News Release

Obama and Cold War Thinking

On Monday, in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, President Obama stated: “But as we all know, much of our defense establishment has yet to fully adapt to the post-Cold War world. … Twenty years after the Cold War ended, this is not simply unacceptable. It is irresponsible.” — NY Times

Kimball is executive director of the Arms Control Association. He said today: “President Obama recenty talked about the fact that the Cold War had ended 20 years ago and said that the administration was ‘asking hard questions about the forces we need.’ It is definitely time to ask hard questions about our nuclear arsenal. On April 5 in Prague, President Obama called for ‘an end to Cold War thinking’ and declared that the United States will ‘reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy’ and ‘seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.’ To do so, the president must ensure that his administration’s Nuclear Posture Review, which is due to be completed by year’s end, fully reflects his intentions and the realities of the 21st century. That requires that the president directs his administration to limit the role of nuclear weapons to a core deterrence mission: maintaining a sufficient, survivable nuclear force for the sole purpose of deterring the use of nuclear weapons by another country. He should also reinforce the United States commitment to reducing the role and missions of U.S. nuclear weapons by declaring that the United States will not develop or produce new design warheads or modified warheads for the purpose of creating new military capabilities.”

Kimball added: “Unfortunately, some elements of the Defense Department and the entrenched nuclear weapons lobby are seeking to block overdue changes in U.S. nuclear weapons policy. The president must step in to ensure that his call for an end to Cold War nuclear weapons thinking is not undermined from within.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167