State of the Union: Nuclear Arms Control Edition

Originally published here.

I’m going to put on my very partisan hat here, and take the wonky one off, for a short comment on what I think was an important part of President Obama’s State of the Union Address last night.

If there’s one thing that has stood out about the Barack Obama’s approach to foreign policy and national security, it’s the following:

Even as we prosecute two wars, we are also confronting perhaps the greatest danger to the American people – the threat of nuclear weapons.  I have embraced the vision of John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan through a strategy that reverses the spread of these weapons, and seeks a world without them. To reduce our stockpiles and launchers, while ensuring our deterrent, the United States and Russia are completing negotiations on the farthest-reaching arms control treaty in nearly two decades. And at April’s Nuclear Security Summit, we will bring forty-four nations together behind a clear goal: securing all vulnerable nuclear materials around the world in four years, so that they never fall into the hands of terrorists.

And you can bet that having a blatant hawk in office, a President equivocating on new nuclear weapons instead of putting his foot down and saying “no”, would certainly not have this effect:

These diplomatic efforts have also strengthened our hand in dealing with those nations that insist on violating international agreements in pursuit of these weapons.  That is why North Korea now faces increased isolation, and stronger sanctions – sanctions that are being vigorously enforced.  That is why the international community is more united, and the Islamic Republic of Iran is more isolated. And as Iran’s leaders continue to ignore their obligations, there should be no doubt: they, too, will face growing consequences.

We need to remember that even though nuclear weapons issues are very complex, and that there is still much to be done, having a US president in office who is committed to arms control, is open to discussing it with other countries, and is committed to not antagonizing the rest of the world with fancy new weapons systems, has made a world of difference.

This entry was posted in Nuclear Weapons and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>