What Fresh Hell Is This?

April 12, 2010

Jack Kelly Sunday

You don't really need to read Jack Kelly's column this week. The whole argument is here in this short clip:

But if there's any doubt in your mind, let it be expunged by Jack's first sentence:
President Barack Obama reminded us last week that before he drives us into bankruptcy, he might get us all killed.
And his evidence? For one, a selective misreading of the president's Nuclear Posture Review. Here's Jack:
The president listed five priorities in the NPR, noted James Carafano of the Heritage Foundation, a retired Army lieutenant colonel. Defending the United States wasn't among them.
Here's what Carafano said:
The president lists five priorities in the NPR. Defending the U.S. isn’t one of them.

You’d think it would be job Number One. That’s why we invented nukes. Instead, the Review is largely a political document for trumpeting the president’s “road to zero,” a vision that will leave the U.S. with a smaller, less reliable, less credible nuclear force — making the world a more dangerous place.
And here's where I THINK Carafano got those "five priorities". It's on page iii, first page of the Executive Summary:
The 2010 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) outlines the Administration’s approach to promoting the President’s agenda for reducing nuclear dangers and pursuing the goal of a world without nuclear weapons, while simultaneously advancing broader U.S. security interests. The NPR reflects the President’s national security priorities and the supporting defense strategy objectives identified in the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review.
After describing fundamental changes in the international security environment, the NPR report focuses on five key objectives of our nuclear weapons policies and posture:
1. Preventing nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism;
2. Reducing the role of U.S. nuclear weapons in U.S. national security strategy;
3. Maintaining strategic deterrence and stability at reduced nuclear force levels;
4. Strengthening regional deterrence and reassuring U.S. allies and partners; and
5. Sustaining a safe, secure, and effective nuclear arsenal.
Objectives/key priorities. I say po-TAY-toe, you say po-TAH-toe. In any event it's hardly "not defending the USA."

Jack is hoping you don't check his work. Then Jack writes:
The key elements of the NPR are Mr. Obama's decision to eschew the use of nuclear weapons to retaliate against a biological or chemical attack against the United States, and the president's decision to develop no new nuclear weapons.
This, of course, is not exactly true. And Jack probably knows this. He has to have read the entire NPR, right? He couldn't possibly write something so cut and dried without knowing what he's talking about, right? Well this is what the NPR says (page viii):
To that end, the United States is now prepared to strengthen its long-standing “negative security assurance” by declaring that the United States will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons states that are party to the NPT and in compliance with their nuclear non-proliferation obligations. [emphasis added]
Does that mean there'd be NO retaliation for a chemical or biological attack?

No, it doesn't. This is a few paragraphs later.:
In making this strengthened assurance, the United States affirms that any state eligible for the assurance that uses chemical or biological weapons against the United States or its allies and partners would face the prospect of a devastating conventional military response – and that any individuals responsible for the attack, whether national leaders or military commanders, would be held fully accountable. Given the catastrophic potential of biological weapons and the rapid pace of bio-technology development, the United States reserves the right to make any adjustment in the assurance that may be warranted by the evolution and proliferation of the biological weapons threat and U.S. capacities to counter that threat. [emphasis added]
So there's still a response (a "devastating" one) to a biological or chemical attack, just not a nuclear one and only for those states not party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

So when Jack writes this:
"In the past, our ambiguity made our enemies hesitate," said Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, a retired Army intelligence officer. "The new policy guarantees that they'll intensify their pursuit of bugs, gas and weaponized computers."
We know he's just blowing smoke.

But look at what comes next:
What's really dangerous is the president's decision to build no new nuclear weapons. Nukes deteriorate with time. They need to be replaced if deterrence is to be maintained.
But go look up at "priority/key objective" 5:
Sustaining a safe, secure, and effective nuclear arsenal.
So of course that means letting them "deteriorate with time."

How stupid does Jack think we are? We can go read the NPR and see how he's spinning.

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