The Presidential Nuclear Initiatives of 1991-1992
Susan J. Koch
WMD Case Study 5, October 2012
In September 1991, President George H.W. Bush announced nuclear weapons reductions and associated measures that were unprecedented in their scope and scale. These Presidential Nuclear Initiatives were unilateral, but coupled with calls for Soviet reciprocity. The September announcement was quickly followed by comparable Soviet steps, and a few months later by further U.S. and Russian ones. This case study discusses the historical context, concerns, and goals that underlay the initiatives, and the domestic and international processes that made them possible.