University of Baltimore Journal of International Law
One of President Barack Obama’s favorite solutions to reducing armed conflict in the world centers around his desire to rid the world of nuclear weapons. While this simplistic formula has certainly been voiced by other occupants of the oval office, the world is, and always has been, an extremely dangerous place, and the machinations of competing spheres of power will always exist in human history. Coupled with an aggressive Russia and China, the dangers associated with the new era of radical Islamic extremism rubricate the need to view the naiveté of President Obama’s vision of a planet without nuclear weapons with great caution, particularly when a large part of the Obama solution calls for the unilateral weakening of America’s nuclear arsenal.
Strong American leadership requires assessing the world as it really is, not how one wishes it to be. A world in which the United States and other free nations do not possess nuclear weapons is both unrealistic and undesirable. The Obama Doctrine, which seems intent on employing scare tactics and demonizing the possession of nuclear weapons, imperils both the world and America. Unilateral reductions of America’s nuclear forces create a vulnerable and weakened nation that can be easily intimidated. Furthermore, such action increases the promotion of nuclear weapon development in other nations.
Obama’s desire to rid the world of nuclear weapons cannot be achieved. Unfortunately, however, its ability to hamstring America’s nuclear capabilities is all too real. When it comes to nuclear weapons, our policies must be fully rooted in the context of common sense. Unilateral reductions in America’s nuclear arsenal are disastrous when confronting totalitarian fanatics. The only established defense against nuclear weapons are nuclear weapons, and nuclear weapons cannot be abandoned because of nuclear weapons.
Jeffrey F. Addicott, Game of Bombs: President Barack Obama’s Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime, 3 U. Balt. J. Int’l L. 1 (2015).