President Obama is prepared to take action to limit the nuclear arsenal of the United States by bypassing Congressional oversight on the issue according to John Bolton and John Yoo. The two penned an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal on Friday to explain to America how the President plans to do that.
According to the pair, the President set up an advisory panel within the State Department run by former Secretary of Defense William Perry. Perry’s group has recommended to the President that the US and Russia agree to dramatically reduce the nuclear arsenals of both countries without a formal treaty, therefore sidestepping the need for Congressional ratification.
There is a concern among critics that, if the President were to go down this path, not only would it be an unprecedented power grab by the Executive branch of government but that the President would essentially be using only his own judgement to trust Russian President Vladimir Putin to honor the arms reduction agreement. Russia has not stuck to many of its treaty bound obligations regrading nuclear weapons reductions.
President Obama made the elimination of nuclear weapons one of his top priorities at the beginning of his first term. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize at that time for his commitment to the issue. During his first term, he negotiated a drastic reduction in the US nuclear arsenal with Russia, and the agreement almost didn’t pass Congress.
President Obama also took an enormous amount of criticism on the issue when a microphone overheard him telling then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that, if Russia would back off during the election season in the US, the President would be much more flexible on the issue in his second term.
Do you think the President should be responsible for nuclear arms reductions, or is it task for Congress?