Saturday, March 27, 2010

Nuclear weapons arsenals to be cut after landmark US and Russia deal.

After more than a year in which very little happened other than talk, Obama has now passed his healthcare bill and today told us of an agreement between Russia and the US which will cut both those nations nuclear arsenals by 30%, giving us the biggest breakthrough for arms control in two decades.

The treaty, which Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev will sign on 8 April in Prague, lowers the ceiling on the number of operational strategic nuclear weapons from 2,200 to 1,550.

The total number of launchers (missiles and heavy bombers) allowed will be reduced to 800, half the existing ceiling.

"We have turned words into action. We have made progress that is clear and concrete," Obama said. "And we have demonstrated the importance of American leadership and American partnership on behalf of our own security, and the world's."

I have no doubt that the Party of No, despite their unwavering support of Ronald Reagan - another president who wanted to reduce the US's nuclear arsenal - will find fault in what Obama has done. They will forget that Reagan also wanted to abolish nuclear weapons, as he made clear in his 1984 State of the Union address:
Ronald Reagan: “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. The only value in our two nations possessing nuclear weapons is to make sure they will never be used. But then would it not be better to do away with them entirely?”
No doubt they will accuse him of leaving America at risk by reducing it's nuclear arsenal.

But, after his recent healthcare victory, this reduction in both the US and Russia's nuclear arsenals represents a huge win for Obama.

I remember during the campaign, when he spoke of a nuclear free world, thinking that he was pitching his rhetoric a little too high. But now, as with healthcare, he has made a significant step in the right direction.

American administrations, like huge ships, turn very slowly. But Obama is undoubtedly turning his ship in the direction which he promised.

Click here for full article.


Steel Phoenix said...

Well done. It's always hard to tell with such a secretive industry how much difference things like this really make, but it certainly looks like progress. Now if we could just convince Israel, India, and Pakistan to do the same, I'd feel a lot more comfortable.

Kel said...

Now if we could just convince Israel, India, and Pakistan to do the same, I'd feel a lot more comfortable.

I agree totally, SP. But progress with other nations, and I actually include the UK in this, has been made easier by what has been done here.

On Question Time - one of the UK's premier political programmes - the other night, whilst talking about the cuts needed to bring down the deficit, I was impressed by the fact that the audience asked why we haven't dispensed with Trident.

This US and Russian action, especially at a time of economic hardship, will only make questions like that more relevant.