CLW Executive Director: President Can Create His Own ‘Magical Moment’


Council for a Livable World Executive Director and Former Congressman John F. Tierney offers a harsh dose of reality for President Trump following his State of the Union address.

“In his inaugural State of the Union address last night, President Donald Trump used characteristically alarming language when discussing North Korea and other national security issues, particularly surrounding nuclear weapons. He spoke of rogue regimes, terrorist groups and unmatched power as if only military might and nuclear arsenals can solve global crises. Indeed, we have learned from years of diplomatic actions that military options are not always a solution.

His words on rebuilding the U.S. nuclear arsenal point to a dangerous escalation in rhetoric devoid of facts. He said he hoped we would never have to use nuclear weapons, but did not mention that other countries watch what we do — and build up their arsenals accordingly. We cannot rebuild without expecting other nuclear nations to do the same. It is as reckless as the President accuses North Korea of being.

The President said he hopes someday there will be a “magical moment when the countries of the world will get together to eliminate their nuclear weapons. Unfortunately we are not there yet.”

We cannot get there without American leadership. The Administration makes it clear in its Nuclear Posture Review that rebuilding the nuclear arsenal, giving new life to old weapons and creating new nuclear capabilities are priorities over smart non-proliferation and diplomatic efforts to solve nuclear challenges, such as the situation on the Korean Peninsula. That is several steps in the wrong direction and certainly does nothing to create a “magical moment.”

The most powerful man in the world has the opportunity to lead the charge on nuclear arms control and non-proliferation instead of waiting for a moment to come to him. That leadership is needed both at a national and international level.”

Tierney, a former Congressman from Massachusetts, is a widely respected expert in national security and nuclear non-proliferation. Contact Anna Schumann at or at 202.543.4100 #2115 to set up an interview.