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Thu Jan 24, 2013, 07:23 PM

How Obama Could Reduce the Risk of Nuclear War Right Now


How Obama Could Reduce the Risk of Nuclear War Right Now

Minuteman missiles in remote silos are a thermonuclear accident waiting to happen.

By Ron Rosenbaum|Posted Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, at 3:37 PM ET

Mr. Obama, Mr. Putin, I have a treaty I'd like you to sign. Or barring that, an executive order; that’s easier. A nuclear arms agreement. But a different kind of nuclear arms agreement from the dead end we've reached now. One that could restart the process that has stalled since the 2011 signing of the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. The process that brought you, President Obama, a Nobel Prize after you called for "a world without nuclear weapons." One that could bring you, President Putin, your own Nobel.

This eminently doable agreement would shift the focus from reducing the number of nuclear warheads—the Cold War nuclear treaty paradigm—to reducing the kind of nukes that are operational and still pose a threat of accidental nuclear war. It would focus on "delivery vehicles," one kind of vehicle in particular.

Sure, I'd like to reduce the number as well. I'd like to abolish all nuclear weapons if that pipe dream were possible. (I explore the problems and obstacles this would pose in a recent Scientific American article.) And I'd even like us to continue down the road of gradual reductions as far as we can go. But it's clear from the agonizing START ratification negotiations in the U.S. Senate and the Russian Duma that any new treaty for further reductions in the number of weapons is going to be a nonstarter, so to speak. There is no sign the administration is giving the matter any priority anymore. It was too exhausting rolling the rock of treaty up the Hill. It will take only 34 Republican senators to kill any reduction treaty. And kill it they will.

But my proposal is something I believe could be accomplished without the formal treaty process, by executive order in the United States and executive decree in Russia. The president, as commander in chief, has the ability to make discretionary decisions, such as what kind of delivery vehicles should be used, without consulting the Senate. This is something he could do unilaterally if Putin doesn't want to go along, and despite the fear that surrounds any unilateral nuclear act, it would actually make us—and them and the whole world—safer.


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Reply How Obama Could Reduce the Risk of Nuclear War Right Now (Original post)
bananas Jan 2013 OP
AverageJoe90 Jan 2013 #1

Response to bananas (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 05:22 AM

1. Certainly wouldn't hurt at all.


The risk of nuclear war, at least a traditional one(great power vs. great power), is really quite low at this point, but it definitely wouldn't hurt to try this, at least, even if the Repubs try to fight it.

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