National Defense in Obama’s Second Term

Senator Jon Kyl (R, AZ (Ret)) outlined in a Wall Street Journal op-ed what we can see and expect from President Barack Obama during his second term.  It isn’t pretty.  On missile defense, Obama is doing this [emphasis added]:

  • The president is on course to systematically reduce America’s capabilities in both areas despite specific commitments he made while securing bipartisan support for the 2010 New Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty with Russia.
  • [Adding 14 ground-based interceptors in Alaska only] gets us back to the numerical level planned during the Bush administration—and without the technological improvements in ground-based interceptors, or GBIs, that the Bush administration supported.
  • US national missile defense will continue to rely on obsolete 1980s “kill vehicle” technology involving kinetic energy and small warheads.  At 44 GBIs, the system should be effective against the current threat from North Korea, but not against an attack from countries like Russia and China with more robust and mature capabilities.
  • US has canceled the final phase of the Europe-based missile-defense system, which was to have included NATO allies such as Poland as the hosts of sensors and other elements of the system. This will please Russia.
  • [T]he Aegis system the Navy uses to track enemy missiles and guide American ones will be less capable of protecting Europe—from Iran, for instance—and offer even less protection for the U.S. The assurance of deploying the final phase of missile defense in Europe was the Obama administration’s pretext for capping the improvement of America’s GBI system.

On strategic deterrent, Obama is doing this to our triad of ICBMs, SLBMs, and bomber fleet [emphasis added]:

  • Russia is preparing to field a new generation of intercontinental ballistic missiles (one type of which can carry as many as 15 warheads); Obama is still studying whether to develop its own modernized ICBMs.
  • Replacement of the Ohio-class nuclear-ballistic-missile submarine—the foundation of the sea-based leg of the triad—has been delayed for two years, leaving the force with only 10 boats.
  • No decision has been made on whether the next generation strategic-bomber force will even be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.
  • Energy Department and National Security Agency five-year budgets for modernization have been cut by some $4.4 billion.  That’s the same amount Obama had agreed to add to secure Senate support for the New Start treaty in 2010.
  • The building of a modern Chemical and Metallurgy Research Replacement facility for handling plutonium—critical to modernization and added to the Treaty Resolution of Ratification and in the president’s message to the Senate upon entry of the treaty into force—has been delayed at least five years—tantamount to killing it.

As Kyl puts it,

President Obama’s antipathy to both missile defense and our nuclear deterrent risks leaving the U.S. and its allies vulnerable not just to attack, but also to nuclear blackmail and proliferation.

This is a national disaster waiting to reverse the defeat of the Soviet Union.

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