Republican presidents' efforts to reduce nuclear arms
U.S. President George Bush and Soviet counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev confer during their joint press conference July 31, 1991, in Moscow concluding the two-day U.S.-Soviet Summit dedicated to the disarmament. (Getty Images)
March 27th, 2012
06:55 PM ET

Republican presidents' efforts to reduce nuclear arms

Editor's NoteNickolas Roth is a policy fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. This post comes from Democracy Arsenal, a liberal foreign affairs blog.

By Nickolas Roth, Democracy Arsenal

President Obama was recently overheard saying to Russian President Medvedev that, assuming he prevails in the election this November, he would have more flexibility to negotiate on arms control issues. In response, some Congressional Republicans have implied that President Obama may have secret plans to aggressively pursue arms control in his second term.

Perhaps Republicans are concerned that the United States will cut its arsenal in half. Maybe they are concerned that President Obama will eliminate an entire class of nuclear weapons.  Or maybe they are concerned he would do something dramatic like try to negotiate the total elimination of U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons. Well, if he were to accomplish any of these tasks, he would be in good company. These are all feats attempted by Republican Presidents in their second terms.  Every second term Republican President since the beginning of the nuclear age (i.e. Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, and Bush II) proposed drastic changes to the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Here's a review:

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Topics: 2012 Election • Nuclear • Politics • President Obama