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Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Hans Kristensen
President Obama used the backdrop of Berlin's Brandenburg Gate on Wednesday to renew calls for the U.S. to reduce its stockpile of nuclear warheads, but the modest disarmament push underscores just how much has changed for a man who five years ago drew 200,000 people for a similar speech in heart of the German capital.
The Obama administration's consideration of severe cuts in nuclear weapons generated a flurry of GOP criticism — "reckless lunacy" in the words of Arizona Rep. Trent Franks. But the historical record shows that in the two decades since the Cold War ended, Republicans have been the boldest cutters of the nuclear arsenal.
The last of the nation's most powerful nuclear bombs - a weapon hundreds of times stronger than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima - is being disassembled nearly half a century after it was put into service at the height of the Cold War.
Still, both the U.S. and Russia understand — even if Mr. Putin and his aides aren't as forceful in their rhetoric as Mr. Obama — that further reductions make sense, Mr. Kristensen said.
"I think both sides realize that they have enormous amounts of [nuclear] forces compared to any other nuclear state in the world," he said. "Both sides have an interest in cutting the fat from the bone here and trying to get down to something affordable and reasonable for the type of world we're heading into."