On air: If the US disarms will the rest of the world follow?

nuclear President Obama’s call for a review of US nuclear capacity is currently underway at the Pentagon. It’s got many of you asking who’s side Obama is on. Here’s some more information on what the review will include . He’s committing “the worst kind of treason” says blogger Cassy Fiano – do you agree? Or can a nuclear free US inspire states like North Korea, Russia and Iran to disarm?

What the heck is happening to our country?’ asks this blogger. ‘To ensure everyone likes the USA, President Obama’s approach is to set an example – for Russia, Iran, North Korea and other nuclear states – by cutting our own nuke arsenal and denying missile defense systems for Poland and the Czech Republic. There will be no peace without strength.’

He’s weakening America says rightpundit. ‘It seems that within his and his elite liberal friend’s life paradigm, if you are weak then the big guys won’t pick on you. I submit that view of the world doesn’t work very well in the real world.’ Has rightpundit got a point – is a nuclear free world just a worthy ambition?

The UK might be the first to follow in Obama’s footsteps. Labour have announced that they  are backing away from plans to replace their nuclear deterrent programme, Project Trident. Does the US need to be the first country to disarm and can this really have a chain effect?

103 Responses to “On air: If the US disarms will the rest of the world follow?”

  1. 1 vijay pillai
    September 22, 2009 at 11:39

    It hink it is overdue by two decades but better late than never, and there is no doubt money need to be spent on saving the earth from catastrophe in less than a half a century time to act as one people shedding religious and racial differences but look to clebrate what is common among people of the world.Start with Nuclear disarmamanent and put the money where is is needed in improving quality of life of people .

  2. 3 Nigel Salford
    September 22, 2009 at 11:55

    Treason, socialism why is it that when someone, not just the President, in the US tries to make their own country and the world a better place then over exagurations like that are used. Cutting down on nuclear weapons is a just and honourable cause and doing so leads by example, you can’t expect others to do same when you have a policy of “do as I say don’t do as I do”, after all the the Warsaw Pact was a direct response to the setting up of NATO and look where that got us. To accuse the President of treason and of him having a socialist agenda over his healthcare reforms is both disrespectful and offensive to him and the office of President.

  3. September 22, 2009 at 12:58

    Two quotes are worthy of being aired here I think.

    1. “If you want peace prepare for war”.

    2. “Whoever draws the longest bow,runs his
    brother down you know”.

    The first one is from the ancient Greeks,the second is a line from Rudyard Kipling. Wise words then and wise words now. You cannot be left naked whilst others are fully clothed. Your enemies will not be generous.

  4. 6 VictorK
    September 22, 2009 at 13:05

    A non-story.

    Cutting a supernumerary arsenal isn’t disarming. Obama is many things, but not a fool. He wants a second term. A ‘defence’ policy of surrender-by-disarming would be electoral suicide, something that’s not on his agenda. Doubtless some of his supporters are utopian dreamers who’d welcome disarmament as the path to a better world, or anti-American leftists who’d welcome the prospect of the US being dominated by a greater power. But Obama has always struck me as a first class political opportunist, and much too canny to allow himself to be dragged down by his more simple-minded or treasonous backers.

    @Nigel Salford: the Warsaw Pact involved Russian domination of several conquered East European states, states that would have been free if they’d had a nuclear capacity with which to deter Russian expansionism.

  5. 7 Tom K in Mpls
    September 22, 2009 at 13:13

    Right now ‘cutting back’ means very little. Several nations have far more than they can use. They know nukes have very little use and are more willing than not, to cut the expense. Then there are the little guys that believe they can’t be considered a success without them. Because of these people, the big nations need a small amount.

    What most people, and governments forget is the weapons are useless without effective delivery systems. This is what makes North Korea’s nukes useless. If they try to send one more than a few hundred miles, it will be shot down. The US and Britain can put one on a cruise missile, launch from a submarine, send it 1500 miles and put it in your front door.

    Now the reason several big countries need a few small nukes is as a deterrent. Specifically, the UN needs to pass a resolution stating that if anyone initiates a nuclear attack, several nations will retaliate. The UN must give the order determining who launches, the specific target, and the size of the retaliation.

  6. 8 Michael in Ft. Myers, Florida
    September 22, 2009 at 13:23

    In “Real-Polotik”, as with most things in life, appearences and gestures go much farther than most people realise. America will never truely give up all nuclear arms so long as one other country, friend or foe, has one, nor should they. These ultimate evil contraptions have been invented, and will plague man for longer than I care to think about, however by the US taking the lead in appearing to cut down, many others will take that gesture as a good example. The modern world is far too “nownownow” in attitude, and with every item facing us as whole, the human race, patience is an absolute must.

  7. 9 patti in cape coral
    September 22, 2009 at 13:25

    Disarming the world is a worthy goal, but I think it is an unreachable one. It won’t happen.

    • September 22, 2009 at 16:06

      It may happen, gradually or so… someone disarms, another disarms and so on, until a new balance is in place. then the cycle starts again… on and on, until we reach that utopian balance of a completely disarmed world. … in a 100 years or so. my guess. if not, we’ll have ourselfs destroyed in 300 years either way.

  8. September 22, 2009 at 14:02

    If the US disarms will the rest of the world follow?

