A Modest Step on Nuclear Weapons
While the review has been characterized in some press reports as a big step forward (“Obama Limits When Nuclear Weapons Would Be Used“), other reports (“Obama appears to be backing off promise to take nation’s nuclear weapons off “hair-trigger alert”) describe the president as retreating from his promise of dramatic steps to work for a world free of nuclear weapons.
To make some sense of all this, I checked in with FCNL’s David Culp this morning:
The policy is modest incremental step in the right direction. We had hoped for bolder steps, but nuclear weapons supporters still control the Pentagon.
Personally, I’m pretty disappointed that President Obama didn’t go further. But David points out that if the Pentagon had written this policy themselves “it would have been much worse.” David’s sources tell him that the president intervened at the last minute and re-wrote key parts of the policy himself. Specifically, the president took his red pen and added a provision saying that the U.S. would not use nuclear weapons on any signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty — the Pentagon didn’t even want to go that far.
So another case of the glass half full?