- Posted October 25, 2013 by
London, United Kingdom
A Sustainable Approach to Nuclear Zero
Since taking office, US President Barack Obama has appeared determined to reduce the salience and centrality of nuclear weapons in US defence posture, at least in part to help facilitate the achievement of a nuclear weapons-free world. A central component of the Obama administration’s plan (but often overlooked in wider discussions about the pros and cons of nuclear disarmament) is the gradual shift to a far greater reliance upon advanced conventional weaponry in US defence policy, specifically through a larger role for ballistic missile defences (BMD), advanced conventional strike weapons, such as the Prompt Global Strike (PGS) programme, and sophisticated command, control, and monitoring capabilities. The imperative behind this move is that the administration hopes to foster the domestic conditions favorable for further US nuclear reductions – thereby reigniting the push towards nuclear abolition internationally – while at the same time placating domestic critics concerned about a weakening of US security and of the US’ global role. From the point of view of the Obama administration, an increased role for advanced conventional weapons will allow it to reduce its own nuclear stockpile, signaling to other nuclear powers its intent to eventually disarm.