Public Comment

Nuclear Weapons

Jagjit Singh
Friday April 01, 2016 - 04:22:00 PM

Hosting a nuclear security forum of world leaders on Friday, April 1 2016 offers President Obama a rare opportunity to follow through on his earlier pledge to reduce the stockpile of nuclear weapons. 

Thus far, his efforts have been disappointing. According to the Federation of American Scientists, Obama’s record has been abysmal compared to other cold-war war presidents. 

Surprisingly, President George Bush achieved a 50% nuclear stockpile reduction during his tenure, a percentage higher than all other presidents since 1945. Comparatively, Obama has achieved a disappointing 10% reduction of 507 warheads. 

In his 2009 foreign policy address in Prague, Obama pledged to seek a world without nuclear weapons. 

In 2011 he achieved a groundbreaking New START Treaty with Russia which mandated significant nuclear weapons stockpile reductions and inspection verification protocols. Since taking office Obama has persuaded the international community to reduce their stockpiles but following the 2011 treaty, the momentum has been lost. 

For example, his administration has slashed the National Nuclear Security Administration non-proliferation budget by $339 million. To appease a Congress hostile to the New START Treaty he pledged a significant increase in weapons modernization to the tune of $1 trillion over 30 years. This is a tragic mistake. Obama could do far more to fulfill his Prague promise before his term expires.