Chapter from America and a Changed World: A Question of Leadership

Paul Cornish

This chapter from the book America and a Changed World: A Question of Leadership, gauges the scale of the nuclear weapons challenge and assesses the style and substance of the Obama administration's response to it.

The chapter begins with a brief summary both of the nuclear challenge and of the administration's response, as set forth in President Obama's April 2009 speech in Prague and subsequently. Four aspects of the nuclear challenge are then considered in greater detail: the political/diplomatic, the technological, the strategic and (above all) the intellectual.

The chapter argues that while the arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament challenges are daunting enough, a still more pressing challenge lies in developing a coherent rationale for nuclear weapons control that can endure into tomorrow and for the foreseeable future.