What’s on Obama’s plate?
We’re not talking chicken or fish, we’re talking more like nuclear terrorism and the war in Iraq.
When Obama gets sworn in on Jan. 20, 2009, he’ll have more than a full plate of items to deal with, addressing issues like the war in Iraq, the U.S. and now global economic crisis, global climate change, energy, terrorism, health care, the list – unfortunately – goes on and on, and on.
The Council for a Livable World’s research center has prepared – along with 60 leading national security experts – a transition report on how the Obama administration can effectively address the gravest threat to U.S. security: the spread of nuclear weapons and materials.
The Council believes that given the rise of terrorist networks and the amount of unsecure nuclear weapons material worldwide, the proliferation of nuclear weapons and nuclear terrorism is one of the gravest threats to U.S. and international security.
“Every presidential candidate since 2000 has said that loose nuclear weapons are the most serious threat to international security. Yet for the past eight years we’ve done very little to address loose nukes seriously,” said John Isaacs, executive director of the Council and our research Center in a press release today. “What we need now is strong leadership as promised by President-elect Obama during the campaign.”
Besides unsecure nuclear weapons materials, we also have actual weapons to deal with. Almost twenty years after the end of the Cold War, Russia and the United States continue to maintain about 16,000 nuclear weapons. The arms control process has been stalled since the late 1990s when the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty was rejected by the Senate.
The experts in the report recommend that Obama Announce intent to seek ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and begin working to build the bipartisan support in the Senate needed for approval.
Basically, the Bush administration was not only was sleeping (though we wish it was only that) on arms control issues, it actually reversed arms control gains made in the past 40 years. When Obama and the 111th Congress gets in office, they’ll have an historic opportunity to provide some real leadership on the most serious component of our national security.
Now you know our priorities, what are yours?