Family Security Matters
America is headed for a national security train wreck because President Obama–for reasons of ideology and wishful thinking–believes in some dangerous fantasies:
The war on terrorism is against violent extremists, not radical Islam
President Obama argues that ISIS and Al Qaeda are not truly Islamic, and does not want to offend moderate Muslims by implying the U.S. is at war with their religion.
But ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other Jihadists do, in fact, represent a violent faction of Islam that is written into the Koran and is part of the Muslim worldview historically since the birth of Islam with the conquests of Mohammed in the 7th century.
“Violent extremists” is a meaningless phrase in the struggle for the hearts and minds of the Muslim world. It is also dangerous for Obama’s Department of Defense and FBI to abolish scrutiny of the ideologies of radical Islam to “know thy enemy” and better prosecute the war on terrorism.
It may be even more dangerous for liberty when Obama’s focus on “violent extremists”, instead of radical Islam, results in members of the NRA and other domestic critics of the president finding themselves on the Department of Homeland Security’s terrorism watch list!
Nearly twenty years ago, Samuel P. Huntington in The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (1996) predicted a collision between Islam and the West, predicted the present war on terrorism, predicted even that Turkey would drift out of NATO toward its ideological roots in the Muslim world, as is happening now.
Islam is central to the war on terror and to the future of world affairs–a fact President Obama ignores at our peril.
North Korea does not have nuclear missiles
Following North Korea’s third illegal nuclear test in February 2013, dictator Kim Jong-Un threatened to make nuclear missile strikes against the U.S. and its allies. President Obama reassured the public that North Korea could not deliver on its nuclear threats, as the North has not yet developed a small enough “miniaturized” warhead for missiles, or so Obama claimed.
Yet while Obama was denying the nuclear missile threat from North Korea, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) briefed Congress that North Korea does, in fact, have nuclear armed missiles.
More recently, in January 2015, South Korean military intelligence warned that North Korea does have nuclear missiles. Obama’s Defense Department tried to silence the South Koreans, claiming there is no “specific evidence” that North Korea has missile warheads.
Evidence that North Korea has nuclear missiles includes that Pyongyang has successfully tested both nuclear weapons and missiles capable of delivering them. North Korea has also orbited a satellite over the U.S., which in the past has been rightly regarded as crossing the technological threshold from being a nuclear weapons state to posing a nuclear missile threat. Miniaturizing a nuclear missile warhead is also much easier to accomplish than building long-range missiles and nuclear weapons in the first place.
The intelligence community has known for years that North Korea has nuclear missiles.
In 2011, DIA Director General Ronald Burgess testified to the Senate that North Korea probably has nuclear missiles. In 2009, NATO’s European intelligence agencies assessed that North Korea has nuclear missiles. In 2008, CIA East Asia Division Chief Arthur Brown warned the Japanese press that North Korea has nuclear missiles. There is evidence that North Korea deployed nuclear missiles as far back as 1993.
Nuclear testing is not necessary to develop a nuclear missile warhead–as proven by Israel and South Africa. Mark Schneider’s excellent article “Does North Korea Have a Missile-Deliverable Nuclear Weapon?” (May 22, 2013) details some of the unclassified “specific evidence”, including from defector testimony, that North Korea has nuclear missiles.
President Obama apparently wants to escape responsibility for the nuclear threat getting much worse on his watch by denying the existence of North Korean nuclear missiles. Acknowledging that North Korea is a nuclear missile state would also expose as unrealistic Obama’s fantasy of a world without nuclear weapons.
North Korea’s nuclear missiles are a more immediate and far greater threat than President Obama’s panic over “anthropogenic climate change.”
Iran will agree to stop development of an “Islamic Bomb”
President Obama’s nuclear negotiations with Iran are premised on the assumption that the intelligence community can warn when Iran is about to build nuclear weapons, and that Iran is not yet a nuclear weapons state.
But providing such warning, when Iran is already so close to the bomb, is a virtual impossibility.
