It is set be a nuclear week for President Obama.
A day after the White House unveiled its policy to significantly limit American use of atomic weapons in certain circumstances Obama heads to the Czech capital Prague today to sign a new arms reduction pact with Russia.
Yesterday’s move is being seen as one of the biggest rethinks in US military strategy since the end of the Cold War.
But the shift comes with conditions and Washington has warned it will not pull any punches when it comes to countries who fail to comply with international rules.
US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said:
‘‘If there is a message for Iran and North Korea, it is that if you are going to play by the rules, if you are going to join the international community, then we will undertake certain obligations to you, and that’s covered in the NPR. But if you are not going to play by the rules, if you’re going to be a proliferator, then all options are on the table in terms of how we deal with you.’‘
The landmark arms reduction treaty, due to be signed on Thursday, should see the US and Russia slash their atomic arsenals by a third, and will be followed by a nuclear security summit in Washington next week.