    No,the rest of the world will not follow,in fact countries in europe as well as japan will have to increase military spending,because they have enjoyed the USA acting as a protective umbrella ,with large conventional and nuclear detterents, without having to pay for it,now they will have to rearm and learn to protectn themselves again.
    also counties such as india,pakistan and iran see prestige in nuclear weapons and will increase their capability quietly.

  9. September 22, 2009 at 14:06

    If the USA disarms, then the rest of the world should follow.

  10. 13 Ibrahim in UK
    September 22, 2009 at 14:06

    In a perfect world, the US would disarm and everyone would follow suit. Anyone who tried to develop nuclear weapons would be stopped and held accountable in front of an independent international justice system. Conflicts and disagreements would be resolved by adults reasoning for justice and truth.

    It’s not a perfect world. The US and others may reduce their nuclear capacity from being able to destroy the world 50times over, to being able to destroy the world a mere 20times over. Nuclear research is only allowed for a select few nations. The one with the most and the biggest guns wins all conflicts and disagreements.

    Obama has people convinced that he is working towards a perfect world. He is trying to win back the moral high ground for the US, but at the same time keeping the military advantage. He is putting faith in mankind to mirror his steps towards peace, but keeping his big gun just in case they don’t.

  11. 14 Dan
    September 22, 2009 at 14:12

    Are you out of your mind?
    Seriously, the answer is a resounding NO!!!
    Only a Neville Chamberlain would believe this nonsense.
    As Europe waffles and begs its enemies to talk and asks weakly for its enemies to “treat us fairly” America is the singular bulwark against tyranny in the world. If America unilatterally disarms, America will swiftly be attacked and will shortly thereafter disappear.
    We may destroy ourselves from within but as sure as the Sun rises in the East, if America disarms we will be destroyed from without.

  12. 15 mohammad in houston, texas, usa
    September 22, 2009 at 14:15

    Not possible. There are too many volatile world leaders, who upon knowing of u.s. disarmament would seize the opportunity to increase aggression both towards their neighbors, and towards the U.S. IF (and that is a big ‘if’) the U.S. disarms its nuclear arsenal, it will only make us weaker.
    This is international politics, not playground rules.

    • 16 Dilys
      September 23, 2009 at 11:19

      I agree, there are too many terrorising playground bullies in the positions of leading countries. If the US disarmed completely then it would be great if the rest of the world followed, but in reality the bullies would take their opportunity to annex other countries and attack the US directly, knowing they had no real capability to defend themselves.

  13. 17 Roy, Washington DC
    September 22, 2009 at 14:19

    Of course not. Cutting our nuclear arsenal down from its absurd Cold War size can’t be a bad thing, but we would be foolish to expect world peace from it.

    “The price of freedom is eternal vigilence.” — Thomas Jefferson

  14. 18 scmehta
    September 22, 2009 at 14:20

    In the first place, the world shouldn’t have gone in for the nuclear weapons; and now that many of the countries have them, some of whom are dangerously extremist and foolishly arrogant in their mindset, it’ll not be prudent for the USA to take the initiative to disarm. Even if the USA actually happens to disarm itself of the nuclear arms, the extremists and terrorists would never trust or would intentionally remain adamant and show distrust so that they can carry on with their nefarious plans/designs. So, why not first ask those nations who have a bad track record, on the matters of extremist violence or terrorism, for nuclear disarming; while also assuring them that the other nuclear nations will follow-suite. To sum it up: the world would feel safe even if the USA is heavily armed (nuclear), and may be feel unsafe otherwise; whereas, it would never feel safe if any of the terrorist states have even a few of such weapons. You must never never trust an extremist mindset.

  15. 19 Tony from Singapura
    September 22, 2009 at 14:33

    Big Deal – you either have them or you dont.

    Current conflicts do not involve Nukes, they are just a balance of power thing. When you have some it doesnt really matter how many.

    The current conflicts will live on with or without Nukes in the stable.

    Iran will always posture their intent to bring death to Israel (even if they had nothing in their arsenal).

    The North Koreans dance to their own tune and wont be influenced by USA reductions.

    India only cares if Pakistan has Nukes and Pakistan only cares if India has Nukes, jointly they dont care how many Nukes the USA has.

    Possibly the only advantage is cost of ownership will be reduced – now thats a good reason.

    September 22, 2009 at 14:38

    I hail President Obama for making this late call. To be a leader is to recognize that a leader should also recognize the importance of becoming a guardian of trust and human values. The current cultures of armed adventurism and nihilism that were started in the last two centuries need to be brought to an end so that humanity can perceive new horizons of mind. Currently the biggest industry on this planet is that of FEAR & MISTRUST. That is why some people feel that even nuclear bombs are not enough security. We are like captives of this two and that’s why our important resources and management values are collapsing.

    There is enough military brass medals could make you sneeze but our insecurity increases every year. Disarmament is about winning a war without firing a single short – that is true victory.

  17. 21 T
    September 22, 2009 at 14:49

    The whole point here is this. The U.S. will never do it (despite all the nice soundbites from Obama).

  18. 22 Tamatoa
    September 22, 2009 at 14:49

    I think reducing the nuclear weapon arsenal is a good thing. And if America leads by example the world will follow. But in my eyes the goal is not yet to get rid of nuclear weapons. Obama wants to create a stable political climate where America still has enough nuclear weapons to control global politics. In the end, if there are less weapons then the probability of something going wrong is smaller.
    Putting Iran, Pakistan, North Korea in the same category as France, Russia or UK doesn’t make sense. They are political outcasts. They have to use nuclear weapons more as a defensive deterrent. The others use it as a controlling mechanism. America’s example will not encourage Pakistan, Iran, North Korea etc.
    I think America is not reducing its weapons arsenal but changing it. The wars today don’t require nuclear warheads. The casualties that nuclear warheads would produce is not acceptable anymore. Other tactics are necessary.

