Yesterday President Obama met with Former Secretary of State George Shultz, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Sam Nunn, and former Defense Secretary William Perry to discuss how to rid the world of nuclear weapons.
The Global Citizen
Category: Nuclear Weapons
On Wednesday, May 6, the Brookings Institute held a discussion on U.S.-Russia relations and the challenges posed by nuclear arms control. Panelists included Brookings President Strobe Talbot, Steven Pifer, Visiting Fellow and author of “Beyond START: Negotiating the Next Step in U.S. and Russian Strategic Nuclear Arms Reductions,” and Brookings vice president and director of Foreign Policy Carlos Pascual.
George Perkovich, the Vice President of Studies and the Director of the Non-proliferation Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, spoke on April 20, 2009 about the prospects of reducing global nuclear stocks to zero. He discussed the numerous issues that must be resolved in order to even begin a discussion on going to zero nukes, but focused on one central issue that needs to be the first step: Bilateral negotiations between the US and Russia and between the US and China.
North Korea tested a long range nuclear rocket over the weekend, following talks last Wednesday between President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev about reducing their countries' nuclear stockpiles. This act violates United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718, which prohibits North Korea from manipulating ballistic missile technologies. It was adopted unanimously in October 2006 as a result of claims that the country had performed successful nuclear tests in the beginning of the month.
We are in a rare, open moment of history.
Consider this. During the last week:
For the first time since its creation in 1974, the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) granted India a waiver , thereby allowing this nuclear country to trade in technology with supplier states like the U.S., France and Russia.
This summer I traveled to Japan after indefatigably working for two months to save up for a two way ticket and a JR train pass. During the three weeks of my stay I came across many new and interesting cultural quirks. For example the Japanese make a point slurp as loudly as they can when eating noodles as eating quietly may offend the cook or when going up the escalator they stand on the left side and pass on the right. Another is when a Japanese person wishes to express his or her gratitude, they lightly bow their head.
I also got a chance to become more acquainted with Japan's fascinating history which is given so little attention in both American and European public schools. In Tokyo I visited the Edo Museum which illustrated the highly sectarian society existing in Japan until the second half of the 19 century. In Kyoto I went to a local museum dedicated to the life of their national idol: Sakamoto Ryoma, the man who fought for the westernization of Japan, which allowed it to become a world power. A stop in one of the cities, however, left a heavy feeling. Though more than half a century has passed since the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima by the United States, killing 140,000 people and razing 90 percent of the buildings, there remains a kind of melancholy, unpleasant aura amidst the hustle and bustle of the city.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke today on Iranian national television about the role of the United Nations in nuclear disarmament. Like with North Korea and India, the United States has attempted to persuade Iran to abandon its uranium enrichment program and to open its plants to international inspection. But unlike these countries Iran remained indifferent to the entreaties. In exchange for Iran's cooperation in suspending its uranium enrichment program, the United States promised to ease economic and diplomatic sanctions it has imposed on Iran for the past decade.
Abdul Qadeer Khan (A.Q. Khan), Pakistani scientist and metallurgical engineer, originally admitted to working with Libya, Iran, and North Korea on nuclear proliferation; although he later retracted his participation in such activities. Following a confession in February 2004, A.Q. Khan was put on house arrest because of the fact that he had provided those countries with information and technology to develop nuclear weapons.