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Old 09-21-2009, 10:40 AM  
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Barack Obama Ready To Slash US Nuclear Arsenal

Obama has rejected the Pentagon's first draft of the "nuclear posture review" as being too timid, and has called for a range of more far-reaching options consistent with his goal of eventually abolishing nuclear weapons altogether, according to European officials.

Those options include:

Reconfiguring the US nuclear force to allow for an arsenal measured in hundreds rather than thousands of deployed strategic warheads.

Redrafting nuclear doctrine to narrow the range of conditions under which the US would use nuclear weapons.

Exploring ways of guaranteeing the future reliability of nuclear weapons without testing or producing a new generation of warheads.

The review is due to be completed by the end of this year, and European officials say the outcome is not yet clear. But one official said: "Obama is now driving this process. He is saying these are the president's weapons, and he wants to look again at the doctrine and their role."

The move comes as Obama prepares to take the rare step of chairing a watershed session of the UN security council on Thursday. It is aimed at winning consensus on a new grand bargain: exchanging more radical disarmament by nuclear powers in return for wider global efforts to prevent further proliferation.

That bargain is at the heart of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, which is up for review next year amid signs it is unravelling in the face of Iranian and North Korean nuclear ambitions.

In an article for the Guardian today, the foreign secretary, David Miliband, argues that failure to win a consensus would be disastrous. "This is one of the most critical issues we face," the foreign secretary writes. "Get it right, and we will increase global security, pave the way for a world without nuclear weapons, and improve access to affordable, safe and dependable energy vital to tackle climate change. Get it wrong, and we face the spread of nuclear weapons and the chilling prospect of nuclear material falling into the hands of terrorists."

According to a final draft of the resolution due to be passed on Thursday, however, the UN security council will not wholeheartedly embrace the US and Britain's call for eventual abolition of nuclear weapons. Largely on French insistence, the council will endorse the vaguer aim of seeking "to create the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons".

Gordon Brown is due to use this week's UN general assembly meeting to renew a diplomatic offensive on Iran for its failure to comply with security council demands that it suspend enrichment of uranium. The issue has been given greater urgency by an International Atomic Energy Agency document leaked last week which showed inspectors for the agency believed Iran already had "sufficient information" to build a warhead, and had tested an important component of a nuclear device.

Germany is also expected to toughen its position on Iran ahead of a showdown between major powers and the Iranian government on 1 October. But it is not yet clear what position will be taken by Russia, which has hitherto opposed the imposition of further sanctions on Iran.

Moscow's stance will be closely watched for signs of greater co-operation in return for Obama's decision last week to abandon a missile defence scheme in eastern Europe, a longstanding source of irritation to Russia.

"I hope the Russians realise they have to do something serious. I don't think a deal has been done, but there is a great deal of expectation," said a British official.

Russia has approximately 2,780 deployed strategic warheads, compared with around 2,100 in the US. The abandonment of the US missile defence already appears to have spurred arms control talks currently underway between Washington and Moscow: the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, said today that chances were "quite high" that a deal to reduce arsenals to 1,500 warheads each would be signed by the end of the year.

The US nuclear posture review is aimed at clearing the path for a new round of deep US-Russian cuts to follow almost immediately after that treaty is ratified, to set lower limits not just on deployed missiles but also on the thousands of warheads both have in their stockpiles.

The Obama strategy is to create disarmament momentum in the run-up to the non-proliferation treaty review conference next May, in the hope that states without nuclear weapons will not side with Iran, as they did at the last review in 2005, but endorse stronger legal barriers to nuclear proliferation, and forego nuclear weapons programmes themselves.

