May 19th, 2009
04:55 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama: U.S. must play leading role in reducing nuclear threat

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama reiterated his call Tuesday for the United States to play a leading role in the fight against nuclear proliferation.

It is critical to "reduce and ultimately eliminate" the risk posed by nuclear weapons at a time when organizations like al Qaeda are seeking fissile material and countries like Iran are trying to acquire a nuclear capability, Obama said.

The president pledged to take "verifiable steps" on the issue, which he said had a long tradition of "bipartisan support" at key junctures in U.S. history.

Obama made his remarks at the end of an Oval Office meeting on U.S. non-proliferation policy with former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Schultz, former Defense Secretary William Perry, and former Sen. Sam Nunn of Georgia.

Schultz, who served under President Reagan, told Obama that the issue is "really non-partisan."

Obama urged nations to get rid of nuclear weapons at a speech in Prague at the beginning of April. He called such arms "the most dangerous legacy of the Cold War" and said the U.S. is committed to reducing nuclear stocks within the next four years.

Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev have announced that their countries will begin negotiations aimed at reducing their respective nuclear arsenals.

"One of the things I have always believed strongly is that both the United States and Russia and other nuclear powers will be in a much stronger position to strengthen what has become a somewhat fragile thread-bare nonproliferation treaty if we are leading by example and if we can take serious steps to reduce the nuclear arsenal," Obama said during an April 1 news conference.

Obama is slated to travel to Moscow in July.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. alvino

    Had the outcome of the presidential election been different, by now, McSurge would have invaded Iran and North Korea. And we would be in a deep depression. Maybe God is on our side.

    May 19, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  2. alvino

    I do not believe the wing nuts who think we will be weaker if we can only destroy the world 10 times over instead of 20 times over?

    May 19, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  3. Tulsa

    tom May 19th, 2009 5:39 pm ET
    +++++++++++++
    Churchill was funny, you are not.

    May 19, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  4. Chris

    Obama is a coward and has no balls to stand up to anyone of the top 3 tyrants. Kim Jon il, Ahmad Amjuradden, and Putin (like we dont know Putin pulls the stings in his country)

    Iran will produce a nuclear weapon and threaten everyone in the region and the US will do nothing but talk and negotiate. Obama is a puppet to the strings that the Clintons are pulling.

    Obama sucks and should be impeached!

    May 19, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    As usual it doesn't mean a thing. Remember when Clinton and the Russians stopped "Pointing" their nukes at each other and the media swooned how great it was and what a diplomat Clinton was. It takes 10 minutes to re-aim these things.

    Once again Obama says what focus groups and language experts show people want to hear, it makes them feel good. The truth is he won't unilaterally disarm and niether will anybody else. Nor will the Russians or the Chinese and especially the Israelis agree to eliminate their weapons arsenals. I hope people will start to figure this guy out,

    2010 can't come fast enough.

    May 19, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  6. alvino

    For the last 8 years, Bushwhacker did nothing to stop Iran. But now, the wingnuts have become impatient and cannot wait a few weeks until the Iranian election.

    May 19, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  7. Larry

    Oh great ,now Obama is going to disarm us-he's got to be stopped,I don't know how, but it's going beyond stupid,he is dangerous and putting our country at great risk.

    The Democrats are more than carried away with "CHANGE",for some unknown reason things that have been working all along,now ,with their neighborhood leader,need to be screwed up,and everything needs to be put at risk,WHY ???

    May 19, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    As usual it doesn't mean a thing. Remember when Clinton and the Russians stopped "Pointing" their nukes at each other and the media swooned how great it was and what a diplomat Clinton was. It takes 10 minutes to re-aim these things.

    Once again Obama says what focus groups and language experts show people want to hear, it makes them feel good. The truth is he won't unilaterally disarm and niether will anybody else. Nor will the Russians or the Chinese and especially the Israelis agree to eliminate their weapons arsenals. I hope people will start to figure this guy out,

    May 19, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  9. Who names their kids "Kelby"??

    My fellow conservatives,

    When you debate liberals, please try avoid using FACTS, reason, and pointing out liberal hypocrisy. Please understand liberals FEEL their way through issues.

