The nuclear option: from Bush to Obama
As the previous chapters illus trate, the Bush Administration viewed arms control treatiesandmultilateralnon-proliferationagreementsas inherentlyunverifiable and overly constraining to their notions of US security strat egy. During his tenure in office, Bush ignored the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT),withdrewfromtheAnti-BallisticMissileTreaty (ABMT) topursuea national missile defense sys tem, and signed a cursory arms reduction treaty with Russia that didn’t even include countingmeasures, let alone verification. The Administration proposed de veloping a nuclear bunker-buster weapon, ex plored the option of putting anti-missile weapons in space and reached a nuclear coopera tion deal with India-which is not a party to the non-proliferation treaty. Additionally, Bush attempted to coerce nuclear rogues through threats of “preemption”/pre ven tion, while arguing that new nuclear weapons and missile defense sys tems were needed1-orasdefinedinthepreviouschapters,areinvigoratednuclearoption.ThischapterwillfocusonthetransitionbetweentheBush and Obama Administrations, and more im port antly, the extent to which Obama has attempted to “adjust” the nuclear option. Starting with the vision and goals positedinthe2009PragueSpeechandreaffirmedintheNationalSecurityStrategy of 2010, the chapter will outline and evalu ate various Obama declaratory policies,initiatives,andmultilateralefforts-namely,theCongressionallymandatedNuclear PostureReview, theNewSTARTTreaty, theNuclear Security Summit,theNuclearNon-ProliferationTreatyReviewConference,theComprehensiveTestBanTreaty-andtheextenttowhichsuchinitiativeshaveupheld the lofty goals posited in Prague and/or deviated from the nuclear path pursued by the Bush Administration.