President Obama's ambitious plan to begin phasing out nuclear weapons has run up against powerful resistance from officials in the Pentagon and other U.S. agencies, posing a threat to one of his most important foreign policy initiatives.
Obama laid out his vision of a nuclear-free world in a speech in Prague, Czech Republic, last April, pledging that the U.S. would take dramatic steps to lead the way. Nine months later, the administration is locked in internal debate over a top-secret policy blueprint for shrinking the U.S. nuclear arsenal and reducing the role of such weapons in America's military strategy and foreign policy.
Officials in the Pentagon and elsewhere have pushed back against Obama administration proposals to cut the number of weapons and narrow their mission, according to U.S. officials and outsiders who have been briefed on the process.
In turn, White House officials, unhappy with early Pentagon-led drafts of the blueprint known as the Nuclear Posture Review, have stepped up their involvement in the deliberations and ordered that the document reflect Obama's preference for sweeping change, according to the U.S. officials and others, who described discussions on condition of anonymity because of their sensitivity and secrecy.
The Pentagon has stressed the importance of continued U.S. deterrence, an objective Obama has said he agrees with. But a senior Defense official acknowledged in an interview that some officials are concerned that the administration may be going too far. He described the debate as "spirited. . . . I think we have every possible point of view in the world represented."
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Pentagon pushing back against Obama's nuke cuts
Good. Obama naive approach thinking other countries will cheer and follow if he cuts down American weapons is ridiculous.