  19. 23 Dave in Florida
    September 22, 2009 at 14:56

    Let’s view this from another angle. If Russia disarms will the world follow? Why is it always up to the U.S. to take the lead? All anyone ever does is complain about us and how superior other countries are to us – why doesn’t someone else prove they are the leader they say they are and do something? Someone… Anyone…

    As an American I can say that I would LOVE to see another country finally back up its rhetoric with some action. And I truly believe most Americans would welcome this action as well.

    • 24 Terry in Halifax
      September 24, 2009 at 19:47


      Your missing the point. The US has to take the lead in peace because that what is has been doing in war for the last 50 years. It has built a massive economy on the export of weapons, creating instability and poverty around the world by its foreign policy. This continues to keep its weapons industry growing and innovating …all the time creating enormous wealth for a power elite, while impoverishing its own people. If we are to survive we need to get past this death spiral and the US should become the proud leaders of a new order. It is capable of leading and based on the past it is morally obligated to, despite the paradigm shift for the right wing who have been hypnotised by a select few to bark on command.

  20. 25 Colin Sundaram
    September 22, 2009 at 15:15

    22. 09. 09


    U. S. can reduce its nuclear arsenal by a little. Not more than 10% in my opinion. Can the U S trust any of the nuclear capable states? I do not think, the moment they notice that U S is weaker and it can be overpowered they will definitely take advantage of that situation. U S being a true democracy people around the world can trust that its nuclear capability will never be misused however, countries like Pakistan, Iran, North Korea and China can never be trusted on their promises. In my opinion Russia and India will not misuse their nuclear prowess until it becomes the last resort to protect their best interests. Russia has been a nuclear powe, second only to the U S indeed, for more than six decades and they have never threatened anybody with it.

  21. 26 Dinka Aliap Chawul-Kampala,Uganda
    September 22, 2009 at 15:20


    I think if America disarms first,the world will reacts in opposite ways & for sure will cause more harm than good to the U.S & her allies.

    U.S gains unconditional respects from some of the world powers not because they are always good doers but its that of their military might.

    President Obama,should know that he’s American leader not world.Lets him act carefully & leave Nuclear work to the United Nations Security Council otherwise spear will acts against it owner.Note that world is not an easy place.

  22. 27 Robz
    September 22, 2009 at 15:21

    Shrinking the US nuclear arsenal is both a diplomatic and cost cutting tool.It is very expensive to test,maintian,and secure such devices.
    No one who has such weapons will ever totaly get rid of them until there is a weapon that can take it’s place.
    Shrinking the toal number that everyone has,is keeping with the times.The cold war is done,having more than you could really use is a waste.
    As far as other nations following suit,of course not.Before there can be a real disarmament,there has to be trust and confidence in each other.
    And most people don’t trust their own government,much less give any kind of international arms agreement a chance.
    Robz in Florida.

  23. 28 Ken Sverige
    September 22, 2009 at 15:29

    I think the real issue is will the right let go and consider a disarmament, It is a very touchy subject,. there are billions of dollars in profits and wealth being generated by “the war machine ” The right wing conservatives of the world will not let this source of income fade into oblivion,. It gives the worlds tax dollar somewhere to go,. weather it is a leading first world country or a banana republic. If the war machine was a non profit making organization do you think the scare mongering would be as a high profiled policy, as it is today?

  24. 29 gary
    September 22, 2009 at 15:35

    I’ve no idea whether nations might reduce their atomic arsenals if the US does so. People are not predictable, and coincidently, they aren’t very wise either. I do know the world has more than enough devices quickly to reduce its population by a factor of a thousand in the aftermath of a full exchange, and that improved deployment strategies only make this more economical. All patriotic flummery aside, there isn’t a viable first strike scenario, there isn’t an effective defense, and these imply there isn’t an alternative to effective communication. My fear is few people have sufficient wisdom to make this inference.

  25. 30 Anthony
    September 22, 2009 at 15:50

    “He who want’s peace, must prepair for war.”

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  26. 31 Nigel
    September 22, 2009 at 15:51

    I can’t think that the US will disarm unilaterally. They certainly will only do so as part of a wider global initiative. The challenge will be to get Israel to do their part in the face of the growing paranoia over Iran.

  27. 32 Tom K in Mpls
    September 22, 2009 at 16:10

    After some thinking, I bet this is just a political bargaining chip set out buy Obama. It’s sole purpose is to gain leverage, through concession, on the health care issue. This guy makes too much noise to last. I suspect he is already a ‘lame duck’ president.

  28. 35 Jean Sommer
    September 22, 2009 at 16:24

    We had the opportunity for a nuclear weapons’ free world after we saw the damage done to Japan in 1945. We missed that chance. Now we have another opportunity to get rid of nuclear weapons. If the USA leads the way under Obama’s leadership others will follow. India, Pakistan and China may take some persuading but it can be done. The 21st century must be the century that works for peace in a positive way by first eliminating nuclear weapons.

