Making Sense, by Michael Reagan

In days past, other nations needed a sophisticated and highly trained espionage operation to know the details of America's military might. Now, they only need a subscription to The New York Times.

Cartoon by Cam Cardow - Ottawa Citizen (click to purchase)

Cartoon by Cam Cardow - Ottawa Citizen (click to purchase)

This week, the Obama administration released information regarding the number of nuclear weapons we have stockpiled: 5,113 precisely. This is a mere 16 percent of the nuclear weapons we once had, and the smallest number of nuclear weapons on hand since the Eisenhower administration.

Now, let's be completely clear that 5,113 nuclear weapons are more than enough. I don't particularly care to contemplate how many times over the world could be annihilated with that number of nukes. My father, Ronald Reagan, dreamed of a world where our stockpile would be reduced to zero, and that destructive power would be entirely eliminated.

But regardless of the merits of reducing the size of our stockpile -- an effort which has spanned decades and multiple presidencies -- what I cannot applaud is this administration's loose treatment of American interests.

In so many ways, President Obama seems to have forgotten that we are still a sovereign nation facing real threats and irrational enemies. Once again, he has made a substantive offer of American intelligence and resources without any known return on investment.

This deeply disturbing pattern would have appalled my father.

Since his inauguration, President Obama has made multiple overtures towards the Iranian government. The response? A report released just this past February by the International Atomic Energy Agency said the Iranians are working even more determinedly in their pursuit of atomic weapons. Their massive enrichment program, perhaps be too large to halt, is now certainly too large for the Iranian government to easily surrender.

During the international climate negotiations in Copenhagen, the United States was only stopped from surrendering massive shares of its economic power by the complete unwillingness to engage on the part of large developing nations such as China, India, and Indonesia.

In dealing with rogue nation North Korea, President Obama has only seen the situation with that intractable county disintegrate. Just over a year ago, North Korea pulled out of six-party talks and ejected all nuclear inspectors. A month later, they publicly tested a nuclear weapon. Now, a South Korean naval vessel has sunk under suspicious circumstances, and even if North Korea is to blame, no one seems quite sure what recourse is available.

And while the Obama administration claims a warm relationship with China, we can't help but look at tensions over North Korea, Taiwan, currency -- even Google -- and ask: Really? Does a friendly diplomatic meeting do us any good if we walk away with no progress?

From his multi-nation apology tour to stalled foreign policy promises to this preemptive release of our nuclear secrets, President Obama has repeatedly demonstrated his willingness to give away the store and gain little to nothing in return.

Last week's attempted bombing in Times Square should have driven home, once again, the very real threats America still faces in this world. The economic, military, and diplomatic strength our country has known for the past half-century is not inevitable. Without strong, strategic leadership this nation, like so many before it, will peak and fade.

President Obama seems not to know, or not to care, and that is one quality we can not afford in our leader.


Mike Reagan, the elder son of the late President Ronald Reagan, is spokesperson for The Reagan PAC ( and chairman and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation ( Look for Mike's books and other information at E-mail comments to [email protected].

©2010 Mike Reagan. If you're not a paying subscriber to our service, you must contact us to print or Web post this column. Mike's column is distributed exclusively by: Cagle Cartoons, Inc., newspaper syndicate. For info contact Cari Dawson Bartley. E-mail [email protected], (800) 696-7561.