CENTER FOR ARMS CONTROL AND NON-PROLIFERATION APPLAUDS PRESIDENT OBAMA’S BERLIN SPEECH AS AN HEIR TO JFK AND HIS PRAGUE AGENDA
Washington DC – June 19, 2013– Press Release – Today, President Obama gave a speech in Berlin heralding his second term strategy to decrease the U.S. reliance on outdated and expensive Cold War weaponry.
“Looking forward to his second term, we hope to see further reductions in nuclear weapons which provide no added security and an expensive bill for taxpayers,” said Lt. General (ret. USA) Robert Gard, chairman of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and former president of National Defense University. “We also look forward to greater progress on President Obama’s promise to secure nuclear materials abroad that will prevent nuclear terrorism.”
Obama’s first term made significant progress on nuclear issues including eliminating nuclear materials in ten countries; negotiating, signing and ratifying the New START Treaty and hosting two nuclear summits in Washington DC and Seoul to build international consensus for securing nuclear materials. “President Obama has done a good deal to protect the U.S. from nuclear threats and we will strongly support further efforts to reduce the nuclear threat in the next three and a half years,” added Lt. General Gard.
In today’s speech, the President placed several new items on his ‘nuclear to-do list’ including further reductions to the number of costly U.S. weapons, continuing to reduce the number of Russian nuclear weapons that could instantly be targeted at the U.S., preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and nuclear terrorisms and building greater international pressure to prevent nuclear testing.
“The President spoke about several key policies that will make America safer in the short and long term. For too long a Cold War ideology has permeated Washington; it is time to make national security decisions based on modern realities,” added Philip Coyle, senior science fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and former Associate Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology and Pentagon director in charge of weapons testing. “The President lays out a critical path forward to a new world that can free resources from a reliance on costly nuclear weapons for more critical 21st century national security needs.”
Many have argued that nuclear weapons will be a legacy issue for President Obama. “For more than sixty years, Presidents of both Parties have been working to reduce the nuclear threat and abolish nuclear weapons,” said Ambassador Thomas Graham, a member of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation National Advisory Board and a former Special Representative of the President for Arms Control, Non-Proliferation and Disarmament. “Over those sixty years, these weapons have had a declining value for the national security; the world has changed and it is time for our security policy to be reshaped to address 21st century threats.”
“However, U.S. nuclear weapons policy cannot be held hostage to Russian gamesmanship,” added Director of Non-Proliferation Programs at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, Kingston Reif. “There are numerous independent steps the President could take to increase U.S. security, reduce the risk of a nuclear exchange, and pave the way for further bilateral and multilateral threat reduction efforts.”
Lt. General Gard, Director Coyle and other members of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation are available for further comment and broadcast bookings by contacting James Lewis at 202.546.0795 X 2113, 724.288.3995 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation is a Washington-based non-profit think tank working to reduce the number of nuclear weapons stockpiled across the globe, increase international nonproliferation programs targeted at preventing the further proliferation of nuclear weapons and nuclear terrorism, redirect U.S. military spending to address 21st century security threats and halt the proliferation of biological and chemical weapons. www.armscontrolcenter.org