Congressman John Fleming, M.D. (LA-4), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement after joining 33 Members of Congress in sending a letter to President Obama in response to reports that the White House is exploring drastic cuts to the U.S. nuclear arsenal:
"Our nuclear deterrent is one of the enduring capabilities that makes America as great as it is. In 1945 it decisively ended a protracted war that had cost over 400,000 American lives and would have taken countless more. Throughout the Cold War it protected us from the vast threat of Soviet aggression, and in today's hostile and uncertain world nuclear deterrence continues to protect us every day.
"'Nuclear Zero' is a fantasy divorced from the reality that China, Russia, North Korea -- and soon to be Iran -- have no intention of abandoning their nuclear weapons. The reality is that these weapons exist, and as long as they do, the U.S. must maintain superiority. As grave as it sounds, America's very existence may depend on it one day. Unilateral nuclear reductions will irreparably damage our national security by impairing our ability to deter and respond to aggression, destabilizing the global balance of power and giving potential adversaries a strategic advantage. Moreover, it raises serious doubts about the credibility of our assurances to allies who rely on our nuclear capability so they don't have to create their own.
"The strength of America's nuclear deterrent should not be a partisan issue, but President Obama insists on making it one in order to placate environmentalist and anti-war activists."