White House should not "duck" its responsibility to "shield" the United States

“Duck and Cover” has been replaced by its 21st-century incarnation: “Shield Yourself.” This no doubt marks the zenith of the Obama Administration’s nuclear preparedness plan (sarcasm intended), as outlined in a recent government report detailing the methods for increasing survivability rates in the case of a nuclear blast.

Unfortunately, such trivialities belie the dangerous path upon which America inexorably moves, one marked by unpredictable adversaries whose nuclear ambitions outpace America’s defensive maneuvers.

Instead of stating the obvious, such as staying indoors in the event of a nuclear explosion, the Obama Administration would be well served to adopt a more literal, macro interpretation of their new slogan. Instead of abandoning much of the progress made in missile defense during the Bush Administration, President Obama should readopt a posture of aggressive missile defense deployment.

To be certain, the President’s pending treaty known as New START, currently awaiting Senate deliberation and approval, undermines America’s missile defense capabilities by restricting its implementation. It further allows for the maintenance of a disproportionate Russian advantage in tactical nuclear arms. As cited by the Heritage Foundation, “The Russian advantage poses a significant challenge for the U.S. in maintaining a credible extended deterrence policy for the benefit of its allies.”

President Obama should demand full funding for missile defense objectives and endeavor to provide the continental United States with blanket coverage against nuclear attacks from rogue regimes. Our missile defense objectives should also extend to our friends and allies throughout the world and provide robust coverage in the event that a nuclear-armed adversary makes use of weapons of mass destruction.

Tensions in the Yellow Sea and instability throughout the Middle East foster an international environment that increasingly threatens U.S. interests both at home and abroad. The Obama Administration can do far more in protecting the American homeland by decisively taking proactive steps to increasing our defensive capabilities, not undermining our national security efforts through rhetorical hokum.