LAWRENCWE WITTNER – Isnâ€™t it rather odd that Americaâ€™s largest single public expenditure scheduled for the coming decades has received no attention in the 2015-2016 presidential debates? The expenditure is for a thirty-year program to â€œmodernizeâ€ the U.S. nuclear arsenal and production facilities. Although President Obama began his administration with a dramatic public commitment to build a nuclear weapons-free world, that commitment has long ago dwindled and died.
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – â€œJust as we stood for freedom in the 20th century, we must stand together for the right of people everywhere to live free from fear in the 21st century. And . . . as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act. We cannot succeed in this endeavor alone, but we can lead it, we can start it. â€œSo today, I state clearly and with conviction Americaâ€™s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.â€ Uh . . . These words, the core of President Obamaâ€™s first major foreign policy speech, delivered in Prague in April 2009, now resonate with nothing so much as toxic irony â€” these pretty words, these words of false hope, which disappeared into Washingtonâ€™s military-industrial consensus and failed to materialize into action or policy.