Thanks to our friends at Pax Christi USA for calling our attention to the forthcoming release of the Obama administration's first Nuclear Posture Review. Executive Director Dave Robinson reminds us of the critical issues at stake:
The congressionally mandated review will set the role nuclear weapons will play in overall U.S. security policy, how many nuclear weapons the United States needs to fulfill those roles, and whether the United States should produce new nuclear warheads. Its effects will be felt for the next decade.
Scripture tells us that “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (29:18). One must also say that where there is no courage, the vision perishes. In his speech in Prague last year, President Obama offered a courageous vision of a world released from the Cold War bondage of nuclear weapons and the mutually assured destruction they exist to ensure: “So today, I state clearly and with conviction America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” Moreover, he specifically committed to a transformational change in U.S. nuclear weapons policy, “to put an end to Cold War thinking” and said “we will reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy and urge others to do the same.” And he committed to making this vision a global reality by stating “as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act. We cannot succeed in this endeavor alone, but we can lead it, we can start it.” It was this vision of a nuclear free world that animated the Nobel Committee to award him the Peace Prize: “The Committee has attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.”
Keep an eye out in an upcoming issue of America for more on U.S. nuclear policy from Notre Dame's David Cortright.