LobeLog: Toward a World Free of Nuclear Weapons?


Peter Jenkins

President Barack Obama claimed in The Washington Post on March 30 that the United States had made important progress under his leadership toward the vision he outlined in Prague nearly seven years ago: a world free of nuclear weapons.

In reality, “disappointing” is the epithet that future generations are likely to apply to the president’s achievements—or, rather, the modesty of them—in this domain, during his second administration at least.

President Obama returned to the White House in January 2013 with an opportunity to build on the 2010 New START Treaty, which can be a legitimate source of pride

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. As he wrote last week, the US [and Russian] “massive Cold War nuclear arsenals are poorly suited to today’s threats. The United States and Russia—which together hold more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons—should negotiate to reduce our stockpiles further.”

Unfortunately, the president blew any chance of further US/Russian cuts in two ways
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Peter Jenkins was a British career diplomat for 33 years, following studies at the Universities of Cambridge and Harvard

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. He served in Vienna (twice), Washington, Paris, Brasilia and Geneva. He specialized in global economic and security issues. His last assignment (2001-06) was that of UK Ambassador to the IAEA and UN (Vienna)
. Since 2006 he has represented the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership, advised the Director of IIASA and set up a partnership, The Ambassador Partnership llp, with former diplomatic colleagues, to offer the corporate sector dispute resolution and solutions to cross-border problems
. He was an associate fellow of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy from 2010 to 2012. He writes and speaks on nuclear and trade policy issues.