Under the Obama administration, America’s conventional armed forces have grown weaker. So have our strategic forces, including our nuclear capability and our defenses against missile attack.

Since it is apparent that President Obama will not step up our missile defenses, Heritage expert Jim Carafano explains what steps the next president will need to take to restore Americas strategic defenses:

  1. Abandon arms control treaties that benefit our adversaries without improving our national security. Weakness invites aggression, and continuing with unilateral nuclear reductions only encourages our adversaries to ramp up their own nuclear programs.
  2. Fund, develop, and deploy a multi-layered ballistic missile defense system. Strong presidential leadership can and should get our missile defense program back on track. War gaming exercises have shown that missile defense is the most effective deterrent to attack in a world where more and more nations become nuclear powers.
  3. Modernize Nuclear Weapons and Delivery Platforms. Years of misguided policies, underfunding and neglect have taken a toll. Our nuclear weapons and their delivery systems are old and in danger of becoming outdated.  The next president will have to articulate the urgency with which we must modernize our nuclear force.
  4. Dump the policy of Mutually Assured Destruction. We need multi-layered missile defense — including space-based interceptors — to protect our civilians, our forward-deployed troops, and our allies from both salvo launches and long-range missile attacks. Iran, Russia, and China have openly threatened to attack us.
  5. Rebuild relationships with allies. Alliances are not automatic or self-sustaining. Mr. Obama has spent more time negotiating with our adversaries than on building partnerships with our most trusted allies. The next president will need to re-engage with our allies on nuclear weapon policy, especially regarding U.S. treaty withdrawals, modernization and deployment.

In an increasingly dangerous and more uncertain environment, the next president will need a new nuclear playbook. They will need to reestablish international confidence in the U.S. as a global leader able to prevent and deter a nuclear war.

What qualities are your looking for in the next commander in chief?

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