One year ago, in January 2014, Olli Heinonen, the former Deputy Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN watchdog monitoring Iran, warned that Iran could develop a crude atomic bomb in 2-3 weeks.
Seven years ago, in 2008, then IAEA Director General, Mohammed El Baradei, warned that Iran is within 6 months of developing the bomb. IAEA has repeated the warning that Iran is on the threshold of becoming a nuclear weapons state every year since 2008.
The IAEA has also warned that their intelligence on Iran’s nuclear weapons program is far from perfect, that they do not have access to underground facilities where work on nuclear weapons may be proceeding clandestinely–as was done by North Korea during its eight years of negotiations with the Clinton Administration. As Heinonen put it diplomatically in a 2014 interview, the IAEA “remains unable to provide credible assurances on the absence of undeclared nuclear facilities and activities.”
Nonetheless, the IAEA has discovered that Iran has conducted experiments with implosion technology, used in more sophisticated nuclear weapons. IAEA also found plans for a nuclear warhead that would fit on Iran’s missiles.
Iran is allied to North Korea by a treaty that provides for cooperation on military science and technology. North Korean scientists are known to be in Iran helping their missile and, reportedly, Iran’s nuclear programs. Iranian scientists reportedly have been present at North Korean nuclear tests.
In September 2013, Israeli government scientists warned that Iran already has the bomb. Numerous U.S. experts, including former Director of Central Intelligence R. James Woolsey and former Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, Fritz Ermarth, have also cautioned that Iran may already have nuclear weapons.
Iran is probably using nuclear negotiations to do what North Korea did during its negotiations with the Clinton Administration–building nuclear weapons and advancing its nuclear weapons infrastructure so these facts become irreversible.
America is leading the way to a world without nuclear weapons
President Obama is committed to a policy called “Global Zero”–achieving a world without nuclear weapons. Under this scheme, the United States is supposed to set a good example by decreasing its reliance on nuclear weapons and reducing its nuclear deterrent, unilaterally if necessary.
While Obama has been by far the worst steward of the U.S. nuclear deterrent, he does not bear the blame alone for its deterioration, which has happened across several Democrat and Republican administrations.
By accident or design, the United States has been unilaterally disarming its nuclear deterrent since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The first President George Bush, in a peaceful gesture to what was then the new Russian democracy, commenced the dismantlement of virtually all U.S. tactical nuclear weapons.
President Bush expected Russia’s new President, Boris Yeltsin, to reciprocate. And Yeltsin promised to do so.
However, Russia did not dismantle its tactical nuclear arsenal. Instead, the Russian General Staff made nuclear weapons and striking first even more central to their military planning than did the USSR. Moscow proceeded to modernize both tactical and strategic nuclear weapons.
President Bill Clinton continued dismantling U.S. tactical nuclear weapons, disarming the U.S. of most of its tactical nuclear deterrent during his two administrations. The decision to do so was recklessly irresponsible, since by then it should have been clear that Russia was not reciprocating.
President Clinton held a strong bias against nuclear weapons. He promoted anti-nuclear activists to key positions in his administration. President Clinton’s pursuit of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and his inauguration of so-called “science-based stockpile stewardship” provided the rationale to dismantle most of the defense-industrial base that builds and maintains U.S. nuclear weapons.
During President Clinton’s tenure, the House Armed Services Committee published a report “Science-Based Stockpile Stewardship: Erosion By Design” warning that Clinton Administration policies were eroding the reliability, safety, and credibility of the U.S. nuclear deterrent.
President George W. Bush tried to reverse the erosion of the U.S. nuclear deterrent. But he failed. The younger President Bush across his two administrations could not overcome strong anti-nuclear bias in Congress. He also was too distracted by the war on terrorism to invest the time and political capital necessary to rescue the nuclear deterrent.
President Obama entered office with none of the excuses that might forgive earlier administrations for neglecting the U.S. nuclear deterrent. When Obama entered office, Russia was and is clearly a dictatorship dominated by Vladimir Putin, with aggressive designs against its neighbors, NATO and the U.S., and building a modern nuclear arsenal. China and North Korea too were and are embarked on a major build-up of nuclear weapons. Iran was and is a nuclear aspirant state–if it does not already have nuclear weapons.
