Obama’s nuclear proposal: Trend News commentator

Aynur Gasimova, Head of the Trend European Desk


Immediately after assuming office, U.S. President Barack Obama began implementing his campaign promises.

Obama promised to stop funding the U.S. missile shield if he won the presidential election.


"I will cut billions of dollars in unnecessary spending. I will stop investing in unproven missile defense systems. I will not place weapons in space," Obama told the public in October 2007.

Obama's peaceful plans seem to differ drastically from the policies of his predecessor former President George Bush. The most significant change in the new administration's policies is Obama's desire to improve relations with Russia. The new president is even ready to slow down the deployment of U.S. missile shield in Europe - an idée fix of the previous administration.


But it seems Obama's friendly policies have another goal. It is unwise for the U.S. to undermine its economy at the moment by spending huge sums on installing missile defense system in Europe.

Obama's gesture to Russia was an unexpected proposal. He will invite Russia to reduce its nuclear weapons by 80 percent, The Times wrote on Feb. 4.

According to Obama's radical plan, the number of nuclear warheads should be reduced 5 times to 1,000 in both the U.S. and Russia. A key factor in his initiative will be to revise the plans of the Bush administration to deploy the U.S. missile shield in Eastern Europe, the newspaper wrote.

The proposal is unbalanced. The U.S. is located on another continent and can afford to disarm itself. Geographically, it is difficult to attack the U.S. Therefore, 1,000 nuclear weapons are more than enough for the country to be on the safe side.


With Russia it is quite another story. On the one side, the country neighbors the world's third nuclear power China. On the other side, it has near borders with the underground nuclear power Iran.


Dong Feng missiles with a distance of less than 600 kilometers are a key part of Chinese nuclear forces. They are harmless for the U.S., but can easily hit Russia. This is beneficial geography in action.


But everything is appropriate from a diplomatic point of view. The terms of the Agreement to Limit Strategic Offensive Arms (SOA-1), which was signed in 1991, expire in December. According to the  agreement, both countries should limit their nuclear reserves from roughly 10,000 to 5,000 units. It appears that Obama may make a unique proposal for a new agreement on the issue.


The U.S. has mentioned decelerating its plans to deploy the third positional region in Europe, but not to annul the system entirely. This is the nicety of the issue.


"The number of warheads Obama offers Russia is not enough to ensure U.S. security," the RBK daily quoted Moscow Political and Military Analyses Institute expert Alexander Khramchikhin as saying.


The Americans can destroy a reduced Russian arsenal, even without nuclear weapons.


"The U.S. can destroy shaft-based missiles which are a key part of the Russian nuclear forces through highly accurate non-nuclear strikes," Khramchikhin said. "Missiles launched by Russia will be hit by the U.S. Missile Defense Shield."


Obama's friendly offer does not seem as straightforward as one would think. Russia would agree to reduce its nuclear arsenal and stand unprotected before a growing China. Meanwhile, the U.S. would deploy the third positional region in Europe.


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