Washington, Moscow Ready to Cut Nuclear Weapons but Pentagon Balks

February 19th, 2011 - by admin

The Army Times & The Associated Press – 2011-02-19 17:03:21


Official: Russia Ready to Cut Nuclear Arsenal
The Army Times

MOSCOW (April 24, 2009) — Russia is prepared to “significantly” cut its nuclear arsenal if a deal is reached with the US, the head of the Russian General Staff, Nikolai Makarov, said April 23, Interfax reported.”The Russian president, the commander-in-chief, voiced this position in Helsinki. That’s why I believe we are able to significantly cut both the warheads and their carriers,” Makarov told the agency in an interview. If conditions were right, Russia’s cuts could even take weapons levels below those foreseen in a 2002 accord known as the Moscow Treaty, he added.

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Pentagon Plan Won’t Echo Obama No-nukes Pledge
Anne Gearan, National Security Writer / Associated Press

WASHINGTON (April 24, 2009) — The Pentagon is starting work on a nuclear mission statement that envisions the US maintaining its atomic weapons stockpile for the next five to 10 years, a far more cautious stance than President Barack Obama’s dream of a nuclear-free future.

The “nuclear posture review” due early next year will focus on the practical and nearer-term goal of deterring the use and spread of weapons, Pentagon officials said Thursday. It is not likely to echo Obama’s pledge to work for “global zero,” or total eradication, as an explicit goal.

Civilian and military officials described the forthcoming review, along with a larger master plan for Pentagon policy also due early next year, on condition of anonymity because the policies are still being developed.

The Pentagon nuclear plan envisions possible reductions in the US arsenal while also ensuring that the US maintains a secure deterrent, said a senior defense official involved in the review. Estimates put the US nuclear arsenal at less than 6,000.

The review is part of a realignment of US nuclear policy and international agreements that will include working with Russia on a new treaty to limit the threat from the world’s largest nuclear arsenals.

Outlining some of that policy, Obama told European audiences this month that a nuclear-free world is possible, although perhaps not in his lifetime. “I state clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons,” Obama said in Prague, Czech Republic. He promised to reduce the US arsenal but said that as long as adversaries have nuclear weapons the United States will have defenses against them.

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