  29. 36 John in Salem
    September 22, 2009 at 16:27

    Given that it would take the use of less than 200 warheads (average yield 2 megatons) to trigger a nuclear winter, plunging global temperaures to around minus 14 degrees Farenheit, it is comforting to know that someone has finally figured out that spending billions annually to maintain a stockpile of thousands of weapons strains the definition of stupid.
    So will the rest of the world’s nuclear powers follow our lead?
    Probably not everyone – just those who would rather spend their money on other things, like food…

  30. 37 Gary Paudler
    September 22, 2009 at 16:31

    No, the world will not follow, but it doesn’t matter. A 50% reduction in the US’s nuclear capacity would not leave us in a weakened position, it would set a good example and diffuse, somewhat, Ahmadinejad’s and Kim Jong Il’s rhetoric which paints the US as an imperialistic aggressor to justify their own saber rattling. Our defense spending is absolutely insane and could be cut by 3/4 without compromising our security; money much better spent to improve the lives of people or pay-down the country’s debt.
    However, given Obama’s shameless pandering to Big Insurance, Wall Street, Big Pharma et al, I doubt that he’ll do anything to affect the profits of the “Defense” industry.

  31. 38 David
    September 22, 2009 at 17:09

    If trying to rid the world of nukes Obama is committing “the worst kind of treason” as Cassy Fiano says, then Cassy is the one with a derailed mind. Obama is not weakening America as rightpundit says. These two people must understand that nuclear weapons can leave this world with no inhabitants. Who knows, may be one day in the future a mad leader, and could be an American future leader, may decide “I am going to test what the arsenal we possess can do”. What would happen then to the world? Do these people and perhaps their followers have children, relatives, neighbours? Do they love them?

    In my view, what President Obama is doing is telling the world that going the nuclear path is looking for a dooms day in the future.

    Yes a nuclear free world is a worthy ambition that cannot come sooner enough. And you can see what a balanced mind President Obama has.

  32. September 22, 2009 at 17:20

    It is difficult for anyone to declare that when the US disarm the rest of the world will. However, US as the Supper Power of the world would do more good to set example of disarming. If the US disarm, she will have shown the path for others to follow. Our world have become so dangerious in that people will stop at nothing to do the rest of us harm. There is a saying in my language wish says “more security is more insecurity”. Therefore it is time to disarm.

  33. 40 Tom D Ford
    September 22, 2009 at 17:23

    Oh, for goodness sakes, the US is not disarming. We still have enough nukes to kill everyone in the world multiple times.

    These Conservative bloggers just let their minds run wild and imagine things that scare themselves. They’re what the fable about “Chicken Little” was written about, they scare themselves out of all proportion to reality.


  34. September 22, 2009 at 17:28

    It’s impossible for the USA to disarm as military power goes hand in hand with economic power. Currently there is economic race between China and the USA, not to mention other countries. There will be a continuation of ideological wars, which necessitates building strong defence systems.

    Arms sale are a part of the economy. It’s hard to imagine the USA will relinquish this industry as it secures a huge income and thousands of jobs.

    Concerning nuclear missiles, no country possessing them will destroy them as one day or another other countries will develop them, which will start infernal arms race anew.

  35. 42 Peter Gizzi UK
    September 22, 2009 at 17:38


  36. 43 Todd in Atlanta
    September 22, 2009 at 17:48

    “On air: If the US disarms will the rest of the world follow?”

    Well, actually… NO.

  37. 45 Andrew in Australia
    September 22, 2009 at 17:58

    I hate to say this because the US is no paragon of virtue but in the end they are the ones who will stand up to the bad guys and take the risks (for their own ends admittedly). But when it comes down to it if the US rolls over and forgo certain weapons what does that say to those who see them and the rest of the western world as the enemy to be destroyed? The genuine terrorists will see this as an opportunity only. But it is unlikely that the US will ever move to a situation where they are naked militarily and removing nuclear weapons might just be a guesture as they have more than enough remaining in their arsenal to still deliver heavy losses to an opponent, it will just take longer to wipe them out. One big bomb or many little ones, the outcome is the same. Tokyo was razed with conventional weapons so was Dresden and more recently, Grosny was destroyed by conventional weaponry.

  38. September 22, 2009 at 18:05

    The idea of the U.S. disarming itself is ludicrous. It will never happen. And it should never happen. The U.S. has every right to maintain its defenses in any way it sees fit. It should never give in to external pressures to disarm.

  39. 47 steve
    September 22, 2009 at 18:08

    You can never put the atomic genie back into the bottle. It is out, and even if we got rid of weapons, we would still have the ability to make them again. And if countries got rid of their nuclear deterrants, then they would have to increase the size of their militaries to somewhat compromise, which would mean even more military spending, which could be spent elsewhere for the welfare of the people.

  40. 48 Ben in Wisconsin
    September 22, 2009 at 18:18

    It is extremely disheartening to see so many hold high the viewpoint that the US sits atop a hill surrounded by enemies. I don’t know, nor have I ever, understood what great enemy we are preparing for. The only thing we accomplish from having such large stockpiles of weapons is defeating ourselves.

  41. 50 Nancy
    September 22, 2009 at 18:18

    If the world doesn’t disarm then we risk world destruction. Any one country setting off nuclear weapons, may accomplish the destruction of their enemy, they will also destroy themselves by the destruction of their environment.

    Is anyone really that stupid? Don’t we have far more human interests we can spend all that money on in developing nuclear weapons?

    We ALL deserve what we get, if we don’t take steps now, WORLDWIDE, to eliminate nuclear weapons.