    The recent court decision to protect emails within the Bush Administration was "baaaad" – it didn't FEEEEL right therefore MUST be a miscarriage of justice. Interjecting "rule of law" and the fact 5 Supreme Court Justices sided with the Bush administration is quite confusing to liberals.

    If a liberal FEELS it – it must be true.

    May 19, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  10. Willy Brown

    #44 working hard to make America a third world nation.

    May 19, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  11. Brian

    Maybe my THIRD message will get posted.
    Just dont understand why a liberal has to HATE and SPEW more hatred when someone disagrees with them? What a sad state of affairs.
    BTW: Congress spends the money NOT the Pres. And for 2 years you all had the show and spent. Granted Bush should have vetoed more, but didn't. But it was the CONGRESS that got us here.
    Enjoy the bickering

    May 19, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  12. Steve, Columbia SC

    I am concerned that our president may decide, in his apologetic style, to reduce our arsenals first................

    May 19, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  13. CitizenJane

    Quite a bit of attention has been mentioned that the dems had control of congress for the past 2 years. . . Fact: A 55-44 majority was achieved when the new 109th Congress gained control in Jan 2007; it was a NOT fillibuster proof majority which is generally needed to pass contentious legislation.

    May 19, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  14. Steve, Columbia SC

    Why must we always play the "leading" role? Why can't our president consider having the bad guys reduce first............? No chance.

    May 19, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  15. Brian

    @Randolph Carter May 19th, 2009 5:28 pm ET

    I assume you CAN read? Here is what NObama said: It is critical to "reduce and ultimately eliminate"

    He said it, you just didn't read it....

    May 19, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  16. Larry

    1 term-then they all will be gone.

    May 19, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  17. Brock

    Did any of you even read the article? How most of you come to your conclusions here is beyond me...

    May 19, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  18. Kate in SW Fla

    Brian, DEMOCRATS spew Hate? What? Oh please, give me a break.
    If I had a dollar for every Obama hate-filled comment I've read, I could bail out AOG myself. Hypocrit.

    May 19, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  19. Kate in SW Fla

    The Bushies let North Korea do whatever they pleased, and let Iran loose by knocking off Saddam Hussein, who was quite the little deterrent. Actually, if you want to know why the Middle East is in 100% wrse shape post-Bush, go back and read the statement by his father regarding why he was not going to go all the way to Baghdad after Desert Storm. Young whipper snapper just HAD to listen to Dick. Great, now we have a real mess. It may take Obama a bit longer that 4 months to fix it!

    May 19, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  20. Darth Vadik, CA

    Obama Victim,

    you're an idiot

    May 19, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  21. Darth Vadik, CA

    Who names their kids "Kelby"??

    When you brake the law, as the Bush administration did, it doesn't just FEEL bad. ITS ILLEGAL YOU MORON

    and dont even get me going about GOP and facts, oh boy those two words should never be mentioned in the same sentence.

    May 19, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  22. Dan, TX

    Wow, so many hyperbolic people, so little common sense and decency. Obama is right, you can't talk to people who aren't interested in talking. There are very few comments here worthy of reading, but then, the people on these blogs are mostly trying to vent their frustrations anonymously rather than try to add anything useful to the conversation. Doubt if they know this could be a conversation. What a pitiful group of people blogging here. I predict more people will die of H1N1 than died on 9/11, should we spend as much on health care as we did in response to 9/11?

    May 19, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  23. Darth Vadik, CA

    So what if Iran builds their bomb?
    The Iranians have no beef with us whatsoever, except that we overthru their ruler, installed the Shah, causing homeini to rise to power, and the islamic revolution.

    Whether we meddle in the middle east, or central America, WE BRAKE THINGS. The US should not be in the business of creating and getting rid of leaders, WE SHOULD BE IN THE BUSINESS OF COMMUNICATING WITH THE CHOSEN LEADERS.

    May 19, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  24. Tc

    Obama is a true idiot.... He has forgotten 911 ... How dare you think these people want to be our friends...
    I have a son and a husband in the service and this just makes me sick.. They are proud of thier country and YOU should be ashamed of yourself I know I am knowing your a President of the United States and you go around having tea and crumpets thinking if we just say America is sorry can we be friends...YOUR AN IDIOT OBAMA!!!!

    May 19, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  25. Imarriedmycousin in TheOleSouth

    The New Confederate Party lost again.Poor little darlings.

    May 19, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
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