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DEFENSE AND NON-PROLIFERATION : U.S.-EU HIGHLIGHTS

Global Leaders Endorse Securing of All Nuclear Material by 2014 – Following two days of meetings in Washington, leaders from around the world agreed to take tangible and meaningful steps to secure the world’s nuclear materials. President Obama, who initiated the global effort in a speech in Prague in April 2009, called the collective agreement “a testament to what is possible” in multilateral partnership. Speaking at the conclusion of the Nuclear Security Summit April 13, Obama said, “We have made real progress in building a safer world.” Recent weeks have seen marked progress on one of the President’s key long-term foreign policy objectives to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, and to secure vulnerable nuclear materials.  On April 8th, President Obama signed the New START Treaty which will require the United States and Russia to reduce — by 30 percent below the levels in a treaty signed in 2002 — the number of nuclear warheads they have deployed on intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-based ballistic missiles, and bombers. The New Start Treaty was signed two days after the Department of Defense released the new Nuclear Posture Review, which establishes as a goal of America’s foreign policy “to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy and focus on reducing the nuclear dangers of the 21st century, while sustaining a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent for the United States and our allies and partners as long as nuclear weapons exist,” as the President put it in his statement. (President Obama’s Summit Opening Remarks; Nuclear Security Summit National Statement of the United States; Summit Communiqué; Key Summit FactsWork Plan of the Washington Nuclear Security Summit)

Obama Administration Revamps U.S. Nuclear Policy – The Obama administration issued a new U.S. nuclear strategy April 6 that sharply narrows the use of nuclear weapons, but maintains their traditional role to deter a nuclear strike against the United States. The Nuclear Posture Review (PDF, 2.7MB) was unveiled at a Pentagon briefing by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The review of the nation’s nuclear policy is the first since 2001 and the third since the end of the Cold War two decades ago.

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