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Obama's Brave Nuke World

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Obama's Brave Nuke World - by Stephen Lendman

At the same time the Pentagon issued its new Nuclear Posture Review, Obama officially ordered the murder of a US citizen, Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki - accused of terrorism and an Al Qaeda connection without evidence.

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Earlier on February 4, Washington Post writer Ellen Nakashima headlined, "Intelligence chief acknowledges US may target Americans involved in terrorism," saying:

"Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair acknowledged (February 3 in testimony to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence) that government agencies (specifically CIA operatives and Special Forces death squads) may kill US citizens abroad who are involved in terrorist activities if they are 'taking action that threatens Americans," or administration officials say so.

Obama's Nuclear Posture Review - New Policy or Same Old Same Old?

In December 2001, the Bush administration issued its Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), asserting the preemptive right to unilaterally declare and wage future wars using first strike nuclear weapons.

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On April 5, New York Times writers David Sanger and Peter Baker headlined, "Obama Limits When US Would Use Nuclear Arms," saying:

On Monday, Obama said "he was revamping American nuclear strategy to substantially narrow the conditions under which the United States would use nuclear weapons (but) was carving out an exception for 'outliers like Iran and North Korea....' "

Calling it a "sharp shift" in strategy, the Times writers claimed "For the first time, the United States is explicitly committing not to use nuclear weapons against nonnuclear states (in compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty - NPT), even if they attacked the United States with biological or chemical weapons or launched a crippling cyberattack."

Predictably, an April 7 Times editorial headlined, "Mr. Obama's Nuclear Policy," said:

"it is an important down payment on a saner nuclear policy (and affirms) the 'fundamental role' of nuclear weapons....to deter nuclear attack on the United States and its allies....the administration has rightly decided to lead by example."

Wrong for numerous reasons. NPR 2010 is changed rhetoric, not policy. Declared nuclear or non-nuclear "outliers" may be attacked. Unilateral disarmament and a nuclear-free world aren't envisioned or planned. Upgraded weapons will replace outdated ones, and as with all new weapons, dangerous testing will continue. NPT's three pillars are disregarded - non-proliferation, disarmament, and peaceful use. So is restoring the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, in force for 30 years until the Bush administration unilaterally withdrew in June 2002.

In place also is the Pentagon's 2006 Global Strike Command, a preemptive offensive policy rooted in the concept that, sooner or later, deterrence will fail. Rather than wait, it focuses on striking before it's unleashed. It's about war making, not prevention. So is the 2009 Prompt Global Strike initiative to attack rapidly anywhere in the world with conventional weapons, as easy to do with nuclear ones.

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NPR 2010 says America "reserves the right" to use nuclear weapons "that may be warranted by the evolution and proliferation of the biological weapons threat and US capacities to counter that threat."

It begs the question about cause in the event of a pandemic, that, if blamed on a targeted "outlier," may justify a nuclear response. It also leaves unchanged the 2005 Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations, removing the distinction between defensive and offensive deterrents, saying:

"The new triad (land and sea-based strategic bombers, land-based missiles, and ballistic missile submarines) offers a mix of strategic offensive and defensive capabilities, active and passive defenses, and a robust research development, and industrial infrastructure to develop, build, and maintain offensive forces and defensive systems....it provides additional military options."

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