GOP Objects to Nuclear Arms Reductions

Reducing the state's capacity to destroy the planet was called "reckless lunacy"

Congressional Republicans on Wednesday reacted hysterically to the Obama administration’s proposal to cut the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal by as much as 80 percent.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) vowed he and his congressional allies would “do everything we possibly can to make sure that this preposterous notion does not gain any real traction.” He called reductions in America’s nuclear arsenal “reckless lunacy,” apparently seeing nothing reckless or lunatic about having a government with the power to destroy the Earth ten times over.

The Obama administration is considering at least three options for reductions in total numbers, cutting to around 1,000 to 1,100, 700 to 800, or 300 to 400. Objecting to the cuts, lawmakers brought up so-called national security concerns, from Iran to Syria to Egypt. None of whom have nuclear weapons, none of whom are making nuclear weapons, and all of whom have insignificant military capacity compared to the U.S.

Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) threatened that such a step would encourage other nations, like Iran, to build up their nuclear programs. “If they see that we are going to come down from 1,500 to some number in the low to middle hundreds, it does nothing but encourage our enemies and discourage our friends,” Thornberry said. “And the result of that is more nuclear weapons programs all across the world, which would seem to me to be something that we would not want to have happen.”

Sometimes hawks like to argue that a state having nuclear weapons pushes a nuclear arms race, encouraging adversaries to advance their nuclear programs. Other times, they like to argue not having thousands and thousands of nuclear weapons will push an arms race and encourage adversaries. Employing either one when it serves their rhetoric, they want to have their bombs and eat them too.

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Author: John Glaser

John Glaser writes for Antiwar.com.