U.S. Committed to Nuclear Nonproliferation

July 17, 2009
Cooling Tower at Yongbyon Complex

About the Author: Ellen O. Tauscher serves as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reinforced our nation’s commitment to nuclear nonproliferation efforts in her speech on Wednesday at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Nine days into my tenure as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, we’re aggressively tackling President Obama’s agenda that he so eloquently detailed in his speech in Prague earlier this spring.

Assistant Secretary for Verification and Compliance Rose Gottemoeller and her team are negotiating “New START,” a follow-on agreement to the START Treaty, which expires December 5. In the weeks and months to come, Secretary Clinton and I will be working closely with the Senate to pave the way for ratification of the New START agreement.

Earlier this month, President Obama and Russia President Medvedev committed to reducing the number of strategic nuclear weapons to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and stop acts of nuclear terrorism. The pursuit of President Obama’s ambitious vision of nuclear reductions and our ongoing negotiations with The Russian Federation are examples of the new diplomatic concept of flexibility in addressing post-Cold War realities and bolstering confidence in and broadening international support for non-proliferation efforts, as well as laying the groundwork for continued cooperation between the U.S. and Russia.

As President Obama and Secretary Clinton have stated, strengthening the framework for international cooperation on nuclear nonproliferation is a critical challenge for all of us.

That’s why the we are working to shore up the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT)--and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that monitors it—not only to help create the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons, but also to manage the renewed interest in nuclear energy.

Secretary Clinton made it clear why we’re doing this, and why we must do more.

“Our capacity to take responsibility, and our willingness to change, to do the right thing, are themselves hallmarks of our greatness as a nation and strategic assets that can help us forge coalitions in the service of our interests,” she said, adding that the administration is taking a “series of concrete steps to reduce the threat and spread of these weapons, including working with the Senate to ratify the follow-on START agreement and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.”

We’re also reviewing our nuclear posture and jump starting work on a Missile Material Cutoff Treaty. This won’t be easy, but it is fundamental to our national security and creating a more peaceful world.

Comments

Comments

Zharkov
|
United States
July 18, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

If we are "committed to non-proliferation", why did we sell a nuclear reactor to Iran when it was under the Shah, and also provide a reactor to North Korea? Did someone think that this is how to keep reactor technology a secret?

The reactor deal in 2000 was part of President Clinton's policy of persuading the North Korean regime to positively engage with the west, and in 2002 we declared North Korea a "terrorist state" and that a nuclear-armed North Korea is "not acceptable".

The sale of the nuclear technology was a high-profile contract. ABB's then chief executive, Goran Lindahl, visited North Korea in November 1999 to announce ABB's "wide-ranging, long-term cooperation agreement" with the communist government.

The company also opened an office in the country's capital, Pyongyang, and the deal was signed a year later in 2000. Despite this, Mr Rumsfeld's office said that the defense secretary did not "recall it (the deal) being brought before the board at any time".

DPRK was a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as a non-nuclear weapons state, but it delayed concluding its safeguards agreement with the IAEA, and in April 2003 it withdrew from the NPT. In October 2006 it exploded a nuclear device underground.

If we are so committed to non-proliferation, why does the State Department allow foreign students to study reactor technology at U.S. universities?

Perhaps you might tell us exactly how China obtained State Department approval for obtaining missile guidance systems from our missile manufacturers?

Why are apparently false foreign intel reports about Iran being planted in the news media?

Iran has been inspected and cleared by IAEA inspection, and our own intelligence service reports no evidence of Iranian nuclear weapons program, so why are we condoning Israeli military preparation to attack Iran?

Ari C.
|
Norway
July 17, 2009

Ari C. in Norway writes:

Dear Colleagues,

Kveld fran Bergen, Norway (Evening).

Less is More when it comes to total number os U.S. & Russian Nukes.

G-d Bless Presidents Obama & Medvedev on their Talks & new Treaties, etc.

Sincerly,

Dr. Ari Cole
Team Cole for 2016

Syrian P.
|
Syria
July 17, 2009

SNP in Syria writes:

If the United States is genuinely committed to Nuclear Non-proliferation why not start disarming itself of Nukes. Why not start disarming U.K., France, Russia, Israel, India and Pakistan as well. What the United States is really committed to, is disarming the oil rich countries from Nukes. So why not call it for what it is: The United States is seriously committed to denying to others nuclear technologies, especially if they rich in mining or oil resources. Hurry up Ahmadinejad, we got stop this NWO Gulag train dead in its track.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
July 17, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

"But all of these countries are of concern, but I would say that the one that I think is the most difficult -- and it was difficult in the Bush administration, and it's difficult in this administration -- is the problem of Iran. And it is Iran's determination, apparently, to seek nuclear weapons, the inability of the international community to affect their determination to do that, and how you deal with that -- and where all of the outcomes are negative. If they achieve one, the possibility of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East is very, very real. And if some action is taken to prevent them from getting one, the consequences of that are completely unpredictable, and likely very bad.

So if we -- we, the international community -- it's not just the United States that faces this problem. After all, Iran is going to have missiles that can deliver nuclear weapons to people in their region a lot sooner than they're going to have the capability to deliver one to us. And this is one of the messages that I've delivered to the Russians over the last two or three years, is that -- is that they're a lot closer than we are.

