Obama to Pentagon: Scale Back Nuke Arsenal

President rejects Defense review, plans international deal
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2009 7:01 AM CDT
President Barack Obama speaks about the US missile defense shield in the Czech Republic and Poland Thursday, Sept. 17, 2009, at the White House in Washington.    (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama rejected the first draft of a Pentagon report on the US nuclear arsenal and is demanding a radical review ahead of deep cuts, according to the Guardian. The president, whose stated goal is the complete abolition of nuclear weapons, wants to see a range of options: cutting the arsenal from thousands of weapons to hundreds, new international rules to narrow opportunities for deployment, and an end to the testing or production of new warheads.

Obama is taking the uncommon step of chairing a UN Security Council meeting this week, which observers say is aimed at striking a grand bargain on disarmament and non-proliferation. One European official said that the impetus for the deal is coming straight from the Oval Office: "Obama is now driving this process. He is saying these are the president's weapons, and he wants to look again at the doctrine and their role."