JERUSALEM – President Obama plans to offer Russia a deal whereby
each country would reduce its nuclear weapons stockpile by 80 percent, the Times of London reported today.
The proposal is consistent with Obama’s previous calls on the campaign trail for the elimination of all the world’s nuclear
weapons, arguing the Cold War is over.
Obama’s statements came even while Russia reportedly worked to revive its
Cold War-era naval activities and weapons supply channels to former allies in a clear
challenge to the U.S.
WND also reported one nuclear adviser to Obama proposed Israel give up its nuclear weapons to ensure Iran halts its illicit nuclear program.
The Times quoted an official from the Obama administration stating the
president seeks a radical treaty to cut the number of nuclear warheads to
1,000 for each country. Also, the official said Obama would review a plan by the
Bush administration for a U.S. missile defense shield in Eastern Europe, a
project fiercely opposed by Moscow.
“We are going to re-engage Russia in a more traditional, legally binding
arms reduction process,” an official from Obama’s administration told the Times.
“We are prepared to engage in a broader dialogue with the Russians over
issues of concern to them,” he added. “Nobody would be surprised if the number
reduced to the 1,000 mark for the post-Start treaty.”
The talks would be led by the State Department and supervised by a
soon-to-be created non-proliferation office, likely to be headed by former Clinton
negotiator, Gary Samore, the Times reported. The Obama official said the
administration believes a U.S.-Russia deal would serve as a catalyst for other
nuclear-armed states to cut their stockpiles.
The new White House policy follows Obama’s pledges for a nuclear-free world.
“Here’s what I’ll say as president: America seeks a world in which there are
no nuclear weapons,” he declared in a 2007 speech.
Last year he argued, “We need to change our nuclear policy and our posture,
which is still focused on deterring the Soviet Union – a country that
But Obama’s words came as Russia signed a major arms deal with Syria and
began reviving its Cold War-era naval bases in the Middle East, including in the
Syrian ports of Tartus and Latakia on the Mediterranean. Moscow maintained
bases in Damascus during the Cold War, but Russia’s influence in the region
weakened after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Israeli security officials last year confirmed fears in Jerusalem that Russia may spark a Cold War-like
military buildup in the Middle East.
The seemingly closer ties between Syria and Russia came as then-Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice and her Polish counterpart in August inked a deal to
build a U.S. missile defense base in Poland, prompting Russia to warn of a
possible attack against the former Soviet ally. That deal came on the heels of
Russia’s invasion of U.S. ally Georgia.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement on its website warning Moscow
would react to the U.S.-Polish anti-missile deal “not only through diplomatic
protests.” A Russian general even warned in an interview Moscow could target
Rice at the time stated the Russian response to the deal with Poland
“borders on the bizarre,” but she denied Washington wanted a confrontation with