Obama's guidance directed the Pentagon to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in the overall U.S. security strategy, and narrow the focus of nuclear strategy to deterrence, the White House document said.
The proposals drew immediate criticism from the Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon of California, who said in a statement that Russia already failed to adhere to existing arms-reduction agreements.
"The president must make clear to (Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin that the United States will not allow itself or its allies to be bullied by Russia or to allow that state to ignore its arms control obligations," McKeon's statement said.
Pressuring Iran and North Korea
The United States will continue working to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, with specific pressure on Iran and North Korea, a senior administration official said.
Obama also will participate in the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, Netherlands, the official said. The president announced Wednesday in his speech that he will host a Nuclear Security Summit in 2016 to work with other countries in securing nuclear materials and preventing nuclear terrorism.
Wednesday's speech took place amid a festive atmosphere at Brandenburg Gate, where Obama faced the East in contrast to Reagan's appearance when the Berlin Wall still divided the city.
While the crowd was much smaller than the estimated 200,000 who jammed the area in 2008 to hear then Sen. Obama speak, people waved U.S. and German flags and regularly erupted in cheers and applause.
Near the front was Gail Halvorsen, known as the Candy Bomber for being the first to drop candy to kids during the U.S. airlift of 1948-49 that supplied West Berlin following a Soviet blockade.
Obama paid tribute to that moment, noting that the 92-year-old Halvorsen, who he called "the original candy bomber," was present.
"We could not be prouder of him," Obama said as Halvorsen stood and waved. The president added: "I hope I look that good, by the way, when I'm 92."