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State of the Nuclear Risk

Obama focused on domestic issues, but emphasized need to eliminate nuclear weapons


State of the Nuclear Risk

In last night’s State of the Union address, President Obama addressed the concerns of Americans about the domestic issues that most immediately affect them: the economy and how to get it moving again; controlling government spending; improving education at all levels; and continuing to press for health care coverage.

But President Obama did not neglect the bigger picture. He pledged to keep us safe from outside threats and stated that great strides have been made in that direction through his administration’s efforts to renew America’s alliances and standing in the world.

One major way to reduce risks to the security of all Americans is to keep on the path of reducing nuclear weapons worldwide. President Obama stressed the near completion of a landmark arms control agreement with Russia, and highlighted the Nuclear Security Summit he will host in April that will rally the world behind the goal of securing all loose nuclear materials.

There is a broad and growing bipartisan consensus among the national security and military establishment that in order to combat the threats of a post-9/11 world – such as those demonstrated by the Christmas airline bombing attempt – we must have a national strategy to keep us Smart, Strong and Secure. To do that we must:

• SECURE the world’s current nuclear weapons,

• PREVENT their use by terrorists and hostile nations, and

• REDUCE the numbers of nuclear bombs worldwide.

With so many economic pressures and other immediate concerns facing Americans, why is it important to keep a focus on reducing the risk of nuclear weapons? How do the new START agreement with Russia and other international treaties to control nuclear proliferation help keep us safe? What steps can be taken to control fissile materials and keep them out of the hands of those who wish to harm us?

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