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US abandonment of nuclear disarmament goal leaves NPT commitment in doubt

[JURIST] In a speech [text] to the East Tennessee Economic Council, US National Nuclear Security Administration [official website] head Linton Brooks [official profile], has publicly acknowledged for the first time the Bush administration's intent to abandon "nuclear disarmament." Brooks said Friday that the goal of complete nuclear disarmament will no longer be an active component of US foreign policy as the US turns its attention to the development of more reliable nuclear warheads:

The United States will, for the foreseeable future, need to retain both nuclear forces and the capabilities to sustain and modernize those forces. I do not see any chance of the political conditions for abolition arising in my lifetime, nor do I think abolition could be verified if it were negotiated.
The 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty [text] signed by the US contains an explicit disarmament clause and in 1998, President Clinton and President Boris Yeltsin of Russia signed a joint statement declaring their common goal of nuclear disarmament. AFP has more.

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