January 8, 2013
By Rebeccah Heinrichs
Last May, the Global Zero U.S. Nuclear Policy Commission released a bombshell of a report. The nuclear disarmament group called for draconian cuts to the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Many defense experts, including the current head of Strategic Command, General C. Robert Kehler, flat-out disagreed with that report. So why give it another thought? Because President Obama’s nominee to lead the Pentagon, former Senator Chuck Hagel, is a co-author.
The administration is expected to unveil its proposal for further reductions in the U.S. nuclear arsenal soon. But it will doubtless want to postpone the unveiling of that proposal until after the next secretary of defense is confirmed. That way, the nominee can’t be asked questions relating to the proposal.
But the premises and conclusions in the Global Zero report provide ample information to dig deeper into how Chuck Hagel would advise the president regarding America’s nuclear weapons. Perhaps no other subject is more vital to American security. Here are four questions that should be raised at the confirmation hearings:
Current and future decisions about the appropriate number and quality of nuclear weapons in the American arsenal should be driven by U.S. security needs, not by ideological opposition to nuclear weapons. If Chuck Hagel cannot satisfactorily answer the questions raised here, it will suggest that he and the other co-authors of the Global Zero report believe the world can be made safer with fewer nuclear weapons, even if it means America is altogether weaker and more vulnerable. The next secretary of defense must be convinced of the opposite.
-Rebeccah Heinrichs, an expert on nuclear deterrence and missile defense, is a visiting fellow at The Heritage Foundation (heritage.org).
First appeared in The Daily Caller.
Protect America Initiative of the Leadership for America Campaign
Read More >>
Request an interview >>
Please complete the following form to request an interview with a Heritage expert.
Please note that all fields must be completed.
Heritage's daily Morning Bell e-mail keeps you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.
The subscription is free and delivers you the latest conservative policy perspectives on the news each weekday--straight from Heritage experts.
The Morning Bell is your daily wake-up call offering a fresh, conservative analysis of the news.
More than 200,000 Americans rely on Heritage's Morning Bell to stay up to date on the policy battles that affect them.
Rush Limbaugh says "The Heritage Foundation's Morning Bell is just terrific!"
Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) says it's "a great way to start the day for any conservative who wants to get America back on track."
Sign up to start your free subscription today!
The Heritage Foundation is the nation’s most broadly supported public policy research institute, with hundreds of thousands of individual, foundation and corporate donors. Heritage, founded in February 1973, has a staff of 275 and an annual expense budget of $82.4 million.
Our mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense. Read More
© 2013, The Heritage Foundation Conservative policy research since 1973