"The review has up to now been in the hands of mid-level bureaucrats with a lot of knowledge, but it's knowledge drawn from the cold war. What they are prepared to do is tweak the existing doctrine," said Rebecca Johnson, the head of the Acronym Institute, a pro-disarmament pressure group. "Obama has sent them it back saying: 'Give me more options for what we can do in line with my goals. I'm not saying it's easy, but all you're giving me is business as usual.'"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009...uclear-weapons
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:41 AM   #2
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He's lost his mind...
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:43 AM   #3
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Another angle from the Telegraph:

Regimes in Moscow, Pyongyang and Tehran simply pocket his concessions and carry on as before. The picture emerging from the White House is a disturbing one, of timidity, clumsiness and short-term calculation. Some say he is the weakest president since Jimmy Carter.

The grizzled veterans of the Democratic leadership in Congress have found Mr Obama and his team of bright young advisers a pushover. That has gravely weakened his flagship domestic campaign, for health-care reform, which fails to address the greatest weakness of the American system: its inflated costs. His free trade credentials are increasingly tarnished too. His latest blunder is imposing tariffs on tyre imports from China, in the hope of gaining a little more union support for health care. But at a time when America's leadership in global economic matters has never been more vital, that is a dreadful move, hugely undermining its ability to stop other countries engaging in a ruinous spiral of protectionism.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:43 AM   #4
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:47 AM   #5
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It's funny to contrast here.

Reagan walked out of Reykjavik when the Soviets told him he had to abandon SDI. The Soviets knew they couldn't compete with SDI, and when he would not barter it away, they knew they were beaten.

He knew that we could not reduce the world's nuclear threat by voluntarily downgrading our tech and trusting others to do likewise. He knew that to really end nuclear threat, we needed to render nuclear weapons irrelevant, obsolete.

That doesn't have much to do with this - it's just another case of "we need money to spend buying votes, and our favorite place to find it is DOD". But the approach contrasting to what won the cold war is interesting, with respect to this administration's attitude on missile defense and our weapons arsenal.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:48 AM   #6
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Is this really a priority? lol

He's a one termer and he's gone..lol..I just hope he doesnt do irreparable damage in the mean time.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:48 AM   #7
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:48 AM   #8
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Man, if Obama ever decides to go after an enemy the way he goes after us, they're toast.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D2112 View Post
Is this really a priority? lol

He's a one termer and he's gone..lol..I just hope he doesnt do irreparable damage in the mean time.
You mean like Nationalized HC? Or Cap-and-Tax? While I dearly hope he is just in for one term, I'm pretty sure he is moving to accomplish as much of his radical agenda as quickly as possible. I fully expect to start hearing about our arsenal being reduced within the next couple of months. If he waits too long the American people, or racists as the left calls them, will reject the idea just like they have with HC.
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:00 AM   #10
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What's sad is Obama and his team believe this is the kind of stuff Americans were voting for last year. And they think that people who oppose these ideas are "wrong".
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:01 AM   #11
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What's sad is Obama and his team believe this is the kind of stuff Americans were voting for last year. And they think that people who oppose these ideas are "wrong".
Obama does not listen to the American people.
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:48 AM   #12
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The picture emerging from the White House is a disturbing one, of timidity, clumsiness and short-term calculation. Some say he is the weakest president since Jimmy Carter.
Who isn't saying it and what are they smoking?
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:53 AM   #13
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Man, if Obama ever decides to go after an enemy the way he goes after us, they're toast.
Sad, but true.

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Old 09-21-2009, 11:57 AM   #14
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You mean like Nationalized HC? Or Cap-and-Tax? While I dearly hope he is just in for one term, I'm pretty sure he is moving to accomplish as much of his radical agenda as quickly as possible. I fully expect to start hearing about our arsenal being reduced within the next couple of months. If he waits too long the American people, or racists as the left calls them, will reject the idea just like they have with HC.
He's working hard and fast to get many things legislated. It concerns the heck out of me. But heck, I'm a racist pig for being concerned
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Old 09-21-2009, 01:17 PM   #15
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There guy are balls.

With Russia trying to rebuild, North Korea and China ever so unstable...we are quickly becoming a gutless country. Thanks Obama.
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