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Obama Reasserts Pledge for a Nuclear Weapons Free World During First Week in Office

January 29, 2009

During its first week in office, the new US administration of President Barack Obama published its foreign policy agenda on the revamped White House website. A summary of steps that Obama took as a US Senator to address the nuclear threat is followed by a series of explicit pledges to stop the development of new nuclear weapons, to take existing weapons off hair trigger alert, and to strengthen the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

IPPNW welcomes these clear breaks with the failed and counterproductive policies of the Bush administration, and will continue to press for a comprehensive solution: commencement of negotiations on a Nuclear Weapons Convention.

If you haven’t visited the new White House website, Start here.

Nuclear Weapons

  • A Record of Results: The gravest danger to the American people is the threat of a terrorist attack with a nuclear weapon and the spread of nuclear weapons to dangerous regimes. Obama has taken bipartisan action to secure nuclear weapons and materials:
    • He joined Senator Dick Lugar (R-In) in passing a law to help the United States and our allies detect and stop the smuggling of weapons of mass destruction throughout the world.
    • He joined Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Ne) to introduce a bill that seeks to prevent nuclear terrorism, reduce global nuclear arsenals, and stop the spread of nuclear weapons.
  • Secure Loose Nuclear Materials from Terrorists: Obama and Biden will secure all loose nuclear materials in the world within four years. While working to secure existing stockpiles of nuclear material, Obama and Biden will negotiate a verifiable global ban on the production of new nuclear weapons material. This will deny terrorists the ability to steal or buy loose nuclear materials.
  • Strengthen the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty: Obama and Biden will crack down on nuclear proliferation by strengthening the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty so that countries like North Korea and Iran that break the rules will automatically face strong international sanctions.
  • Move Toward a Nuclear Free World: Obama and Biden will set a goal of a world without nuclear weapons, and pursue it. Obama and Biden will always maintain a strong deterrent as long as nuclear weapons exist. But they will take several steps down the long road toward eliminating nuclear weapons. They will stop the development of new nuclear weapons; work with Russia to take U.S. and Russian ballistic missiles off hair trigger alert; seek dramatic reductions in U.S. and Russian stockpiles of nuclear weapons and material; and set a goal to expand the U.S.-Russian ban on intermediate-range missiles so that the agreement is global.

What do you think about these bold commitments? Consider this an open thread.  We’ll respond to your comments below.

One Comment
  1. Clark Abt permalink
    January 30, 2009 10:19 am

    Systemmatic nuclear arms control and disarmament could create many much needed jobs at all levels of expertise and many locations. From dismantlement and safe conversion of excess nuclear weapons and delivery vehicles to non-military civilian production of energy and transportation, to personnel and technology transfers from military to civilian infrastructure production, the Administration should be urged to re-institute the defense conversion efforts of the early 1990’s. I personally would like to work on this problem, and believe others would too.
    Clark C. Abt, Ph.D.
    former director of the Boston University Defense Technology Conversion Center

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