We might consider the conservative reaction to Obama’s nuclear arms reduction treaty as a microcosm of the right’s overall theory on foreign policy: that the means need have no relation to the end, and that power is its own good, even and especially for its own sake. This is the only context in which the following excerpt makes sense:
In a post-Cold War world, the number and yield of nuclear weapons a country possesses is almost a technicality, with no likelihood of ever having a real-world impact. You can instead treat nuclear capacity as a “yes/no” question — once a “yes” is indicated, that’s all you need to know about the country’s ability to deter any serious threat. Ever. Deterrence only works against state actors — not against terrorists! — and there are no bellicose state actors with ICBMs, and thus no need for a deterrent value over “one.” Accordingly, reduction of nuclear stockpiles on par with the only other serious nuclear power can only produce good results, in the form of safety and massive, massive savings.
And even given a Cold War world, the number of nuclear weapons a country possesses is, again, academic after a certain point. The goal of a nuclear deterrent is realized once a country can preserve a second-strike capability totaling over 300 megatons — the generally agreed-upon number necessary to obliterate all major city centers in a U.S./Russia sized nation. Our submarine fleet alone, from which we can assume a 50% survival rate after any first strike, has enough nuclear warheads to guarantee that value.
Scholars still debate whether the massive Cold War nuclear buildup was ever necessary to preserve a serious deterrent. What’s beyond debate, today, is that unless you take some perverse pride in the number of bombs your country has, there’s no reason to worry about a mutual draw-down.