Proliferation Press

A webpage devoted to tracking and analyzing current events related to the proliferation of WMD/CBRN.

Obama To Speak on Nuclear Weapons @ 11:30 am EST

Posted by K.E. White on October 2, 2007

Barack ObamaPresidential candidate Barack Obama will call for eliminating nuclear weapons world-wide at DePaul University. In a speech slated for 11:30 am, Obama will endorse a nuclear plan sketched out by Henry Kissinger, George P. Shultz, William J. Perry and Sam Nunn.

Update: Full-text of speech now available.

Nonproliferation is now a tier-one issue, not just a tangental to combating terrorism or endlessly wrangling over a missile shield. Not surprisingly Obama’s speech represents a stark reversal from the Bush administration. While the White House has cut nuclear stockpiles, the Bush administration has concluded a nuclear deal with India, once favored nuclear-tipped bunker busters, and supports the Reliable Replacement Warhead program.

Kissinger, Shultz, Perry and Nunn penned ‘A Word Free of Nuclear Weapons’ Op-Ed for the Wall Street Journal last January. The plan calls for the following: ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty; increasing delay time on deployed weapons to avoid accidental or accidental use of nuclear weapons; reducing the arsenals of all nuclear weapon-states; eliminating short-ranged weapons; reducing the production of fissile material; and, finally, defusing regional tensions that can propel nuclear proliferation.

Nonproliferation is back on the agenda. How will other campaigns react?

From Jeff Zeleny at New York Times:

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.”

In his speech, according to a campaign briefing paper, Mr. Obama also will call for using a combination of diplomacy and pressure to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and to eliminate North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs. Aides did not say what Mr. Obama intended to do if diplomacy and sanctions failed.

In setting a goal of eliminating nuclear weapons in the world, Mr. Obama is endorsing a call for “urgent new actions” to prevent a new nuclear era that was laid out in January in a commentary in The Wall Street Journal written by several former government officials. The authors of the article were George P. Shultz, secretary of state in the Reagan administration; Henry Kissinger, secretary of state in the Nixon and Ford administrations; William J. Perry, secretary of defense in the Clinton administration; and Sam Nunn, a former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

From the Wall Street op-ed by Shultz, Kissinger, Perry and Nunn:

The program on which agreements should be sought would constitute a series of agreed and urgent steps that would lay the groundwork for a world free of the nuclear threat. Steps would include:

  • Changing the Cold War posture of deployed nuclear weapons to increase warning time and thereby reduce the danger of an accidental or unauthorized use of a nuclear weapon.
  • Continuing to reduce substantially the size of nuclear forces in all states that possess them.
  • Eliminating short-range nuclear weapons designed to be forward-deployed.
  • Initiating a bipartisan process with the Senate, including understandings to increase confidence and provide for periodic review, to achieve ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, taking advantage of recent technical advances, and working to secure ratification by other key states.
  • Providing the highest possible standards of security for all stocks of weapons, weapons-usable plutonium, and highly enriched uranium everywhere in the world.
  • Getting control of the uranium enrichment process, combined with the guarantee that uranium for nuclear power reactors could be obtained at a reasonable price, first from the Nuclear Suppliers Group and then from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) or other controlled international reserves. It will also be necessary to deal with proliferation issues presented by spent fuel from reactors producing electricity.
  • Halting the production of fissile material for weapons globally; phasing out the use of highly enriched uranium in civil commerce and removing weapons-usable uranium from research facilities around the world and rendering the materials safe.
  • Redoubling our efforts to resolve regional confrontations and conflicts that give rise to new nuclear powers.

2 Responses to “Obama To Speak on Nuclear Weapons @ 11:30 am EST”

  1. Bill Lesly said

    Obama to come out against locks on doors next.

  2. michael egan said

    I’m from illinois and I think obama smells out who the powerful people are and goes with them. As soon as he got into the senate he hooked up with biden, liebermann, etc. he campaigned for liebermann against lemont and in our northern illinois district he refused to support dick aumann, 2 time mayor of Galena, former school teacher and marine veteran who ran on the democratic ticket against a Bush/Cheney/Hastert lackey named Manzullo. While he was flying into Conn. stumping for liebermann he let our local hero without support (former senator adlai stevenson III and presidential candidate John B. anderson held a fundraisine dinner for dick aumann.) We saw him up close and personal at a Rockford Illinois town meeting and the way he was trying to do the purple/let’s all appreciate each other/ i have republican friends crap made me want to throw up. if he gets the nomination expect him to pick a vp (maybe biden) who is more center/right wing. i won’t vote for him. i think he really has seen a big part of what’s going on with the bush/cheney repub coup but thinks he can form a centrist coalition including corporate big boys and still keep his soul.

    i won’t campaign or vote for him.

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