Obama's return to the discourse of nuclear disarmament earned him a Nobel Peace Prize. Earlier that year the recently elected Presiden went to Prague and sounded a clarion call for a ban on all nuclear testing. Four years has passed and the Prague promise seems to have been forgotten.
On June 27-29, the State Department welcomed the other members of the P5 -- China, France, Russia, and the United Kingdom -- to discuss the implementation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Nations with nuclear material -- whether military or civilian -- must secure and eliminate stocks of highly enriched uranium and plutonium. The threat of nuclear terror is not just possible, it is quite plausible; if effective action is not taken, over time, it is probable.
Trimming Cold War arsenals, bringing our nuclear strategy into the 21st century, makes sense. It makes sense for Republicans and Democrats, defense hawks and budget hawks. Politicians trying to score cheap political points do so at the expense of our national security.
The real nuclear threat to the United States does not lie in the fact that it does not (or will not) possess enough nuclear weapons to deter a nuclear attack. Rather, it is that there is no guarantee that nuclear deterrence works.
Rather than retreating from the precipice of an avoidable disaster, almost all of the nine nuclear weapons countries are upgrading their nuclear arms, at an estimated total cost of one trillion dollars over the next decade.
Today, the leaders of the "New Evangelicals" and millions of others in the wider evangelical family, remember and laud Hatfield's bi-partisan style, generosity of spirit, and the public-policy values he endorsed.
The light shining on the safety of nuclear energy as a result of the Japanese nuclear crisis has been of such powerful wattage that it's even flushing safety issues with nuclear weapons labs and manufacturing facilities out of hiding.
"The Great Atomic Power" was first recorded in 1952, the year that the hydrogen bomb was first tested. The song may have provided some comfort for those listeners aware that the nuclear arms race was at its height.
We're under the gun: we need to make use of the nuclear taboo as a springboard to disarmament before its expiration date. But there exists another nuclear taboo against discussing the destruction caused by nuclear weapons.
No matter the short term benefits to security, when the West severs the ties that bind disarmament to nonproliferation, it further undermines the trust of the developing world and long-term prospects for international security.
Whether or not we disarm has no bearing on the plans of states that hope to acquire or develop nuclear weapons. Whether or not disarmament discourages proliferation is immaterial -- it's our only recourse.