President Obama: saving ourselves from our nuclear weapons.
President Obama may be the greatest hero of our time on one count alone: he’s working, and succeeding, at reducing the proliferation (spread) of nuclear weapons, nuclear weapons-owning states, and the security of existing stockpiles (since the end of the Cold War, nuclear weapons have been relatively easy to get, even, say, by terrorists, offering perhaps the greatest threat to our national security in history).
Excerpt via The New York Times:
The United States has 500 tactical nuclear weapons, which are considered secure, but Russia has 3,000 or more that are far too vulnerable to theft…
The stakes for this country’s security are high. And most Americans aren’t paying attention. Mr. Obama has a strong argument. He will need to push back hard.
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Ikia Amano, said that nuclear powers needed to do more to protect nuclear materials.
“The problem is that nuclear material and radioactive material are not well protected and member states need to better protect these materials against the theft or smuggling,” he told the BBC. “On average every two days we receive one new information on an incident involving theft or smuggling of nuclear material.”
But, in classic political fashion, he’s received little credit for it. For it’s harder to be a hero for something that didn’t happen because of your foresight, upaya and efforts than it is to be a hero for hollering into a megaphone in the wake of something you failed to prevent.
TheNewYorkTimes — April 14, 2010 — In a time-lapse of 1,338 images, the photographer Luke Sharrett of The New York Times captured President Obama’s many greetings before a dinner at the 47-nation nuclear security conference in Washington on Monday night.