Responding to President Barack Obama's speech in Berlin signaling further reduction of U.S. nuclear forces, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, today said any additional limitations of the U.S. nuclear arsenal without first fulfilling commitments to modernization of existing forces could amount to "unilateral disarmament." On Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry called Senator Corker and assured him that any further reductions would occur in bilateral treaty negotiations subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.
"Maintaining a strong nuclear deterrent is vital for our nation's security and that of our allies around the world. While the administration has assured me that no further reductions will occur outside of treaty negotiations and the advice and consent of the Senate, the president's announcement without first fulfilling commitments on modernization could amount to unilateral disarmament. The president should follow through on full modernization of the remaining arsenal and pledges to provide extended nuclear deterrence before engaging in any additional discussions," said Corker.
In April, Senator Corker pointed out the Obama administration's unmet obligations on nuclear modernization in a joint commentary with Senator James Inhofe, R-Okla., ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, published by Foreign Policy. And in a previous op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, also with Inhofe, Corker argued unilateral disarmament by the U.S. could lead to the "very instability that the U.S. seeks to avoid."