Washington D.C.House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith released the following statement today in response to the President’s announcement on nuclear weapons:

“The President’s announcement today will allow the United States to lead the way on nuclear weapons reductions in a manner that strengthens our national security.  The President clearly understands that a strong nuclear deterrent remains essential. We have, and would retain, the ability to destroy the world many times over.

“More than 20 years after the end of the Cold War, the United States and Russia still possess more than 90% of the world’s nuclear weapons. Maintaining an arsenal at unnecessarily high levels is a dangerous, vastly expensive and unnecessary symbolic deterrent that provides no real strategic advantage. The United States and Russia should work to reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the world and the risk of nuclear proliferation, which will improve our national security, while maintaining our nuclear triad and our ability to deter and respond to any perceived or real nuclear threat.

“The President’s announcement today also recognizes that if we are to protect America and its allies by confronting and defeating the enemies of today, we must invest in the weapons of today and strengthen regional and strategic stability, not cling to the Cold War mentality of the past.”