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Obamas nuclear policy wishlist appears neither politically viable nor diplomatically wise

Without broad approval at home or abroad Obama’s nuclear policy wish-list appears neither politically viable nor diplomatically wise in the longer term, according to Dr Andrew Futter and PhD student James Johnson from the Department of Politics and International Relations.

They have written an article for Think: Leicester, the University’s platform for academic opinion, discussing the Obama Administration’s desperate search to find a policy to secure the President’s legacy once he leaves office.

The article highlights some of the options under consideration by the White House, including extending the New START agreement with Russia and cutting back on plans for modernising US nuclear forces.

In the article they write: “Even the perception that major changes to the mainstays of Washington’s nuclear posture were in the offering could seriously impair U.S. credibility and reputation, and simultaneously embolden its adversaries.

“Consternation of this kind has led to several well placed defence analysts to recommend that Washington should push ahead with its nuclear modernisation agenda and quash any speculation relating to changes to U.S. nuclear policy.

“The lack of traction on the domestic front and mounting criticism and alarm on the international front has complicated the task for Obama in securing his legacy in his final months in power. And whether it’s Trump or Clinton with the finger on the nuclear button in 2017, without broad approval at home or abroad Obama’s nuclear policy wish-list appears neither politically viable nor diplomatically wise in the longer term.”

Are you a doctoral student/academic at the University of Leicester? Would you like to contribute an opinion piece about your research or topical news to Think: Leicester? Contact the News Centre to pitch your idea or read our submission guidelines.

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