Monday, June 8, 2009
Obama VS Nuclear Weapons
''In a strange turn of history, the threat of global nuclear war has gone down, but the risk of a nuclear attack has gone up. More nations have acquired these weapons. Testing has continued. Black market trade in nuclear secrets and nuclear materials abound. The technology to build a bomb has spread. Terrorists are determined to buy, build or steal one. Our efforts to contain these dangers are centered on a global non-proliferation regime, but as more people and nations break the rules, we could reach the point where the center cannot hold.'' President Obama, April 5, 2009, Prague
In speeches in Prague on April 5th and Cairo on June 4, President Obama declared a turning point in US policy toward nuclear weapons that stretches beyond US interests, stating that “no single nation should pick and choose which nations hold nuclear weapons. That is why I strongly reaffirmed America's commitment to seek a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons.” The President is optimistic that his strategy will result in allies both rewriting their nuclear treaties and enforcing sanctions against North Korea and Iran.
This approach includes:
• Reduction of the role of nuclear weapons' in the US national security strategy and aggressive pursuit of U.S. Senate ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT),
• Continued negotiations with Russia to reduce warheads and stockpiles with the ultimate goal of signing a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) which would reduce U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals to no more than 1,500 nuclear weapons each,
• Development of a new international effort to secure all vulnerable nuclear material in the world within four year,
• A United States hosted Global Summit on Nuclear Security within the next year, and
• Negotiation of an agreement with Iran to avert that nation's development of nuclear weapons.
In Prague, Obama expressed the moral responsibility that the US has to act due to its history with nuclear weapon use, noting that “we cannot succeed in this endeavor alone, but we can lead it, we can start it.”
To opponents of disarmament, Obama states that “some argue that the spread of these weapons cannot be stopped, cannot be checked -- that we are destined to live in a world where more nations and more people possess the ultimate tools of destruction. Such fatalism is a deadly adversary, for if we believe that the spread of nuclear weapons is inevitable, then in some way we are admitting to ourselves that the use of nuclear weapons is inevitable.”
Does Obama’s strategy fulfill our responsibility? Share your comments below.