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Rep. Peter King Goes Nuclear Against New Obama Policy

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Location: Washington, DC

Republicans howl about the "nuclear option" to crack down on filibusters in the Senate. But on a day when President Obama released a real policy on when to use nukes -- his Nuclear Posture Review -- many GOP lawmakers were quiet (or just enjoying a congressional spring recess).

Not so for Rep. Peter King (R-L.I.), the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, who just sounded off in an interview with the Post.

"The president's dream of a worldwide liberal utopia is going to undermine the security of the United States," King fumed.

"It's a very bad decision. It's a unilateral retreat. It's going to make America and the world less safe. And the thought that an American president would tell countries that if they attack us with chemical or biological weapons they don't have to fear a nuclear response makes no sense at all," he continued.

"The whole idea of a nuclear system is to have a deterrent where we decide if we're going to use it," he added.

The new policy essentially rules out a first strike against countries that don't have nukes and join the international nonproliferation regime.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, asked at today's briefing why Obama would give up the strategic ambiguity of past policy, told reporters the new policy was meant to "incentivize" good behavior.

"I think the President's new posture review is predicated on the logic of incentivizing good behavior, of ensuring the security of those that live up to their obligations, and provides no assurance to those that either have a nuclear weapon or in the case of Iran and North Korea aren't living up to its obligations," he said.


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