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'US will maintain minimum nuclear deterrence'

world Updated: Feb 18, 2010 10:37 IST
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The US would maintain a minimum nuclear deterrent while working towards the goal of achieving a nuke-free world, a top Obama Administration official on nuclear disarmament has said.

"This Administration will work toward a world without nuclear weapons and we will continue to maintain a safe, secure, and effective deterrent as we proceed toward that goal," Ellen Tauscher, Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, said.

Addressing to the Second Nuclear Deterrence Summit in Virginia, Tauscher said there is nothing contradictory about decreasing the size and role of nuclear weapons and increasing their confidence in the deterrent.

"Our growing knowledge of the reliability of our stockpile, through our stewardship efforts, enables us to safely continue reducing the number of weapons that are the legacy of the Cold War," she said.

"Too many weapons of that era remain even though the Soviet Union no longer exists and even though we're moving from an era of Mutually Assured Destruction to an era of Mutually Assured Stability," she said.

Tauscher said the primary focus on Thursday is no longer deterring a large-scale nuclear conflict between two superpowers, but preventing the use of even a single nuclear weapon.