- The Washington Times - Friday, June 19, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Michael R. Turner pointed out that the administration’s budget cuts in national missile defense “apparently were made without sufficient analysis and planning” (“The need is greater than ever,” Opinion, Sunday). This much is blindingly obvious.

Although Mr. Turner was referring to the cut in funding for missile defense, the same comment could be said for so many other decisions the current administration has made, such as closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, bailing out banks and General Motors Corp., nominations of senior officials, and reading Miranda rights to captured terrorists. In each case, political dogma has substituted for logic and common sense.

On the same day that North Korea tested a long-range missile, President Obama suggested he would work toward a world free of nuclear weapons. Such a concept has general appeal, but it is totally unrealistic for the foreseeable future.

In early May, the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States completed its work and reported to Congress. The report noted that Mr. Obama has pledged to work for the global elimination of nuclear weapons, but until that happens, the United States has to maintain a safe, secure and reliable deterrent force.

Unfortunately, the report failed to resolve the argument over whether this can be achieved through continued stewardship of the current nuclear stockpile or whether a new reliable replacement warhead, RRW, should be pursued. The report acknowledged that the conditions that might make possible the global elimination of nuclear weapons are not present today and that their creation would require a fundamental transformation of the world political order.

In other words, no new policy should be announced without adequate analysis and planning. Is there a chance that the administration will finally get the message?

STANLEY ORMAN

Rockville

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