But I think, of all these countries, they're the one that concerns me the most, because there doesn't seem to be good options that have -- where there's -- where one can have any optimism that a good option can be found."

- Sec. of Defense Robert Gates, remarks to the Economic Club of Chicago
http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=4445

---

One thing's for sure, if we leave the driving to mullahs, you won't stop that car in time.

The lease worst option is the removal of the regime from power. That's the only way to assure the winning of the war on terror and to prevent nuclear terrorism becoming a political tool of the regime. Our task, and the international community's, is to make that regime removal policy outcome as predictable and achivable in the shortest time possible from the moment that decision is made.

Zharkov
|
United States
July 17, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

Light water reactors are known as "proliferation-resistant" but, in the words of one expert, they are not "proliferation-proof".

The type of reactors involved in the ABB deal with North Korea produces plutonium which needs refining before it can be weaponised. One U.S. congressman and critic of the North Korean regime described our reactors as "nuclear bomb factories".

North Korea expelled the inspectors last year and withdrew from the nuclear non-proliferation treaty in January at about the same time that the Bush administration authorised $3.5m to keep ABB's reactor project going.

What was that all about?

What did we expect?

How do we "non-proliferate" by giving nuclear reactors to dictators?

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
July 18, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Ari C. in Norway -- Welcome to the blog, I agree with you.

If 9/11 taught the nuclear powers anything, it's that having nukes is no guarrantee of continued national security.

Apparently there's a few ethical infants that are bound and determined to learn the lesson the hard way.

What up with the "Team Cole for 2016" thing Dr.?

Running for election?

Edite
|
Canada
July 18, 2009

Edite in Canada writes:

While ridding the world of nuclear weaponry capable of obliterating people from the face of the earth is a noble task it is one frought with insidious problems. The premise mentioned above that we are dealing with post- Cold War realities is a major error in thinking that will end up costing us dearly. When President Obama's knowledge about Russia is gleaned only from history books (some revisionist at that) or that which is given to him in short briefing notes (from whom is anyone's guess), one suspects that the mission he has embarked on is wishful thinking is very obvious. Russia can not be trusted. Period.

The fact that he has newly re-engaged or quoting the latest diplomatic catch phrase (a product of advisors in their 30's or 40's) "re-starting" relations with Russia because he thinks they will help vis a vis rogue nations and their nuclear ambitions is very faulty and stinkin' thinkin'. During the first Gulf War, 200 Soviet scientists remained in Iraq and worked against the multi-national coalition. What allows Obama to think Russia will help with Iran? Or is the quid pro quo a no-start with a much needed anti-missile defense shield in the Czech Republic and a radar tracking station in Poland? Is Obama in a replay of FDR who sold millions of souls in Eastern European countries into slavery and fifty plus years of brutal occupation?

For all of Obama's soaring rhetoric, command of the English language and his eloquence, that only appears when he is using prompters and reading prepared script, his ambitions which he has rolled out at amazing speed in just over six months in office, regarding every facet of American life, indicates that these notions have been festering for years and he is very quick to implement them because he knows he will end up as a one-term President. Americans will not be fooled twice. Becoming pals with Putin and Medvedev is showing the world just how wet behind the ears this young President really is. The fact that he is prepared to barter away the freedoms of millions of Europeans to advance his leftist disarmament agenda is frightening to say the least and truly diabolical. The very fact that real icons of freedom and light like Walesa, Havel, Freiberga to mention a few, feel compelled to almost beg, with hat in hand, for Obama to reflect on what he is doing and adjust his sails to a bit of real thinking and not wishful thinking is categorically indicative of the fact that by choosing Putin and Medvedev as his new found friends he is incredibly naive and more plainly, simply really silly. And, please, fellow writers, don't raise the issue of our children and grandchildren, as your excuse for supporting Obama's foolhardy initiatives, I too have them, but one should be using their heads(brains) not their hearts in this war.

Zharkov
|
United States
July 19, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

As Solzhenitsyn has said:

"If we could all take a sober look at our history, then we would no longer see this nostalgic attitude to the Soviet past that predominates now among the less affected part of our society.

Nor would the Eastern European countries and former USSR republics feel the need to see in historical Russia the source of their misfortunes.

One should not ascribe the evil deeds of individual leaders or political regimes to an innate fault of the Russian people and their country.

One should not attribute this to the "sick psychology" of the Russians, as is often done in the West.

All these regimes in Russia could only survive by imposing a bloody terror.

We should clearly understand that only the voluntary and conscientious acceptance by a people of its guilt can ensure the healing of a nation.

Unremitting reproaches from outside, on the other hand, are counterproductive.

I dare hope that this unhealthy phase will soon be over, that all the peoples who have lived through communism will understand that communism is to blame for the bitter pages of their history."

rosey
July 20, 2009

Rosey writes:

thanks for inform & post blog....
"If we could all take a sober look at our history, then we would no longer see this nostalgic attitude to the Soviet past that predominates now among the less affected part of our society.

Nor would the Eastern European countries and former USSR republics feel the need to see in historical Russia the source of their misfortunes.

.

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