Senator Barack Obama will propose on Tuesday setting a goal of eliminating all nuclear weapons in the world, saying the United States should greatly reduce its stockpiles to lower the threat of nuclear terrorism, aides say.
In a speech at DePaul University in Chicago, Mr. Obama will add his voice to a plan endorsed earlier this year by a bipartisan group of former government officials from the cold war era who say the United States must begin building a global consensus to reverse a reliance on nuclear weapons that have become “increasingly hazardous and decreasingly effective.”
Mr. Obama, according to details provided by his campaign Monday, also will call for pursuing vigorous diplomatic efforts aimed at a global ban on the development, production and deployment of intermediate-range missiles.
This probably sounds radical to some people, and foreign policy "experts" I'm sure are reproaching Obama for his naivete. That's ridiculous. Nuclear weapons only provide security when everyone has them and can wound or destroy each other at any given time. That's not "security", that's insanity. And the current nuclear peace is only tenable because the major nuclear powers are at peace with one another (and yet, Russia still has thousands of nuclear weapons pointed at us, and vice versa.) As nuclear weapons spread to other smaller nations that are not in harmony with each other, the likelihood of a nuclear exchange that will be detrimental to millions (or billions) increases. Similarly, the possibility that nuclear weapons will fall into the hands of a group that cannot be deterred by the nuclear prowess of its enemies increases as well. Lastly, efforts to enact defense mechanisms against nuclear weapons will only further destabilize the current nuclear status quo. This is not a recipe for a safe or peaceful future.
Nuclear weapons are not weapons of the future. They are weapons of a sordid past, a period in which billions of humans lived in a constant, low-grade fear that an incident or combination of incidents could trigger a nuclear war that would kill them or destroy their means of survival. The means to create and produce nuclear weapons can probably never be eradicated, but the existence of nuclear weapons can. We've stewed in our complacency towards nukes long enough. It's time for them to go.