The Huffington Post - President Obama's new Nuclear Posture Review is being hailed as a commonsense acknowledgment that in the modern age, nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism are of greater concern than an apocalyptic battle between superpowers, and that no country, including our own, should use nuclear weapons except in the case of a threat to its very survival.
But the review doesn't recommend any change in the alert status of our nuclear arsenal. That leaves over 2,000 American and Russian nuclear weapons ready to launch on a few minute's notice, a dangerous legacy of the Cold War that not only puts about 100 million of us potentially less than an hour away from annihilation at any moment, but also hugely increases the risk of a mistaken launch or a weapon falling into the hands of terrorists.
During the presidential campaign, Obama promised he would do something about that. In an April 2007 speech, he was crystal clear: "[I]f we want the world to de-emphasize the role of nuclear weapons, the United States and Russia must lead by example. President Bush once said, 'The United States should remove as many weapons as possible from high-alert, hair-trigger status -- another unnecessary vestige of Cold War confrontation.' Six years later, President Bush has not acted on this promise. I will. We cannot and should not accept the threat of accidental or unauthorized nuclear launch." Read more.