A Q&A with Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger is a former US secretary of State. He spoke with Global Viewpoint Network editor Nathan Gardels about President Obama’s nuclear policies, how to deal with China, and the new alliance of BRIC countries.
Nathan Gardels: You have said that you see President Obama as a chess player setting up his moves on the world stage in the first year and a half in office. How do you assess his moves of late on the new START treaty, the Nuclear Posture Statement and the just-completed nuclear security summit with world leaders?
Henry Kissinger: The START treaty is a significant step in achieving a reset in the Russian-American relationship. It replaces the first START treaty, which had lapsed in December. The announced reductions are marginal in substance and achieved in part by changing the counting rules. It is a useful step that deserves ratification.
I agree with the attempt of the Nuclear Posture Statement to reduce reliance on nuclear weapons where we can safely do so. Some of the assurances that were given to nonnuclear countries, however, seem to me too explicit. Especially the statement that the US would not respond to biological and chemical attacks with nuclear weapons. That issue should be left ambiguous.
As for the recent summit of world leaders, controlling fissionable material all over the world is crucial, especially as the civilian use of nuclear energy spreads. Of these three initiatives on the nuclear weapons front taken by Obama, this is the most important subject. It will need continued attention to be effective.
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