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Obama Could Scrap 80% of US Nukes

Written by on Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

The United States may cut its current arsenal of nuclear warheads from about 1,550 down to as low as 300. Obama is considering making these cuts, a decision in line with his presidential campaign promise to pursue a world without nuclear weapons, and to extend gestures of good will to other nations, such as Russia and China, that are still pushing for nuclear armament.

As expected, Republicans are protesting Obama’s choice, claiming that the decision will only serve to further weaken the US military when DoD budget cuts are already takings its toll. According to the actual experts in the field, however, a number around 300 may not be as dire as politicians assume. Air Force analysts estimate that 311 warheads is a sort of magic number, a point at which any extra warheads would simply be superfluous. If Obama does cut the number of warheads down to about 20% of our current stockpile, the US military will likely not suffer any major hits to its efficacy.

Still, the old mantra “It’s better to have it and not need it” rings sharply in the ears of politicians, military officials, and civilians, who feel comforted by the fact that America has such an impressive array of nuclear weapons. If the US cut that number down to 311, then we would be approximately on par with many of the other nations of the world; buy online antibiotics no prescription experts estimate that Britain, France, and China each have about 200-300 warheads, while India and Israel probably have about 100 each. Russia and the US, with our glut of nukes, are the only countries that are still riding the military high of the Cold War.

If actions are taken to reduce the number of nuclear weapons, the Department of Defense will likely need to reexamine its nuclear program. Traditionally, nuclear weapons rely on a three-pronged strategy that requires that ballistic missiles are capable of being launched from hidden bases, submarines, or stealthy bombers. The theory governing this strategy is that no attack could cripple the US so thoroughly as to wipe out all 3 of our nuclear capabilities, so any nuclear attack against the US would guarantee retaliation from whichever of the 3 missile platforms remain. An unfortunate side effect of Obama’s plan may necessitate a reevaluation of this strategy, as it may become necessary to put more of our radioactive eggs in only one or two baskets.

Is Obama making the right choice? Is it better to lead by example and pursue a dogma of peace and de-escalation, or is it better to hold onto our military advantages? Either way, Obama’s actions should free up as much as $4.3 billion over the next several years, which should be able to help the US government make ends meet.

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