  42. 51 Ryan in Alberta
    September 22, 2009 at 18:23

    We need to reduce the amount of these weapons, and whether or not the other countries follow suit, this at least is a first step. At the least, this may open the dialogue again with the other nuclear countries and show that even the U.S.A is willing to make concessions.

    However I do not think that this dissarmament will have any effect at all with the countries that are currently seeking nuclear technology (ie. Iran, North Korea), and the rest of the world will need to think of another way to deal with these countries.

  43. 52 Kalai
    September 22, 2009 at 18:26

    Is this still relevant today? Didn’t we learn something from Hiroshima and Nagasaki? I thought every country understands using “nuclear weapons” on some place is detrimental to itself.

    Having these doesn’t mean that we are waiting to use them. Any threat coming out of someone that they are going to use “nuclear weapons” is mostly empty threat.

  44. 53 steve
    September 22, 2009 at 18:26

    Let’s think of some nations that gave up Nuclear weapons, such as Canada. They still don’t have to spend the money on their military defense because they still rely on the US for defense, hence why Canada can get on it’s high horse and boast about having given up nuclear weapons, but knowing that they completely rely on the USA for their defense and can spend the money elsewhere.

  45. 56 Tom D Ford
    September 22, 2009 at 18:28

    I suggest that we ought to study how to do business and trade with other peoples without threatening them with our military, including our nukes.

    There is no “Free Market”, the markets are regulated and enforced by our western militaries. It is outrageously expensive to run the world that way and makes other peoples angry about being dominated to their disadvantage..

    What is the better way?

  46. 57 Skeptik
    September 22, 2009 at 18:28

    Oh dear, an Israeli nuclear disarmament body taken seriously by WHYS. Everyone else should dis- arm apart from Israel who dont have nukes anyway right? Why is it that western politicians always ignore Israeli nukes?

  47. 58 steve
    September 22, 2009 at 18:30

    Ros, ask the guests if they think the instead, an increase in nuclear weapons could save money? If you think about it, how much money could be saved if you discouraged large armies, and large navies if you had a nuclear threat? If your existance were threatened, and there were a massive naval armada sailing your way, you could use a nuclear torpedo and take out the entire armada. You could use a tactical nuke against an amassing army on the border preparing for invasion. Couldn’t nuclear weapons, though scary as they seem, save a lot of money and lives by the potential they present?

    • 59 Tom K in Mpls
      September 23, 2009 at 15:22

      If you knew what we have in our nuclear stockpile you would know the answer. We could supply nukes to the world and still be the dominant power.

  48. 60 Jean-Jules Fogang, Silver Spring, MD US
    September 22, 2009 at 18:30

    The Obama Administration decision should be praised. Perfection, everybody knows, is not a reasonable goal. A world without nuclear weapons will not happen. However, limiting their prolifiration is possible. By the way, how would America ask things it cannot give from other nations?
    The Obama Administration set the example and surely other nations will follow. Kudos to America.

  49. 61 Francisco, from Huelva - Spain
    September 22, 2009 at 18:31

    Hi Ross, If everybody has nuclear weapons such as US, Russia, Iran, India and so on.. sooner or later somebody will launch one of them and it could cause a chain reaction that would destroy of the entire world..before the climate change do it.
    Not only the US, every country should disarm their weapons before it’s too late.
    Congratulations for the program.

  50. 62 Skeptik
    September 22, 2009 at 18:38

    A country like Pakistan will never dis-arm, getting the bomb is the only achievement the country has made. If everyone dis- arms, there will always be one that wants to get ahead and blackmail other nations.

  51. 63 T
    September 22, 2009 at 18:40

    Here’s a point that no one’s mentioned.

    The U.S. continues to print and borrow endless amounts of money from overseas with no transparency. Without a sound economy, what good will having all of these nuclear weapons do?

  52. 64 Jennifer
    September 22, 2009 at 18:40

    Re: The idea of the U.S. disarming itself is ludicrous. It will never happen. And it should never happen. The U.S. has every right to maintain its defenses in any way it sees fit. It should never give in to external pressures to disarm.

    I agree with the thought that this should never happen. The idea that we could take the lead and somehow others will follow is not rational. When it comes down to it, this is the issue that is most important to me; strong defenses because without safety nothing else matters.

    Other countries have a love/hate relationship with the U.S. We should always help yet then we are imposing. Never will please anyone…This is why there is a need for strong defenses.

    • September 23, 2009 at 08:48

      Re: The idea that we could take the lead and somehow others will follow is not rational.

      Yeah, as if the world could expect from the US to lead as an example. You’re right Jennifer, it’s ludicrous. Let’s “hockey-mom” ourselves out of every conflict.

    • September 23, 2009 at 09:42

      Yes lets go shoot everybody down they are all our enemies. We must give credit to our Hollywood legends, we are the greatest cowboys in the world. Yippee!

    • 67 Tom K in Mpls
      September 23, 2009 at 15:25

      Jennifer, it is not just the US, it is every nation that has the right. Including Iran and North Korea. If they are stupid enough to think it helps.

  53. 68 steve
    September 22, 2009 at 18:42

    Mearscheimer is wrong, North Korea has a huge military. They would win a conventional war with South Korea, it’s the US nuclear deterrant in South Korea that stops NK from reinvading. North Korea wants nuclear weapons to blackmail the rest of the world so the Kim family can stay in power forever. They want a payout.

