WASHINGTON, D.C. –Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), founder of the House Bipartisan Task Force on Nonproliferation, today praised the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, released by President Obama. The document, which formally defines the missions and requirements for the U.S. nuclear arsenal, marks a major step toward reducing the global stockpile of nuclear weapons. In a break from previous reviews, President Obama renounced the development of new nuclear warheads and explicitly committed to not use nuclear weapons against states that do not possess such weapons themselves and comply with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
“This marks a sea change in America’s nuclear strategy,” said Markey. “For too long, we have kept in place a stagnant Cold War era policy that failed to recognize the shifting geopolitical landscape. These long overdue changes in our nuclear policy will make us more secure by downgrading the role that nuclear weapons play in our defense and emphasizing that such weapons exist only to deter their actual use.”
Building upon the momentum generated by the completion of the U.S.-Russian START arms reduction negotiations and the signing of that treaty tomorrow in Prague, the new nuclear posture announced today will continue to move President Obama’s nuclear agenda forward, toward further multilateral disarmament and nonproliferation actions.
The announcement will also help create momentum heading into the Global Nuclear Security Summit to be convened by President Obama next week in Washington, D.C. The summit will bring together 47 nations and several international organizations to foster cooperation and strengthen initiatives to safeguard against nuclear terrorism. Following on the heels of this summit is the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, which will take place in May at the United Nations.
“I commend President Obama for finally bringing our nuclear strategy into the 21st century. It is my hope that the release of this document, combined with several other key nonproliferation actions, signals the beginning of a nonproliferation renaissance. However, there is much more to be done. I urge President Obama to use the release of the NPR to push toward our goal of a world free of nuclear weapons.”
# # #