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Obama Could Reduce Nuclear Arsenal Without Harming National Security: Disarmament Expert

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The United States could securely reduce its nuclear arsenal below the new START agreement numbers through a unilateral action by President Barack Obama, without congressional authorization and without similar actions taken by Russia, Gaukhar Mukhatzhanova at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies said Monday.

WASHINGTON, October 20 (RIA Novosti) - The United States could securely reduce its nuclear arsenal below the new START agreement numbers through a unilateral action by President Barack Obama, without congressional authorization and without similar actions taken by Russia, Gaukhar Mukhatzhanova at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies said Monday.

“In terms of things the US administration could do without the Senate... President Obama could go back to the June [2013] statement about the possibility of further reductions,” said Mukhatzhanova at the annual meeting of the Arms Control Association (ACA) in Washington, DC.

“I think these are reductions that can be made unilaterally,” she told RIA Novosti.

Further, if the US were to take action without reciprocal actions by Russia, it would not affect US or its allies security, according to Mukhatzhanova. “There is absolutely no strategic reason, I think, for the United States to wait for Russia to do the exact the same type of mirror reductions.”

Referring to a recent interagency study done by the US government, she continued, “I think the United States has already decided it can guarantee the security of itself and its allies at exactly the same level with fewer nuclear weapons.”

According to statements by Mukhatzhanova and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Anita Friedt, at the ACA conference, while there are executive actions Obama could take on nuclear disarmament, the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which is closely related to disarmament and nonproliferation, must go through the “difficult political situation” of gridlock in the US Senate.

“I think most states have recognized that the treaty is a victim of domestic politics,” said Mukhatzhanova.

In a June 2013 speech in Berlin, Obama proposed a further reduction in nuclear weapons below the levels of the 2009 START treaty, calling for a US-Russian reduction to 1,500 warheads. In his speech he proposed an additional reduction by one-third of US and Russian arsenals.

Tags:
army, New START Treaty, Barack Obama
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