    • 69 Tom K in Mpls
      September 23, 2009 at 15:30

      No steve, it is not the nukes. It is Operation Team Spirit. Assuming they still call it that. If there was another Korean war, it would go much worse for the north than it did last time. They would get no help from China and the US has a huge presence. This is why all NK political pressure is on the US and not SK.

  54. 70 Roman
    September 22, 2009 at 18:45

    I would like to point out an interesting case. Ukraine gave up nuclear weapons in return for outside protection. Recent Russia-Georgia conflict makes Ukrainians think twice about the nuclear disarmament. Russia and NATO promised safety and protection to Ukraine and Belarus. Russian comments and behavior towards Ukraine (gas issues and presidential dislike) are a good indicator to the amount of safety and protection the Ukraine is to receive. Georgia – US example shows just how much support the US can provide. It is not wrong to expect Ukraine to start building a warhead or two. After all – atom splitting and rocket building has been historically done in Ukraine and pose no major difficulty. Here is an example of a country that gave up warheads and now is likely to wish the opposite.


  55. 71 steve
    September 22, 2009 at 18:46

    @ Skeptik

    Israel isn’t know for boasting about wiping other nations off the map, or turning seas red with the blood of its citizens.

  56. 72 steve
    September 22, 2009 at 18:51

    That’s untrue. Pakistan’s AQ Khan was behind nuclear proliferation and he’s basically the reason why nations like North Korea and possibly Iran have nuclear weapons. Indian never proliferated, and Pakistan only gave AQ Khan a slap on the wrist, becaues it was probably government policy to proliferate.

  57. 73 steve
    September 22, 2009 at 18:53

    Silver Spring is right outside of washigton, DC, it’s where I was born.

  58. September 22, 2009 at 18:54

    Dr. Landau serves as a disinformational spokesperson for her country, the only nuclear state in the Middle East. It is Israel that issues the threats, not Iran. Ahmadinejad’s comments have been relentlessly and deliberately mistranslated by the Israel lobby-dominated media from a prediction to a threat. Iran has invaded nobody for 250 years, and it is Israel that has repeatedly attacked its neighbors. Israel continuously presses the US to attack Iran, but Iran would have no reason to attack Israel. Dr. Mearsheimer correctly observes that Iran’s nuclear ambition is inevitably defensive against the threats from Israel and the US. What does little Israel have that Iran – a highly self-sufficient and energy secure nation – could possibly want? Israel is bristling with a high-tech military and at least 200 undeclared nukes, unlike Iran has refused to sign the NPT, and Iran is not insane enough to attack them.

  59. 75 Ryan in Alberta
    September 22, 2009 at 18:56

    The guests on the phone keep stating that Pakistan has these weapons to balance the power or as insurance, but why do all the rest of the countries need to have hundreds or thousands of the weapons.

    If we could get all the countries down to only tens of these warheads, this is when i think real disarmement talks could really begin. Therefore i think the step that Obama took was a step in the right direction, whether or not the rest of the world follows.

  60. September 22, 2009 at 18:56

    That is like asking the Mexican Drug cartels the same question. If we voluntarily disarm our police and military will you also disarm?

    How about if we convince the Americans to totally disarm, will you guys?

    troop Oregon Coast

  61. 77 steve
    September 22, 2009 at 18:57

    Ros, you misunderstood my question, if you had nuclear weapons, you can save costs on having larger militaries. You wouldn’t have a massive navy because one nuclear weapon could take out a base, or armada, hence militaries are smaller since there are nuclear weapons.

  62. 78 Ryan in Alberta
    September 22, 2009 at 18:59

    The one gentleman on the phone made a great point, what really is the difference if the states or the other countries having 3000 or 2000 warheads. Great now the world can only be destroyed 20 times over instead of 30 times over.

  63. September 22, 2009 at 19:18

    No. Nobody will follow. The said Rogue nations may even try to pick the pieces and put them back together again.
    Do it and Mr Bin Laden will soon be seated in Mr Obama’s armchair.
    As one of the posters above said: there must be hidden purpose to putting such a question at all.
    How many splendid cities and cultures have been laid waste by nomads in the past since more advanced kinds began settling down in cities. Would there be today only vestiges left of them if they had been adequately armed to ward away their attackers.
    Let the fittest live.

  64. September 22, 2009 at 19:29

    if wishes were horses. the fatal mistake was creating these nuclear arsenal in the first place.but the realities on ground would not allow any nuclear power to wholly disarm it self. the world is going to have master the art of walking the tight rope of self restrain or we are all doomed. there is simply no trust amongst us.

  65. 81 maple biscuits
    September 22, 2009 at 21:12

    @ steve

    “.. nations that gave up Nuclear weapons, such as Canada. They still don’t have to spend the money on their military defense because they still rely on the US for defense, hence why Canada can get on it’s high horse and boast about having given up nuclear weapons..”

    Yeah, dead clever that – eh?

  66. 82 Kindi Jallow
    September 22, 2009 at 21:29

    Social forces can be as divesting as those distructive forces to nature if people do not understand them and direct them to meet their own use. The decision to disarm and be nuclear free zone is long over due. Armed to the teeth in the air, on the ground and the sea, there are lessons to be learnt from the nuclear accident that happened in Soviet Union (Chernobyl) were so many lives were lost. It is high time we stop this ‘Rat Race or Human Race’ to prepare a better future our children, where the money spent on evil technology is diverted towards humankind, live in degnity and prosperity.

