(JTA) — President Obama’s new strategy to limit U.S. use of nuclear weapons would not apply to "outliers like Iran and North Korea," he said.
The new policy, which Obama discussed in an interview with The New York Times that was published on Monday, ahead of the president’s planned nuclear security summit, would apply strict conditions on when the United States would be able to use nuclear weapons. It would commit the United States to avoid using nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, even if such states attacked America with nonconventional arms such as biological or chemical weapons.
Obama also plans to further cut the U.S. nuclear arsenal and freeze development of new nuclear weapons. The idea behind the policy, called the Nuclear Posture Review, is to take a step toward making nuclear weapons obsolete and remove the incentives for other states to pursue nuclear weapons, Obama told the Times.
“We are going to want to make sure that we can continue to move towards less emphasis on nuclear weapons,” Obama said, to “make sure that our conventional weapons capability is an effective deterrent in all but the most extreme circumstances.”
The president said in the interview that treaty violators like Iran would not be subject to the new policy.