Sunday, April 11, 2010

Let the retreat begin: Hillary on WMD attack, “all bets are off”

Obama’s Nuke Plan came under fierce attack from the right, most noticeably from Sarah Palin. Well it appears that some retreat on the plan has begun.

Today on “Face The Nation” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates started walking back the idea that the US would not retaliate with nukes after a WMD attack. 
The Obama administration's nuclear posture review may have removed some of the intentional ambiguity from U.S. nuclear policy, but it does not leave the country any less safe, President Obama's top national security advisers said on CBS' "Face the Nation." 
In fact, they said, it gives a clear warning to other state actors that the U.S. will not ignore any growing threats. 
"This is putting everybody on notice," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told CBS News chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer in an interview conducted Friday at the Pentagon. "We don't want more countries to go down the path that North Korea and Iran are." 
The revised nuclear policy says that the United States will not use nuclear weapons to respond to a chemical or biological attack from a non-nuclear country. The policy, however, leaves significant contingencies, said Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. 
Countries which are non-signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (such as North Korea) or have been found to be non-compliant (such as Iran) are not exempt from nuclear retaliation under the Obama policy. 
"We were concerned about the biological weapons," Gates said, "and that's why the president was very clear ... if we see states developing biological weapons that we begin to think endanger us or create serious concerns, that he reserves the right to revise this policy." 
Clinton added, "If we can prove that a biological attack originated in a country that attacked us, then all bets are off."  

Even with such retreats, I still do not see what is benefit to explicitly spelling out our nuke policy.  As I mentioned before all it seems to do is take some of the sting out of our deterrence. The idea that others will follow our lead, particularly North Korea and Iran, is a pure pipedream.

Something tells me if Palin delivers another stem-winder, the Obama administration will retreat further on this plan.

Via: CBS News 


LL said...

The obama bluster is foolishness and every American has to see that. No administration could justify NOT retaliating following a WMD attack anymore than we could have stood by after 9.11 and not taken steps against those who attacked us.

I'm not an obama/obama regime fan, but I think they'd respond to that sort of attack.

I'm sure they'd be run from Washington DC on a rail if some sort of nuclear holocaust took place and they decided to open our response to international debate and let nations who are hostile to us take a role in crafting our "measured" behavior.

Do you imagine that FDR could have kept the US out of World War 2 after Pearl Harbor?

obama is goofing around as usual, trying to curry favor with the anti-nuclear crowd. The nuclear genie is out of the bottle and we need to live with it and understand that deterrence works.

Janelle said...

An armed population is a polite population,

Clifton B said...


You are correct that Obama could never get away with not responding to a massive WMD attack. Which bring me back to my original thought, why even have this policy and what purpose does it serve?

Clifton B said...


and a very well armed population is a very polite one too.

philmon said...

It's the great talker saying things that sound like they mean one thing but actually mean very little or nothing at all.

It's his MO. Apparently his college dissertation (which nobody can touch) was on nuclear disarmament ... which means a lot of moral posturing and speculation about what others would do if we got rid of ours... probably based on an elaborately constructed fictional "reality".

At any rate, the whole "opening up" the gulf coast to drilling was symbolic to try to appease some of the tea partiers and other anti-government-health care people. Didn't work. I'm sure he's torqued about that, because in doing it he also hacked off the far left with no compensating bump in the middle or right.

So the nuclear thing was a bone to the far left. It apparently also meant nothing -- partially because when Progressives speak it can mean whatever they want it to mean whenever they want it to mean it. They're "smart" that way.

ozzie said...


I read your post earlier and I thought it was dead on- dig the sarcasm.

Disarmament is a joke. Guns force peace and don't even have to be used because the mere threat of use is enough. Obama took care of that, now what will a country fear in response to attacking an ally of ours? I see some bad shitz coming soon. Didn't the Polish guy just go down while Obama was agreeing with this? Odd coincidence-

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