Presidential Nuclear Initiatives – The Elimination of Ground-Based Tactical Nuclear Weapons
In 1991 President George H. W. Bush committed to reciprocal, unilateral pledges with Soviet Secretary General Mikhail Gorbachev to eliminate ground-based tactical nuclear weapons from Europe. Collectively, these pledges are known as the Presidential Nuclear Initiatives (PNIs). These battlefield nukes were no longer considered to be necessary as Cold War tensions with the Soviet Union eased. Battlefield nuclear weapons were also known to be exceptionally vulnerable for theft or rogue actions. Combined, these non-binding initiatives led to the destruction of approximately 17,000 nuclear warheads. Since these PNIs were nonbinding, there is no transparency or mechanism for verification and tactical nuclear weapons remain an open issue between NATO and Russia.