Obama Demands Smaller U.S. Nuclear Arsenal, Praises Russia

By:  Alex Newman
03/26/2012
       
Obama Demands Smaller U.S. Nuclear Arsenal, Praises Russia

President Obama promised on Monday to pursue yet another controversial agreement with Russian officials to further slash both governments’ nuclear arsenals, saying the United States already controls more than enough atomic weapons. Speaking ahead of a global “security” summit in Seoul, South Korea, Obama also blasted the regimes ruling North Korea and Iran.

President Obama promised on Monday to pursue yet another controversial agreement with Russian officials to further slash both governments’ nuclear arsenals, saying the United States already controls more than enough atomic weapons. Speaking ahead of a global “security” summit in Seoul, South Korea, Obama also blasted the regimes ruling North Korea and Iran.

Despite several high-profile disagreements in recent years, outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev praised the Obama administration, saying relations between the two governments had reached their “best level” in a decade. Obama, meanwhile, thanked Medvedev for his “cooperation” and said he could not have asked for a “better partner” in Russia. 
 
"Going forward, we'll continue to seek discussions with Russia on a step we have never taken before — reducing not only our strategic nuclear warheads, but also tactical weapons and warheads in reserve," Obama said during a speech at South Korea’s Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. “We can already say with confidence that we have more nuclear weapons than we need.”
 
Shortly after taking office, Obama vowed to pursue a “world without nuclear weapons,” drawing praise from anti-nuclear activists but criticism from a broad range of others. And in 2010, the administration convinced the U.S. Senate to ratify the highly controversial new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with the Russian government. The treaty, which cut nuclear stockpiles by one third, was hailed as Obama’s first major foreign policy achievement.
 
At the time, outraged American critics complained that the deal significantly weakened U.S. national defense capabilities and further eroded national sovereignty. But as Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin prepares to take office again, Obama is again demanding deeper cuts.  

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