President Obama told a crowd in Berlin we are "citizens of the world," and he plans to reduce our nuclear arsenal by as many as 500 additional weapons – but former Pentagon official Frank Gaffney warns Obama's declarations are a diminishing of American sovereignty and tantamount to unilateral disarmament.
Speaking to about 6,000 people in the German capital, Obama said the world is becoming a smaller place and people everywhere need to be thinking of the common good.
"We are not only citizens of America or Germany, we are also citizens of the world and our fates and fortunes are linked like never before," Obama said. "We may no longer live in fear of global annihilation, but so long as nuclear weapons exist, we are not truly safe."
Gaffney, who is president of the Center for Security Policy and served as an assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration, told WND that kind of talk is dangerous.
"It speaks to the idea that American sovereignty, and for that matter American exceptionalism, is all really secondary to just being a good member of the international community," Gaffney said. "My personal feeling of it is that's both wrongheaded, dangerous and had we pursued it in the past, we probably wouldn't see a free Berlin today."
"There are lots of people in the world today, both at the nation-state level and sub-nation actors, who are deeply hostile to us and who view such statements, and particularly commitments by the president to engage in unilateral disarmament, as evidence of weakness," Gaffney said. "History tells us that, typically, thugs, tyrants, bullies, despots of various kinds, are emboldened by such evidence of weakness on our part or even simply irresolution. That makes the world are more dangerous place by far."
Obama stated that the 2010 START II Treaty reduced our nuclear arsenal to its lowest level since the 1950s, but he says a careful review of our program can allow for the reduction of one-third of our stockpile, which would mean the destruction of 500 additional nukes. The president says such a move would not limit our deterrents, and he will encourage other world leaders to follow the same course.
Gaffney isn't buying any of that.
"The president didn't actually, I think, reach this decision on the basis of a review. I think he reached this decision on the basis of preordained decisions about what he wanted to do, which is to rid the world of nuclear weapons, starting with ours. And I think what he has done is try to get a study that will help him justify making these sorts of cuts," said Gaffney, who noted that this decision carries the same red flags that pop up in his mind when Obama refers to world citizenship.
"The cumulative effect of this is that we're looking at behavior that suggests the United States is essentially determined to remove itself from the role of the greatest power in the world and make itself just one of a number of other nations," he said.
Gaffney also said Obama has "reneged" on a key provision of START II that required the U.S. to modernize our nuclear weapons to ensure reliability of our arsenal. He said Obama "double-crossed" Republicans who were key to the treaty passing the Senate with two-thirds approval. Gaffney further fears that Obama will try to circumvent Congress on future arms reduction agreements because he knows the Senate is unlikely to go along.