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Archive for the ‘Barack Obama’ Category

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.

Posted in Barack Obama, Nuclear, Nuclear Weapons | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Thursday Must-Read: Obama and Romney Duel Over Iraq

Posted by K.E. White on May 31, 2007

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney lay out their Iraq plans in the upcoming issue of Foreign Affairs.

Here are some shortcut reads:

WaPo’s summary of the Obama/Romney FP essays

-Double-Take: Politico’s Roger Simon on the underlying convergence all presidential candidates have–or will have–on Iraq

Condensed Iraq Background: Heritage Foundation vs. Center for American Progress

Center for American Progress on the wisdom of Iraq redeployment

Heritage Foundation on why America must stay

Posted in Barack Obama, Center for American Progress, Heritage Foundation, Iraq, Mitt Romney, Politico, Roger Simon | Leave a Comment »

Obama and Rice Talk Shop: The U.S.-India Nuclear Deal

Posted by K.E. White on February 13, 2007

Sen. Barack Obama and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice traded off on the U.S. India nuclear deal on February 8, 2007.

In what might be a fortelling of the treatment of the U.S.-India nuclear deal under a Democratic White House in 2008, Obama expressed his concerns over it.

Since the deal, recently passed by Congress and signed by the President Bush, would grant wide lattitude to the President–these words might just spell the fate of the deal in an Obama White House.

Sen. Barack Obama

“Given the deal that was reached with India, I think there is concern that the structure that had been in place may not sustain itself over the long term if we don’t make sure that we’re gathering up some sort of international consensus about what the rules of the road are. I know that the administration takes this seriously, but I don’t think that there has been as systematic an approach as I would like to see,” Obama said.

Responding to Obama`s point on India being an “anomaly”, Rice said, “Well, I think that could be the case. But, of course, there’s a very specific circumstance of the India-Pakistan, South Asia, context” and added that the “most likely problem” would come from an “Iranian” nuclear weapon.

Rice emphasised the non-proliferation credentials of the Bush administration and maintained it has been pursuing a number of elements that were outlined in a Presidential speech in 2004 and pointed to the success of counter-proliferation efforts, especially the busting of the nuclear components smuggling network run by disgraced Pakistani scientist A Q Khan. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

“The non-proliferation side has been very important to us ever since the President gave, at the National Defense University in 2004, a major non-proliferation speech.
And we`ve been pursuing a number of the elements of that outline. Obviously, you do have to deal with the bad actors, Iran and North Korea. There`s a counter-proliferation element of that…”

“So the President spoke to this problem and suggested that there should be some kind of international or fuel suppliers group that could provide fuel to countries that wish to pursue civil nuclear power without having the whole fuel cycle. We think that the Russian programme Bushehr in Iran is on exactly that model. When President Putin and President Bush were together very recently in Vietnam, they agreed to have talks about how Russia and the United States might move forward a strengthening of the non-proliferation regime based around issues of the fuel cycle,” Rice told Senator Obama.

Posted in Barack Obama, Condoleeza Rice, India, U.S. India Nuclear Deal | 1 Comment »