  67. September 22, 2009 at 22:21

    We should only disarm if everyone else agrees to as well.

  68. 84 Thomas Murray
    September 22, 2009 at 22:25

    VictorK, vijay & Mohammad in houston all make excellent points, and about which I heartily agree.

    I would add that, right now, the U.S. is still a prime target for attack.

    Certain terrorists would like nothing better than to sail up the Potomac with a homemade nuke, and set it off next to the Capital.

    And once again we’d be treated to the spectacle of the Muslem world dancing in the streets (as did the Palestinians after 9/11), all oblivious to the idea that whoever first-strikes with a nuke, will lose the war.

    President Obama has many excellent ideas. But I can’t vbelieve he’d entertain this one. It would mean the end of the western world.

    –Shocked — SHOCKED! — that there’s Gambling in the Casino!, in Louisville, Kentucky, US.

    • 85 Steve G
      September 23, 2009 at 20:47


      Nice to see that I am not alone in remembering the spectacle of the Muslim world rejoicing and dancing in the streets as our friends and neighbors burned to death in the twin towers.

      Some things are not easily forgotten or forgiven. I never want to see again the situation where we are again complacent and unprepared. Far better to waste money and time and yes lives on preparation for the war that never comes.

  69. 86 Robert
    September 23, 2009 at 01:03

    Even a “small war” is suicidal for the world.
    The discussion of nuclear arms control should consider nuclear winter. Recent analyses using current models for atmospheric and climate change were used and are discussed in the article “Environmental Consequences of Nuclear War” by OB Toon, A Robock, and RP Turner, December 2008, in Physics Today.
    You can look for this free article via Physicstoday.org.
    The predictions show that not even thousands or hundreds of nuclear weapons, but even less, would be totally suicidal for the world.

    Robert, Oregon, USA

  70. 87 Ibrahim in UK
    September 23, 2009 at 10:46

    @ Steve “Israel isn’t know for boasting about wiping other nations off the map, or turning seas red with the blood of its citizens.”

    Israel has already wiped Palestine off the map (literally) and has threatened of a “greater holocaust” on Gaza.
    Israel gets away with murder (again literally), ignoring UN resolutions and international condemnation, it has proven to be irresponsible with conventional weapons using disproportionate force against civilian populations.
    Recently, the IAEA voted for a nuclear free middle east (US and Israel abstained from the vote), the IAEA text called on the Middle East states to cooperate fully.
    In a separate vote, the US voted against the suggestion that Israel should open it’s nuclear weapons for inspection.
    Now how can the US expect nuclear disarmement or a nuclear-free Middle East, when it opposes and blocks any attempt at bringing the only nuclear-armed nation (Israel) in the middle East to be controlled and checked?

  71. 88 patti in cape coral
    September 23, 2009 at 13:48

    I know, let’s just distribute all our WMDs warheads equally amongst all the countries in the world. Everybody has the same amount. We will either all kill each other, or we will all be too afraid of retaliation to attack, and everybody wins.

  72. 89 Petr
    September 23, 2009 at 14:05

    Another example of Obama’s incredible foreign policy naivety.
    Even if western powers scrapped their nuclear arsenal, would Russia, North Korea, Pakistan or Iran give up their nukes – the only reason why the rest of the world has to take them seriously? Of course not.

  73. September 23, 2009 at 14:15

    surely as america will be able to force other countries to disarm under internationallaw?

  74. 91 Steve G
    September 23, 2009 at 18:33

    There has only been one time in history where nuclear weapons were used and that was approved by Pres. Truman in order to save American lives.

    The USA’s nuclear deterrent strategy, Mutual Assured Descruction (MAD) made certain that the Cold War never evolved into a Hot War. And even with the proliferation of weapons and delivery systems the USA and USSR were able to refrain from their use.

    We spent billions diging holes in the plains to bury missle silos and building submarines to roam the oceans…none of which was ever used. Some of the best insurance money the American people ever spent.

    Pres. Obama is a politician but he is not stupid nor ignorant of history. He may make political points by proposing any number of wild ideas (and has) but knows that his first priority as Pres. is to protect the people of the United States.

  75. 92 Petr
    September 23, 2009 at 18:45

    “Pres. Obama is a politician but he is not stupid nor ignorant of history.”

    Obama might be well versed onthe history of Kenyan tribal wars or Indonesian madrasas but as far as European history I am afraid he is ignorant, otherwise he would not be so dumb (unless it was an intent) to announce his surrender to Russian pressure and abandoning the missile defense project in Central Europe on the very day Poland commemorates 70th anniversary of Russian invasion. What a sweet victory for Kremlin propagandists!!!

    • 93 Steve G
      September 23, 2009 at 19:07


      Wow…I’m not an Obama supporter, however he is not uneducated and ignorant of European (or any other) history. Besides he has enough staff that he can have at his finger tips any information he needs.

      I was chagrined and a little embarassed when the 2 Missle defense sites were abandoned. The USA has not default on our previous NATO committments. I’m guessing that we’ve aleady developed a better system, which obviates the need for these sites.

      And like you I understand that history has shown that Poland is in a very bad strategic position…between Western Europe and the Soviets….and the USSR has a history of military solutions. (and invasion, and double crossing, and repression and and…)

  76. 94 Tan Boon Tee
    September 24, 2009 at 03:16

    First thing first, the US will never go nuclear free. Even assuming that the US does, all the other nuclear nations will most likely retain their nuclear arsenal, let alone the despotic North Korea.

