Declining United States to spend $1 trillion on nuclear weapons
Despite campaigning on a platform that endorsed having “a nuclear-free world” in the not so distant future, United States President Barack Obama is overseeing an administration that’s aim has taken another path, the New York Times reported this week.
On Sunday, journalists William Broad and David Sanger wrote for the Times that a half-decade of “political deals and geopolitical crises” have thrown a wrench in the works of Pres. Obama’s pre-White House plans, as a result eviscerating his previously stated intentions of putting America’s — and ideally the world’s — nuclear programs on ice.
According to the Times report, an effort to ensure that the antiquated nuclear arsenal being held by the US remains secure has since expanded to the point that upwards of $1 trillion dollars is now expected to be spent on various realms of the project during the next three decades, the likes of which are likely to keep the trove of American nukes intact and do little to discourage other nations from doing differently.
“The original idea was that modest rebuilding of the nation’s crumbling nuclear complex would speed arms refurbishment, raising confidence in the arsenal’s reliability and paving the way for new treaties that would significantly cut the number of warheads,” the journalists wrote. “Instead, because of political deals and geopolitical crises, the Obama administration is engaging in extensive atomic rebuilding while getting only modest arms reductions in return.”
Shortly after he first entered the oval office in early 2009, the Nobel Peace Prize commission awarded Pres. Obama with its highest award for, among other factors, taking a strong stance against international nuclear procurement.
“I’m not naïve,” Obama said that year. “This goal will not be reached quickly — perhaps not in my lifetime. It will take patience and persistence.”
After speaking with analysts, however, the Times journalists — both Pulitzer winners in their own right — now raise doubts that the commander-in-chief’s campaign goals will come to fruition anytime soon.
Welcome to “The Second Nuclear Age”
“A nationwide wave of atomic revitalization”
The Times editors note: “When he first came to office, Mr. Obama was clear-sighted about nuclear dangers and ambitious in his disarmament goals… But to win Republican support for the [New Start] treaty in 2010, Mr. Obama made a Faustian bargain, promising to spend $84 billion to upgrade aging nuclear weapons over the next decade.” Now, 4 years later, “the Congressional Budget Office estimates that Mr. Obama’s plans will cost $355 billion over the next decade; other studies put the price at $1 trillion over three decades.”
What happened? One might say the lack of urgency on the part of the reductions side of the story allowed the inertial momentum of the well-bankrolled and well-connected nuclear weapons industry to drive the course of decision making. In fact it’s also a worldwide phenomena, in a kind of mirroring in which the various nuclear adversaries can feel justified in their “modernizations” by the modernizations of the other. Russia, for example, has launched a major revamp of all their strategic systems, particularly in light of NATO moves at it’s borders; (NATO moves which themselves are a response to Russian actions to intimidate and prevent Ukraine from joining NATO). Britain is facing controversy over the costs of a massive upgrade to their Trident nuclear deterrent. China, Pakistan and India are all working on new delivery systems, most notably, hypersonic cruise missiles, already under development in the US and Russia.
We are apparently at the beginning of a new nuclear age – but not the one you might have thought was evoked in Obama’s Prague speech… rather we seem to be seeing the beginning of an age of unabashed and unapologetic pursuit of more and more ‘advanced’ nuclear weaponry. In this new nuclear age, when the criticism is raised that our nuclear arsenals are a useless vestige of the Cold War, the response is not, “Then let’s take this opportunity to get rid of the damn things” but rather, “OK, let’s make them more useful and relevant.”
‘The Second Nuclear Age’: “A world where nuclear weapons count”
Los Alamos National Lab this last summer fired a non-proliferation specialist seemingly for supporting the President’s vision of a nuclear-free world and calling into question current deterrence doctrine (see ‘Doyle’ below). In fact, LANL is now backing a different meme- Paul Bracken’s thesis described in his book “The Second Nuclear Age”, that the “multiplayer nuclear world” we have now is “more dangerous than the Cold War”. And to underline the point, the Wall Street Journal blurb on the cover proclaims, “We are once again in a world where nuclear weapons count.” (ref)
READ MORE: http://www.nukewatch.org/
Was The Capt. America Movie About Pres. Obama’s Drone Wars & Kill Lists?
There are currently no plans to screen Captain America: The Winter Soldier at the White House, as far as the film’s directors have heard. But if it makes it to the White House family theater, President Obama would be watching one big-budget, action-packed, and Scarlett Johansson-starring critique of his controversial terror-suspect “kill list.”
This isn’t me reading things into a mainstream comic-book movie. It’s what the directors themselves will tell you.
“[Marvel] said they wanted to make a political thriller,” Joe Russo, who directed the film with his brother Anthony, tells Mother Jones. “So we said if you want to make a political thriller, all the great political thrillers have very current issues in them that reflect the anxiety of the audience…That gives it an immediacy, it makes it relevant. So [Anthony] and I just looked at the issues that were causing anxiety for us, because we read a lot and are politically inclined. And a lot of that stuff had to do with civil liberties issues, drone strikes, the president’s kill list, preemptive technology”—all themes they worked into the film, working closely with screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.
Go to the 4:28 mark to hear the discussion about Pres. Obama’s policies