About Nuclear Disarmament
Although the world has witnessed the destructive and terrible consequences of using nuclear weapons, thousands of nuclear bombs still exist. Eight countries have formally announced that they have nuclear weapons, and more countries are edging closer to gaining the necessary technology. The risk of nuclear proliferation puts the world closer and closer to experiencing the horror of nuclear war. For the United States, the possibility that a nuclear weapon could end up in the hands of terrorists is the single greatest hazard facing this nation.
Controlling the production and proliferation of nuclear weapons is essential to U.S. national security. Nuclear arms control policies seek to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology and urge nuclear weapons states to disarm. President Obama has highlighted U.S. nuclear weapons policy as a top national security priority, and GlobalSolutions.org is working to make his goal of a world free of nuclear weapons a reality.
Learn more about treaties that affect American foreign policy on this issue:
New START and Beyond
The ratification of New START was the biggest foreign policy victory for the Obama administration and the first major treaty passed in the Senate in almost a decade. The last time the Senate passed a treaty was more than a decade ago, with the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1997.
The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) is a bilateral nuclear arms reduction treaty between the U.S. and Russia that replaced an earlier iteration of the treaty negotiated by President Reagan and that expired at the end of 2009. New START is essential for initiating discussions about the next round of reductions.
GlobalSolutions.org work both through its grassroots organizing as well as advocacy on Capitol Hill to support the ratification of New START. Due to an outpouring of grassroots support -- a November poll noted that 82 percent of Americans supported ratification -- one by one Republican Senators announced their support for the treaty. In the end, enough Senators came together in agreement about the importance of our national security and safety.
Now that New START has passed the Senate, all eyes turn to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which bans all forms of nuclear explosions and is the most important treaty for the U.S. to sign in terms of supporting non-proliferation. It was a victim of Republican obstructionism in 1999, when it failed to be ratified in the Senate. The administration has voiced its support for the treaty, and despite the challenges that will inevitably come with a more conservative Congress, many see this as a window of opportunity to ride on the coattails of the success of the New START treaty. In the immediate future, however, domestic politics and issues are likely to dominate the agenda.
"We seek the elimination one day of nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth."
~President Ronald Reagan
"Today, every inhabitant of this planet must contemplate the day when this planet may no longer be habitable. Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident or miscalculation or by madness. The weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us…"
~President John F. Kennedy
"Today I can declare my hope, declare it from the bottom of my heart, that we will eventually see the time when the number of nuclear weapons is down to zero and the world is a much better place."
~ General Colin Powell
"I do not know with what weapons World War 3 will be fought, but World War 4 will be fought with sticks and stones."
"The atomic bomb brought an empty victory but it resulted for the time being in destroying the soul of Japan. What has happened to the soul of the destroying nation is yet too early to see..."
From the President
"Just as we stood for freedom in the 20th century, we must stand together for the right of people everywhere to live free from fear in the 21st century. And 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."
~Barack Obama, U.S. President
The Global Citizen
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