US Preseident, Barack Obama’s hopes of reshaping US foreign policy stand on the brink of failure tonight, after two of his most cherished initiatives, nuclear disarmament and better relations with Moscow, suffered major setbacks.
According to a leaked NATO document seen by a UK newspaper, a move to withdraw US tactical nuclear weapons from European territory has been omitted from the alliance’s draft strategic plan.
Additionally in Washington, a Republican leader in the Senate signalled that the nuclear arms control treaty Obama signed in April with Dmitry Medvedev, President of the Russian Federation, is unlikely be ratified this year. Most observers say that if the treaty (known as New Start) is delayed until next year, it will be as good as dead, as the Democratic majority in the Senate will be even thinner by then, following the party’s losses in the midterm elections.
Together the setbacks mark a new low point for Obama’s ambitions, set out in a landmark 2009 speech in Prague, to set the world on a path to abolition of nuclear weapons.