As reported by Bill Gertz, on the day Americans were celebrating our independence, Moscow dispatched bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons into the U.S. air defense zone on the Pacific Coast.
This was not a fluke. It was the second incident in two weeks, and it has actually been going on for a while.
In 2007, Russia began flying nuclear-capable bombers into air zones identified by the U.S., NATO, and Japanese as air defense zones. Indeed, according to October 2011 testimony by Mark Schneider before the House Armed Services Committee, since February 2007, Russian high-level political and military leaders have made an unprecedented number of nuclear threats, including, remarkably, about 15 nuclear-targeting and preemptive nuclear attack threats.
The Russian media routinely report that Moscow is conducting regional military exercises involving simulated nuclear weapons strikes against the U.S., NATO, and China.
Nuclear deterrence depends on a foe’s belief that its enemy is willing and able to employ nuclear weapons. Russian President Vladmir Putin understands this and has made nuclear weapons the centerpiece of Russian foreign policy. Nuclear weapons embolden Russia to push back and undermine U.S. foreign policy objectives throughout the world.
The Obama Administration, however, continues to take “the world” down the path to zero nuclear weapons by eliminating or failing to modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal and to pursue “reset” with Russia while Moscow undermines, insults, embarrasses, and threatens to nuke the U.S. and our allies.
Indeed, if the U.S. continues along the current path of disarmament, the best the U.S. can hope for is strategic nuclear parity with Russia. If the U.S. continues to disarm while Russia is permitted to retain its overwhelming 10-to-1 advantage over the U.S. in short-range nuclear weapons, Russia will certainly attain overall nuclear superiority over the U.S.
Clearly, the Russians don’t believe that the U.S. is willing to do whatever is needed to protect and defend itself and its allies, and it’s possible our allies are beginning to doubt this as well. It is past time for an about-face in U.S. relations toward Russia and in U.S. nuclear deterrence strategy.
The U.S. commander in chief should make perfectly clear that he is in fact willing and able to do whatever is required of him to protect and defend the U.S. and its allies and has at his disposal a credible nuclear force capable of conveying this message.