclear weapons against them only if they are in noncompliance with the international nonproliferation regime will not cause them to modify their behavior.

Some will argue that the declaratory-policy change represented by this document is so minimal that it is harmless. The problem is that this Nnuclear Posture Review is littered with references to existing treaties that our enemies disregard and treaties yet to be negotiated that will take years of diplomatic effort to achieve but do little to make Americans more secure. Releasing such a document does nothing to confront the actual threat to the international nonproliferation regime. That threat is not the U.S. nuclear arsenal; it is a nuclear Iran.

- Originally posted on National Review Online

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