Obama Picks Up His Own Nuclear Baton
By Lt. General Robert Gard, Jr. (USA, Ret.) & Ambassador (Ret.) Thomas Graham, Jr.
In a speech in Berlin on June 19, a second-term Obama picked up the nuclear baton from first-term Obama, a baton which had been entrusted to him by three generations of presidents from both parties, including Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy.
The speech laid out a larger foreign policy agenda and a small working ‘to-do list’ for one of the president’s top legacy issues: reducing the threat of nuclear weapons and terrorism to enhance US national and fiscal security.
Only three months after taking the oath of office in 2009, President Obama gave an address in Prague that lead to the New START Treaty, the removal of nuclear materials from ten countries and two Nuclear Security Summits.
These achievements reduced the number of Russian nuclear weapons that could target a U.S. city and decreased the risk of terrorist organizations gaining access to dangerous nuclear materials.
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