Two decades after the end of the cold war, all of the nuclear powers have been inexcusably negligent about rethinking nuclear strategies, sharply reducing arsenals and eliminating needlessly risky practices, including some that contributed to this month’s collision.
The warheads on the two submarines that collided could, if ever launched, kill millions of people. And Britain and France together have far fewer than 1,000 nuclear warheads in their arsenals. The United States and Russia still have more than 20,000.
The editorial goes on to call on President Obama to work with Russia on stockpile reductions. At the 45th Munich Conference on Security Policy in early February, Vice President Biden’s remarks illustrated the White House’s commitment to this crucial step.
President Obama’s support for a new direction for nuclear weapons policy is also clearly stated on the White House website, where the need for global nuclear disarmament and steps toward it are laid out. Here’s an excerpt:
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
Many of these steps forward will require the support of Congress. With your help, we’ll continue to work to show Congress that the public supports a world without nuclear weapons and wants to see the our leaders take steps toward it.
Photo from the British
Ministry of Defence of the HMS Vanguard (AFP Photo).
Categories: Nuclear Weapons