For the first time, the United States is explicitly committing not to use nuclear weapons against nonnuclear states that are in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, even if they attacked the United States with biological or chemical weapons or launched a crippling cyberattack.
Just curious: what good is this expected to do? For the record, there are chemical and biological weapons (CBW) bans, too, which have been joined by nearly every nation. So a nation attacking us with those weapons would likely be out of compliance with some WMD treaty. We have long committed not to use CBW ourselves, so the only WMD we have left with which to respond is our nukes.
Which are rapidly aging, by the way. We could replace them, except that Obama is also preventing that:
To set an example, the new strategy renounces the development of any new nuclear weapons, overruling the initial position of his own defense secretary.
Does our President think we should conduct diplomacy as if we were running a kindergarten? I'm curious if it has worked, ever, for a nation to "set an example" by disarming itself. What do other nations typically do? Do they disarm themselves, act nicely, start cooperating, out of a spirit of lovingkindness? I don't know of any cases where this has ever happened. There's no reason to think this time will be any different.
In fact, the great danger here is that, by systematically weakening the U.S. nuclear umbrella that currently stretches over the Western Hemisphere, Obama's policy actually increases the likelihood of nuclear proliferation. Many nations that could go nuclear easily rely on the U.S. to protect them: take Japan, Germany and the rest of the Anglosphere as obvious examples. India, a growing ally of ours, has never been under the umbrella: it went publicly nuclear in May, 1998, in response to a growing threat from Pakistan's nuclear program. Pakistan then went nuclear itself two weeks later.
It's not pleasant being the world's sheriff, and it's understandable that Obama doesn't relish being the leader of the nation that has been stuck with the job. But if he abdicates his responsibilities, he will end up making the problem of nuclear proliferation worse, not better.