Nuclear Treaty Turns 40

President Bush yesterday reaffirmed the US commitment to the Nonproliferation Treaty on its 40th anniversary. “The United States remains firmly committed to continued compliance with our own obligations under the NPT,” he said in a White House statement. “Our record demonstrates this commitment.” Indeed, Bush said, the US has already reduced its nuclear stockpile by half since he entered office in 2001 under unilateral moves and the Moscow Treaty with Russia. The stockpile is now “at its smallest size since the 1950s,” he said. While the United States continues to support the global expansion of peaceful nuclear energy, this “must be safe, secure and not contribute to nuclear proliferation,” he said. And in an age when “terrorists and state sponsors of terrorism seek to acquire weapons of mass destruction,” it remains essential for the NPT parties to work together “to confront the dangers of nuclear proliferation,” he said. With the smaller stockpile, the Administration has been pressing Congress to allow the development of a new reliable replacement warhead that would be more maintainable, safe and secure compared to the current Cold War-era designs.