The new Obama nuclear policy

The Obama nuclear policy revisions don't completely mean no nukes. From Wikimedia Commons

President Obama has conducted a Nuclear Posture Review and updated the nation’s policy on nuclear weapons, which has led to some criticism of the Obama nuclear policy.  Overall, the policy changes little, though components of it have angered some of the more hawkish types among Congressional Republicans. If the government were to put any fast cash into any more nuclear supplies, it would be for reactors, not for any more nukes.

Stark raving MAD

According to the article in TIME, the updated Obama nuclear weapons policy changes nothing regarding the default status between Russia and the U.S.  Since the dawn of the Cold War, what kept a nuclear exchange from taking place between the two largest nuclear powers was something called “Mutually Assured Destruction,” wherein the nuclear deterrence held by either country would be deployed in the event of the other attacking with theirs.

Essentially, this means that neither side will benefit from a nuclear attack because both would be damaged far beyond the extent a few payday loans can cover in the event that a nuclear exchange would take place.

Non-aggression, with exceptions

Part of the updated nuclear weapons policy is that President Obama has pledged to never initiate a nuclear attack, except against states that do not participate in the Non-nuclear Proliferation Treaty. He also pledges he will never use nuclear weapons against states that aren’t known to be developing nuclear weapons. Essentially, it’s equally a carrot — for states to not develop them — and a stick for — those that would. It insinuates we may nuke rogue states that are developing nuclear weapons.  More or less, it says we won’t be nuclear aggressors, but with broad room for exceptions.

New nukes nixed

The President has also made it clear we will not build any NEW nuclear weapons.  The hawkish among Senate Republicans have balked at this idea, and our nuclear arsenal is aging. But then again, the weapons grade isotope of plutonium, Pu-239, has a half life (the amount of time an element stays in one form, before it decays) of more than 24,000 years, so we’re good for the time being.  The half lives of the other two weapons grade radioactive isotopes, Uranium 233 and Uranium 235, are 160,000 years and 703,800,000 years, respectively. However, what constitutes “new” isn’t defined.

Terrorists will pay, and me bomb es su bomb

The Obama nuclear update on our policy also includes no change to existing doctrine that states harboring or enabling terrorists will not be spared the nuclear rod in the event of an attack.  Also, any country that is currently host to any of our stockpiled weapons (such as Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Italy) can make use of such weapons with our approval in case they seriously need to.

And Iran so far away

From an article from Reuters, Iranian President Ahmadinejad is apparently none too pleased. He said that Obama is “inexperienced and an amateur politician.” He further added that “American politicians are like cowboys. Whenever they have legal shortcomings their hands go to their guns.”  The revised Obama nuclear policy, in reality, changes little.