Russia’s nuclear weapons buildup challenges Obama’s reduction goal

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President Obama’s decision two years ago to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. military and defense policies is being challenged by Russia’s large-scale buildup of nuclear forces, along with Moscow’s revised nuclear doctrine and recent threats to use the weapons.

The U.S. guidance was outlined in a 2013 White House order called Presidential Policy Directive-24, which calls for reducing the role of U.S. nuclear weapons in national security strategy and maintaining deterrence with smaller nuclear forces.

One flaw in the White House guidance was outlined in the classified PDD-24. PDD-24 says a “key part” of the new guidance is a more benign global security environment, but that has not come to pass under Mr. Obama’s watch. Continue reading