Obama’s call for a nuclear weapons free world: Mixed reactions and skepticism
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  • There has been mixed reactions to President Obama's call for a "world without nuclear weapons." Some analysts suggested that the call was similar to the then President Ronald Reagan's idealistic, unfulfilled dream of eliminating the threat of nuclear annihilation1. Others noted that the measure was intended to support strengthening the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which carries with it the promise of the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons2. Analysts also noted that nuclear weapons could not be un-invented and that the technology was over 60 years old and that the materials and skills needed were widely available3.

    French officials meanwhile were quoted as stating that Paris had begun to reduce its nuclear arsenal long before President Obama issued his call for a "world without nuclear weapons." Reports noted that France had halted nuclear testing in 1996 even as the US Senate had held up Washington's approval of a comprehensive test ban treaty. President Sarkozy had pledged last year to cut back France's nuclear stockpile, even as he reiterated his government’s commitment to retaining an independent deterrent based on four ballistic missile submarines and several dozen fighter-bombers4.

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