Friday, April 2, 2010

Obama will rewrite US policy on nuclear weapons, further reductions in the US stockpile, pledge not to develop new systems

After a review of the nation’s nuclear weapons arsenal that has involved, among others, the Pentagon, the Department of Energy and the intelligence services, as well as the White House, Mr Obama is expected to reject the doctrine on nuclear weapons — the “nuclear posture” — adopted by George W. Bush, which included the possibility of the United States launching an attack on a non-nuclear state.

The Obama Administration has come under pressure from arms control analysts to redefine the circumstances in which the US might consider using nuclear weapons, and to state beyond doubt that the justification for keeping them is purely as a deterrent.

After the President’s speech in Prague last April, when he laid out his personal vision of a world without nuclear weapons, the US has been carrying out a review of its nuclear posture and the conclusions are due to be published in a declassified version early next week — before Mr Obama flies back to Prague to sign the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (Start) with President Medvedev of Russia on April 8.