Yesterday, I had a terrific exchange with Pete Dominick on his Stand Up with Pete Dominick Show on XM and Sirius Radio on President Obama’s nuclear summitry and what it all means.
He actually read a question from one of my commenters, POA (aka “Pissed Off American”) about Israel. I responded on the show and do think that Israel’s nukes matter and need to be confronted one way or another. Israel’s nuclear primacy invites regional balancing — and the notion that Israel will remain the only nuclear power in its theater is as unlikely in the long run as the US remaining an unchallenged nuclear weapons power at the dawn of the nuclear age.
I agree with President Obama that in the long run, all nations need to become part of a non-proliferation treaty regime, including Israel.
I am impressed with what the Obama White House has been doing with its nuclear summitry and had the lead opinion piece yesterday in Politico on the Nuclear Security Summit.
Here is the intro — but I hope folks read the whole thing (for the digital reader edition, click here and go to page 27):
Obama’s Nuclear Wizardry and the Iran Factor
Sir Francis Bacon once said, “In civil business, what first? Boldness. What second and third? Boldness. And yet boldness is a child of ignorance and baseness.”
At the Nuclear Security Summit President Barack Obama is presiding over in a transportation-gridlocked Washington this week, he is achieving a boldness — but not of bravado. Rather, it is one of calculated subtlety and strategic depth.
Obama has brought together 47 world leaders to get them to commit to safer nuclear materials management practices and prevent trafficking in weapons of mass destruction.
Obama is changing the direction of global gravity. He is also confronting Iran without the shallowness of bombing vs. sanctions vs. public humiliation that his administration has been flirting with. In the past week, and over the next month, Obama is showing what a U.S.-led world order should look like.
This is a huge shift, for the world hasn’t had much faith in America’s abilities to deliver. For example, in taking on strategic challenges like getting the Israelis and Palestinians on a two-state pathway; or ending the anachronistically simmering Cold War conflict in U.S.-Cuba relations; or persuading Iran to forgo a nuclear weapons track, most of the world has seen an America unable to achieve the objectives it sets out for itself.
In recent years, this has translated into a sense that the United States is a well-branded, globally important but underperforming country, whose influence is weakening — more like a national version of General Motors than Google.
Now, out of the blue, Obama is changing the game.
— Steve Clemons