Unpredictability is a tremendous advantage in wartime, as any study of the greatest generals in history will quickly reveal. But is it equally effective as a tool in the geopolitical machinations of sovereign countries?
Yes, and President Trump demonstrated that in his four years in office, as did President Reagan in his eight years. Never mind the drooling imbeciles of the left who see every American action that isn’t predicated on the sclerotic thinking of the dying countries of Western Europe as an outrageous provocation and tantamount to global thermonuclear warfare.
Pay attention to what didn’t happen during President Trump’s time as Commander in Chief. You know…when the world was terrified that the lunatic in the White House was going to start wars over tariffs on kewpie dolls or nasty tweets or a host of trivial things that sometimes blow up into very serious things…like wars.
Except that didn’t happen. Maybe the world wasn’t sure of America’s response, and decided that channeling Falstaff’s “discretion is the better part of valor” was a better plan than finding out whether America still had teeth.
The Biden administration’s Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), launched in July 2021, is likely to be completed in early 2022. Although it will deal with several issues related to the United States’ nuclear deterrent – including the future size, composition and modernization of the nuclear force – perhaps the most important strategic question it will address is whether to adopt a no-first-use declaratory policy.
In contrast to the policy spelled out in the 2018 NPR, which permits the U.S. to use nuclear weapons first “in extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States, its allies, and partners,” a no-first-use (NFU) policy would prohibit the use of nuclear weapons except in response to a nuclear attack.
But as is becoming the norm in current American strategic thinking (or lack thereof), We may be close to doing something amazingly stupid and dangerous. The Biden junta may be considering an official “No First Use” (NFU) policy for nuclear weapons. If they do, and I have no doubt that the pressure from the hard left is significant, we will have hamstrung or strategic responses to rapidly growing threats to our allies (the few that we have left) and more alarmingly, to our continued presence on the world economic stage, not to mention our position as a counterbalance to Chinese expansion and Russian re-expansion (into Eastern Europe).
I am not suggesting that we return to the concept of Pax Americana. We have lost too many fine men in wars without end and campaigns to nowhere. But standing firm alongside our allies (formal or otherwise) against authoritarian expansion is a reasonable strategic plan, and one that will be fatally damaged if we forswear first use of every weapon at our disposal, including nuclear weapons.