Jeffrey LewisHobson at ACA

The Arms Control Association posted the prepared remarks by Representative David Hobson (right) from lunch on Friday.

Dave Ruppe summarizes of what he called a “scathing speech” in Global Security Newswire.

One thing I would add to Dave’s excellent coverage—and that isn’t in Hobson’s prepared remarks—were a couple of references Hobson made to starting a dialogue about the role of nuclear weapons. At one point, in his prepared remarks, Hobson asks pointedly, “Why are we still preparing to fight the last war?”

The best statement on moving past the Cold War is the National Academies 1997 study, The Future of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy. That study concluded:

This committee has concluded that the dilemmas and dangers of nuclear deterrence as practiced by the United States in the past can and should be alleviated in the post-Cold War security environment by confining such deterrence to the core function of deterring nuclear attack, or coercion by threat of nuclear attack, against the United States or its allies.

That is, the United States would no longer threaten to respond with nuclear weapons against conventional, chemical, or biological attacks.

Given adequate conventional forces, the active and conspicuous role given to nuclear weapons during the Cold War can be greatly reduced without significant adverse effect on the probability of major war or on this country’s ability to deal effectively with regional conflicts where its vital interests and those of its allies are at stake.

The committee believes that Russia and the other nuclear weapons states can be persuaded to reach a comparable conclusion.


  1. J. (History)

    While I agree with the report, one has to wonder why then the Clinton administration continued with its “kill CB weapons sites with nukes” policy, which was continued by the Bush administration. I think it’s an overblown interpretation of including CB weapons as WMDs and thinking it’s okay then to use nukes on CB weapons sites. If only we could decouple CB weapons from the WMD definition. As you say, we’re not in the Cold War anymore. Not too many nations with massive stockpiles of CB weapons.