Early in President Obama’s first administration, in 2009, the Congressional Strategic Posture Commission warned of these nuclear threats and urged the U.S. to modernize its own nuclear capabilities across the board, including rebuilding the U.S. nuclear defense-industrial base, in their report America’s Strategic Posture.
The Congressional Strategic Posture Commission had impeccable bipartisan credentials. It was established by a Democrat dominated Congress. The Commission was co-chaired by Dr. William Perry, who had served as Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Defense, and the universally respected Dr. James Schlesinger, who had been Defense Secretary, CIA Director, and served presidents of both parties.
Yet President Obama ignored the Strategic Posture Commission, heeded none of its warnings, and implemented none of its recommendations.
President Obama knows that U.S. strategic bomber bases have been reduced from 45 to 3. He knows that more than a third of ballistic missile submarines are moored at just two bases, like sitting ducks. He knows that most TACAMO aircraft (that transmit presidential Emergency Action Messages to all three nuclear Triad legs: submarines, bombers, and Minuteman missiles) are parked at just one air force base, at Tinker AFB in Oklahoma, like sitting ducks.
So President Obama knows that an adversary–with just six (6) nuclear warheads–could deal a potentially crippling blow to the forces and C3 (command-control-communications) of all three Triad legs of the U.S. nuclear deterrent. Even North Korea is capable of such an attack.
Yet President Obama has done nothing to correct these grave vulnerabilities.
President Obama also knows from the Congressional EMP Commission and the Congressional Strategic Posture Commission that America is vulnerable to an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack from a single nuclear warhead detonated at high-altitude. Yet Obama has ordered all U.S. nuclear missiles to be targeted on broad ocean areas–not on strategic targets of potential adversaries–his plan being that the missiles will be re-targeted against the adversary only in the event of hostilities.
Can EAMs reach the strategic forces and will C3 work well enough to enable the timely re-targeting of U.S. nuclear missiles after an EMP attack?
Russia, China, North Korea and Iran show not the slightest inclination to follow America’s example by allowing their nuclear forces to atrophy, or to even slow the pace of their nuclear and missile programs. Indeed, the weakening of the U.S. nuclear deterrent appears to be encouraging the acceleration of the nuclear and missile programs of potential adversaries.
To President Obama’s clarion call for a world without nuclear weapons, Russia, China, and North Korea have responded with nuclear threats.
Russian officials regularly raise the specter of nuclear war against the United States. On October 28, 2013, China aired a TV documentary that detailed how they would prosecute a nuclear war against the U.S.–even depicting which cities would be struck, with how many warheads, and the fallout patterns that they expect will kill millions of Americans. In 2013, North Korea threatened nuclear missile strikes against the U.S. and its allies, and apparently practiced EMP attacks against the U.S. by satellite and ship.
Yet President Obama will not ask the U.S. nuclear weapons labs at Los Alamos and Livermore to even think theoretically about a new generation of advanced nuclear weapons, to match those being deployed by Russia and China. Obama’s answer is to continue patching-up missiles, bombers, and nuclear weapons that are decades old and well beyond their original service life.
Obama’s policy for the U.S. nuclear deterrent appears to be erosion by design–unilateral nuclear disarmament to lead by example to a world without nuclear weapons, Global Zero.
President Obama’s hand-picked Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, during the last weeks of his tenure, warned that America’s nuclear deterrent is becoming dangerously obsolete. One small example, Hagel revealed, is that there is only one specially designed wrench remaining for the maintenance of Minuteman intercontinental missile warheads. Minuteman flight crews have to share the one wrench, and mail it around by Federal Express.
Hagel, during his last weeks as Secretary of Defense, also stated that North Korea does have nuclear armed missiles.
Shortly after these revelations, Defense Secretary Hagel “resigned” from the Obama Administration. It is obvious Hagel was fired for his candor.
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution