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Current Event Cat of the Day: Nuclear Cutbacks

Current Event Cat - Nuclear Cuts

President Barrack Obama has called for major nuclear cutbacks for both the United States and Russia.

Remember back in the day, shortly after his inauguration in 2009, when Obama said he wanted to rid the world of nuclear weapons? Well, four and a half years later, he’s remembered that promise. During his public speech in Berlin, Obama proposed reductions in the number of tactical warheads deployed in Europe.

Standing at the Brandenburg Gate, which once divided East and West Germany, 50 years after John F Kennedy’s celebrated “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech, Obama told the crowd:

“Today’s threats are not as stark as they were half a century ago, but the struggle for freedom and security and human dignity, that struggle goes on.”

“We may no longer live in fear of global annihilation but so long as nuclear weapons exist, we are not truly safe.”

Obama called on the Russian government in particular to join the U.S. in cutting the number of strategic nuclear warheads it deploys – by one third. Not sure if Putin will be ‘putin up’ with this, especially given their disagreements over Syria at the G8 summit. But Putin did sign Obama’s New Start treaty in 2010, which stipulated that each side is allowed a maximum of 1,550 warheads and no more than 700 deployed launchers – so you never know.

Other topics Obama wanted to talk about in his Berlin speech: the president gave the crowd the usual “I WILL close Guantanamo Bay spiel, threw in a shout out to climate change, and went on the defensive about the recent NSA scandal.

The Germans tend to love Obama, but they love privacy more so the NSA scandal was particularly troubling to them. So Obama took some time to try and quell their concerns about his administration’s intentions with the recently revealed NSA spying program.

“This is not a situation in which we are rifling through the ordinary emails of German citizens or American citizens or French citizens or anybody else,” Obama insisted. “This is not a situation where we simply go into the Internet and start searching any way we want. This is a circumscribed system directed at us being able to protect our people, and all of it is done under the oversight of the courts.”

And to boot: the surveillance programs in questions helped thwart 50 attacks since 2001. Take that Edward Snowden!

Via: Current Event Cats & BBC News

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