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Unfortunately, the most serious “underlying leadership and management” problem confronting America’s strategic deterrence enterprise today is the commander in chief’s continuing adherence to his policy of “ridding the world of nuclear weapons,” starting with ours.

Unless and until he makes clear his commitment to maintaining and modernizing our deterrent, it will continue to unravel as a result of demoralized personnel, obsolescing weapons systems and ever more emboldened adversaries.

The State of the Union would be a perfect vehicle to announce such a commitment and to rally the Congress and the American people to the task of contending with the emerging nuclear perfect storm. Will President Obama follow the lead of his defense secretary and do so?

Frank J. Gaffney Jr. was an assistant secretary of defense under President Reagan. He is president of the Center for Security Policy (, a columnist for The Washington Times and host of the nationally syndicated program Secure Freedom Radio.