Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What About U.S. Nukes?


There's much discourse about Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions, Korea's nuclear weapons capabilities and a possible nuclear stand off between Pakistan and India. But rarely does anyone ask about the United States and its nuclear capabilities.

International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Mohamed ElBaradei has said that Barack Obama's presidency gives him hope for a "saner world." Yet U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is on record as supporting maintaining the nation's nuclear arsenal.

The Obama administration's agenda on nuclear weapons focuses three key points. They are securing loose nuclear materials from terrorists within four years, strengthening the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to include strong international sanctions and moving toward a nuclear free world. So how can we explain this dichotomy?

A report by the Carnegie Endowment concludes that U.S. nuclear weapons programs cost the nation more than $52 billion in 2008.

One would think that the nuclear threat would be less today than it was during the Cold War. But 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the U.S. and Russia still have more than 20,000 nuclear weapons, several thousand of which are on high alert ready to launch in minutes. This raises the question of what the United States and Russia can do together to de-alert weapons and downsize both nation's nuclear arsenals?

Joining us on News Talk Online on on Tuesday February 10 to discuss this issue will be Lt. General Robert Gard (Ret). Gard is chairman of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, former president of the National Defense University and co-author of an arms control recommendation report for the Obama administration.

To talk to Gard on News Talk Online on at 5 PM New York time Tuesday February 10 CLICK HERE.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Now this should be a good discussion since anyone who thinks they can second guess Putin will be something to behold!!