NEW: Historian calls Obama's speech good, but not a "gold star" in history
President Obama says it's time to "move beyond Cold War postures" on nuclear arms
Obama invokes JFK's "peace with justice" call from 50 years ago
The president speaks at Berlin's iconic Brandenburg Gate
President Barack Obama followed in the footsteps of past U.S. leaders with a speech on Wednesday at Berlin’s iconic Brandenburg Gate, where he said he would ask Russia to join the United States in slashing its supply of strategic nuclear warheads.
“We may no longer live in fear of global annihilation, but so long as nuclear weapons exist, we are not truly safe,” Obama said in the city that symbolized the East-West divide in the decades after World War II.
“After a comprehensive review, I’ve determined that we can ensure the security of America and our allies – and maintain a strong and credible strategic deterrent – while reducing our deployed strategic nuclear weapons by up to one-third,” he said. “And I intend to seek negotiated cuts with Russia to move beyond Cold War nuclear postures.”
Obama’s speech made repeated references to Berlin’s post-war history and the resiliency of its people. He called on them to manifest the same spirit that helped bring down the Berlin Wall to now take on broader challenges facing the modern world.