Everyone used to have good laughs when George W. Bush frequently mispronounced “nuclear” as “nuke-u-lar,” but at least he understood the basic foreign relations concept of deterrence. Barack Obama doesn’t, and it’s not funny.

Obama’s new nuclear policy imposes self-limitations on how the United States can respond to attacks. Essentially, if a country that has followed the nonproliferation treaty attacks the United States or our allies with non-nuclear weapons, we cannot respond by attacking them with nuclear weapons.

Sounds reasonable, right? Not quite. While the U.S. should always avoid using nuclear weapons at all costs, taking this response off the table weakens our ability to deter future attacks.

No longer will America “speak softly and carry a big stick.” For the last 60 years, countries have been scared to attack the U.S. and our allies because they knew we could respond with utter annihilation. Obama has shelved our biggest stick.

It’s not that we should be expecting an attack anytime soon, but we ought to examine what message this sends to the world. According to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, this policy sends a message to Iran and North Korea that “if you’re not going to play by the rules, if you’re going to be a proliferator, then all options are on the table in terms of how we deal with you.”

Wait a second — how does weakening our ability to defend ourselves send a message to rogue nations? The new policy has nothing to do with these countries and gives us no new leverage to make them stop their proliferation. We had “all options” before the new policy, and nothing has changed.

This policy is not designed to step up the fight to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons. It’s designed to be a political face-lift. I mean, he’s got to earn that meritless Nobel Peace Prize somehow.

Focusing on nuclear weapons has been one giant political show. After Obama signed the new nuclear Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with Russia on Thursday, he called for the eventual removal of all nuclear weapons.

Continuing with the delusions of grandeur, the administration and the MSNBC anchors have been incessantly claiming that Obama’s new policies are fulfilling Ronald Reagan’s dream of getting rid of all nuclear weapons.

This is revisionist history at its worst.

President Reagan, unlike Obama, did not believe in some fantasy land where everyone would completely disarm themselves. Reagan understood that countries would never be able to trust each other enough to get rid of all their nuclear arms. Yet, he still believed nuclear weapons would be unnecessary one day.

The only way Reagan was able to end the Cold War was by convincing the Soviet Union that they were technologically outmatched. Despite a barrage of early criticism, Reagan had persisted in developing a technology — the Strategic Defense Initiative — that was on its way to making nuclear weapons obsolete.

Ironically, this is the same technology that Obama has spent his entire term dismantling. Reagan invested billions of dollars in our missile defense program, but ever since Obama took office, he has targeted these shields time and time again.

First, Obama drastically cut funding for the shield in Alaska. Soon after that, he completely canceled the shields being built in Czechoslovakia and Poland. He put the cherry on top when he de-funded the F-22 program — the only plane equipped with laser missile-defense technology.

Obama cut these tested and proven programs in order to appease the Russians and prop up his world image, but these efforts were the last, best hope we had for safely ending nuclear weapons. If any nuke launched around the world could be targeted and eliminated by our laser technology, it would be practically worthless for anyone to have or develop nuclear weapons.

By further cutting “Star Wars,” Obama is taking away Reagan’s dream and making America significantly more vulnerable to foreign aggression.

The only way America can continue to consistently deter attacks is to remain the world’s strongest force. This doesn’t mean having the biggest army, but it does mean having the most advanced weapons and technology.

I’m genuinely worried that soon we will no longer be the world’s hegemon. If President Obama persists in voluntarily rolling back our offensive and defensive powers, he paves the way for countries like China to assume dominance. I, for one, don’t want to see a tyrannical regime as the world’s superpower.

This article was originally published on www.humanevents.com.