    Nuclear weapons have been the great and most effective deterrent to major international conflict after WWII, for no nation would want to press the button first to see itself obliterated when retaliation occurs.

    We are all sitting on gigantic time bombs, there just isn’t any other option.
    Or is it?

  77. 95 paul
    September 24, 2009 at 17:51

    There is overkill capacity so any reduction is welcome.

    It would be hypocrisy ro demand non-proliferation from Iran and N Korea and do nothing onesself.

    Why any perceived weakening of the US military apparat has to be viewed as treason is beyond me.

    The Russian Federation is no longer the agressive bogey the Soviet Union was. Putin appears to follow Peter the Great as much as Joseph Stalin as an example.

  78. 96 CG
    September 25, 2009 at 11:14

    Cutting back? The US spend as much on it’s military as the rest of the world combined. So cutting back a little bit here and there is hardly going to dent it’s capabilities. As much as the neocons would like us to believe.

    The reality is that the US is broke and does need to cut back on spending. But much, much more than currently suggested. And they’ll STILL have the mightiest army the world has ever seen!

  79. 97 Brian from Ca.
    September 25, 2009 at 12:08

    “We are all sitting on gigantic time bombs, there just isn’t any other option.” You’re right!

  80. 98 Bruce
    September 25, 2009 at 12:18

    Well, I am in South Carolina and our wonderful and honest U.S. Governmet is going to diarm,……….Well why not ask them —Why keep building more Nucular power plants? We donot need the power and Southern people sure dont like to see more of the dredful plants!!! OK…..You people go ahead and belive the lies. The only reason our Governmat is saying…disarm, is IRAN!!!!! And Iran will not belive the lies!! Do your research people!

  81. September 26, 2009 at 12:42

    I think it was Gorbachev who said ” Trust and verify”. Who do you trust and how do you verify? Trust among players in the financial markets is not an easily tradeable commodity currently, so I am not optimistic and I am also wary of hypocrisy.

  82. 100 Jim Newman
    September 26, 2009 at 12:56

    Hello again
    The development of arms of massive destruction was started by the USA. From that point on the countries that were at risk from USA attack had no choice but to develope them themselves. as a counter measure. If the USA is serious about not wanting to dominate the world by force then they must make the first move and hope that the rest of the world will not take revenge for all the damage they have caused.
    Personally I think that the rest of the world will disarm if the USA disarms because the threat will no longer be there.
    The way things are now and taking account of the brainwashing that is evident in the comments on this blog I can only be pessimistic. There are surely other opinions that have been censured, but we can never know.

  83. 101 Don in Detroit
    September 27, 2009 at 08:53

    Perhaps not many people are old enough to remember (or care to if they were) when Barry Goldwater and Curtis Lemay were running for Presisdent and Vice President of the United States. Lemay was rightly credited with being an effective advocate of innovative use of air power during world war 2. He unfortunately became the doctrinaire neo-fascist who gained well-deserved infamy for his telling mis-quote “It is your country – love it or leave it” (rather than the correctly quoted “-love it or change it.”) The “daisy ad” was all it took for LBJ’s supporters to keep the racist unholy alliance out of the White House. Johnson was no pacifist by any means but he wasn’t criminally insane with blind hatred for other cultures like the republicans he was running against either and I guess that will just have to be good enough for history. Obama has never stated total disarmament to be his idea of any practically acheivable goal. Ridding the world of 90% of it’s nuclear arsenals would not substantially weaken any nation’s self defense capabilities. The idea that there is any such thing as a reliable ABM is hogwash and no tactician who isn’t a paranoid slopehead to boot is going to believe that “the other guys have one perfected so I better double down on my offensive capability to make extra sure that I can get at least a few missles through his defenses.” That was the insanity of Reagan and his ilk of delusional “Star Wars” buffs and has been quite well enough debunked by now. The fact that the much-vaunted “Patriot” system scored a few lucky hits against dozens of “dumb bullet” scuds has nothing to do with the reality of any practically foreseeable nuclear ICBM attack scenario and there are thousands of cargo containers coming into this nation’s ports every day any one of which would be a lot cheaper and easier way to deliver a bomb then figuring out how to minitaturize it to fit atop a ballistic missile.

  84. 102 Evgeny
    September 28, 2009 at 08:20

    Why do you think US is cutting arms unilaterally. For all I know, the only real move to cut the nukes is agreement with Russia, that is currently being discussed and and there is no talk about US disarming first.
    Secondly, don’t mix Iran with North Korea – their motivations are totally different.

  85. 103 Ailfawka
    November 14, 2009 at 16:25

    no one is going to want to disarm if america doesn’t. picture it this way…america has not exactly lead by example in the past, in fact American government officials from the past should be tried for war crimes and sentenced…but because its america , they don’t get punished for there misleading wrong doings. so politically speaking for america to get some credibility back in the eyes of the world they need to really sacrifice the only thing that makes them a super power…(even though politically there far from being a super power anyways…and economically there shot to bits)

    so why not…why not finally lead by example and do whats right for once instead of pretending to. see the theory was , barrack was in with the whole new world order…for this to commit, the rest of the world would have to disarm before america, but if america disarms first, then there political take over of all the other countries will be void. so be it….why would we want a “Rome repeat” in charge anyways.

    so don’t be getting upset about this because this is everyones problem and everyone needs to work together.

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