The Obama administration is creating a dangerous environment that is pushing the U.S. military into a confrontation with Iran, says a foreign policy expert.
“I think we’re headed for another Cuban missile crisis – and this time, we may blink,” said James Carafano, director of the Heritage Foundation’s foreign policy center.
Because of Obama's defense policies, the threat of American military force to deter Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons won’t be credible, he told Newsmax.TV. That means the lives of U.S. troops will be put on the line.
“The administration is cutting conventional capabilities. The president is talking about pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan. I don’t think anyone would take the threat of military action as really serious right now,” Carafano said.
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Carafano also criticized President Barack Obama, saying he isn’t fulfilling his constitutional obligation to defend America's security.
“The president said, 'My goal is a world without nuclear weapons,'” he said. “That’s not what the Constitution says the president’s job is. The president’s job is to keep America safe – to provide for the common defense.”
Carafano pointed out that President Ronald Reagan also wanted a world without nuclear weapons, “But Reagan’s notion was peace through strength,” he said. “Reagan put the U.S. in a position of strength first and then negotiated some of the steepest nuclear reductions in the history of the world. This president is not taking that course.”
Obama already has violated last year’s Defense Authorization Act, Carafano says. That’s because the act requires Obama to implement a nuclear-modernization plan before he signs an arms-control treaty with Russia.
But the United States and Russia signed a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) last week.
The United States gains little out of the START treaty, Carafano says. Russia can deploy more missile launchers, it has a lot more strategic weapons than the United States and the treaty doesn’t include tactical weapons, where Russia has an advantage.
“The reason we’re doing this is because it will lead to a world without nuclear weapons. We know for a fact this isn’t going to happen,” Carafano said.
“Nuclear weapons are the cornerstone of the Russian defense policy. All we’ve done is put them on parity with us, which actually encourages them to continue to emphasize nuclear weapons.”
The United States isn’t in an arms race with Russia, he explained. “So why do we have to sign an arms-control treaty with Russia? If we want to do anything with anyone else we have to go back to Russia first.”
Obama also announced last week we won’t be modernizing our nuclear weapons soon.
A deteriorating weapons system doesn’t provide deterrence, Carafano noted. “It makes no sense not to modernize our inventory.”
Carafano also takes issue with Obama’s claim that America's nuclear arsenal is as strong as ever.
“It’s simply a lie,” he said. “Our nuclear weapons are old. They’re not really usable for many of the missions we’d envision. We’re losing an entire generation of nuclear scientists who even know how to build these things.”
Nor does the Obama administration have a grip on the issue of nuclear terrorism, Carafano said.
“The problem is that most of our strategy that he’s implementing is increasing the likelihood of proliferation. Cutting missile defense makes you more vulnerable, which makes nuclear weapons more attractive. Declaring that you’re not going to modernize is a less credible deterrent.”
Carafano also blasts the administration for failing to prevent proliferation in Iran and North Korea.
The advancement of nuclear weapons in those two countries inspires other nations to develop nukes, he said.
“Using the strategy the administration has adopted is actually increasing the likelihood that there will be more nuclear powers and more nuclear weapons available.
Obama has been largely rebuffed in his overtures to Iran, North Korea, Russia and China, Carafano pointed out.
And when it comes to engaging allies, Obama's “track record is actually pretty poor.”
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