Politics

Obama urges nuke cuts, but Russian experts doubtful

Charles Rollet Contributor

President Barack Obama used high-flying rhetoric to advocate for the global elimination of nuclear weapons in his Berlin speech Wednesday.

Obama called for cutting the United States’ nuclear arsenal by up to a third and urged Russia to do the same in order to “move beyond Cold War nuclear postures.”

“Peace with justice means pursuing the security of a world without nuclear weapons, no matter how distant that dream may be,” Obama said.

But Russian analysts are highly skeptical their country would be on board for such deep cuts.

“For Russia it is absolutely disadvantageous, because nuclear weapons are a means of ensuring its geopolitical status,” Igor Korotchenko, the news director of the Center for Analysis of World Arms Trade, told Izvestia.

Other experts also brought up that the nuclear reduction plans only involve Russia and the U.S., but not America’s nuclear-armed NATO allies France and Britain.

“In the event of a nuclear conflict, we will have to fight against NATO, not only the United States. That is, Americans reduce our capacity, [but] leave a possibility of two more countries,” said Izvestia’s military analyst Dmitry Litovkin.

Reactions to Obama’s speech were predictably split along party lines in the United States.

Republican Ohio Rep. Michael Turner said Obama “seems only concerned with winning the approval of nations like Russia, who will applaud a weakened United States.”

Democratic Washington Rep. Adam Smith, however, said that reducing nuclear weapons “will improve our national security, while maintaining our nuclear triad and our ability to deter and respond to any perceived or real nuclear threat.”

In his speech, Obama also promised the U.S. would “do more” against global warming, and pushed for democratic values outside the West.

The speech in central Berlin attracted 6,000 spectators this year, compared to 200,000 when he came in 2008, The Weekly Standard reported.