By lex, on February 15th, 2012
This can’t possibly be true:
President Obama has ordered the Pentagon to consider cutting U.S. strategic nuclear forces to as low as 300 deployed warheads—below the number believed to be in China’s arsenal and far fewer than current Russian strategic warhead stocks.
Pentagon and military planners were asked to develop three force levels for the U.S. arsenal of deployed strategic nuclear warheads: a force of 1,100 to 1,000 warheads; a second scenario of between 700 and 800 warheads; and the lowest level of between 300 and 400 warheads.
A congressional official said no president in the past ever told the Pentagon to conduct a review based on specific numbers of warheads.
“In the past, the way it worked was, ‘tell me what the world is like and then tell me what the force should be,’” the official said. “That is not happening in this review.”
I mean, it’s one thing to baseline the overall Pentagon budget based on budget-driven numbers whose fiscal rigor begins with “less for defense is always better” rather than on a analytic review of national security requirements – not a good thing, mind – but it’s something else entirely when a sitting president tells the country’s strategic defense apparatus to build down our nuclear stockpile based on nothing but round numbers even as proliferation grows elsewhere.
I’m hoping that Mr. Gertz is misinformed. Because heretofore I have given the president the benefit of the doubt, operating under the assumption that he is merely in over his head, rather than actively malign.
Update: Blackfive theorizes that the president is trying to earn his Nobel Peace Prize. Or maybe get back to his senior year of college.