In his speech about nuclear weapons issues delivered on May 27, 2008, Senator John McCain raised important issues for the next Administration. His remarks signaled a welcome shift from the Bush Administration's repudiation of important tools that can effectively reduce the dangers posed by nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, tools which served us well during the Cold War and which remain important for the continued viability of the non-proliferation framework.
Senator McCain's remarks signal a significant change from the Bush Administration in certain important areas, including a renewed commitment to pursuing further legally-binding and verifiable reductions in the number of U.S. and Russia nuclear weapons; opening a discussion on the ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT); strengthening efforts to secure vulnerable bomb-grade material; pursuing negotiations for a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT); and increasing funding for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Questions remain about specific policies, including whether Senator McCain will continue the successful engagement with North Korea to achieve a verifiable dismantlement of its nuclear weapons program, and whether he will be willing to negotiate directly with Iran. Another concern is his support of an ineffective and provocative missile defense which rankles the Russians and does nothing to reduce the more likely risk of a hostile country or terrorist group detonating a nuclear weapon in the United States or from a U.S. harbor.
Monday, June 02, 2008
John McCain on Nuclear Weapons
For the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, Leonor Tomero provides an interesting analysis of the “positives, negatives and questions” of John McCain’s recent speech on nuclear weapons. Here’s a summary: