U.S.: Arms limits pose no security threat

April 11, 2010 at 3:02 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 11 (UPI) -- The Obama administration said Sunday a deal with Russia to cut nuclear arsenals and new limits on the use of U.S. nuclear weapons won't pose security risks

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates took that message to three of the Sunday news talk shows.

"We will always protect the United States, our partners and allies around the world," Clinton said on NBC's "Meet the Press"

"Our nuclear deterrent will remain secure, safe and effective in doing so. But we also think we will ultimately be safer if we can introduce the idea that the United States is willing to enter into arms treaties with Russia to reduce our respective nuclear arsenals and that we're going to stand for non-proliferation in a way that will perhaps deter others from acquiring nuclear weapons."

President Barack Obama signed the arms-control treaty with Russia Tuesday, the same day he unveiled a new nuclear strategy that says the United States would not use nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear country in compliance with non-proliferation agreements.

On ABC's "This Week," Gates said the United States now enjoys more strength in nuclear deliberations and arms control than it had under past administrations.

"We have more robust deterrents today because we've added (missile defense) to the nuclear deterrent," he said.

He also pointed to use of long-range missiles with conventional warheads. "So we have more tools if you will in the deterrents kit bag than we used to," the defense secretary said.

Gates and Clinton defended the administration's pledge not to use nuclear weapons in response to a chemical or biological attack.

"We could not find a credible scenario where a chemical weapon could have the kind of consequences that would warrant a nuclear response," Gates said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

But he added, if "we see states developing biological weapons that we begin to think endanger us or create serious concerns, then (Obama) reserves the right to revise this policy."

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