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Obama’s Lonely Nuclear-Free-World Fantasy

Washington Post reporter Mary Beth Sheridan reports that no one is much interested in Obama’s nuclear-free-world fantasy. She writes:

George Perkovich, a prominent nuclear expert, noted in a recent report that nuclear powers such as Russia, China and France had not rallied behind the idea of moving toward global disarmament.

“The result is a talented president ready to lead a long-term campaign to remove the existential threats posed by nuclear weapons, but as yet lacking sufficient colleagues and followers to make it happen,” wrote Perkovich, who is at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

In other words, Obama’s wasting his time on something not likely to bear any fruit. Next up on the agenda is another summit — “200 countries are to gather at the United Nations to review the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).” But alas that seems to be a time waster, too (the same 200 are not, of course, scheduled to consider “crippling sanctions” against Iran):

The NPT is a bargain that gives all signatories the right to nuclear power while barring them from getting a bomb; the original five nuclear powers could keep their weapons but were to take steps toward disarming. India, Pakistan and Israel, all nuclear weapons states, did not sign the treaty and North Korea quit it in 2003.

But it will be difficult to get tougher penalties because the NPT conference operates by consensus. Iran, which is a signatory and maintains that its nuclear program is peaceful, could block changes. To critics, the forum often becomes a place where nuclear have-nots bash the nuclear haves, no matter what they do.

And then at home, the response to the START treaty — another Obama nuclear ”accomplishment” — has been underwhelming. The agreement is not likely to be ratified absent confirmation that the treaty doesn’t actually do what it apparently claims to do — namely, put restrictions on U.S. development of missile defense systems.

It wouldn’t be such a source of concern to have a president spinning his wheels if we weren’t experiencing serious threats to our national security. So one can’t help but think that our foes perceive this as confirmation that Obama is indifferent to real provocations and can be diverted into focusing instead on these sorts of largely useless endeavors. An aura of fecklessness, if not foolishness, surrounds this administration. And foes can’t help but take notice — and take advantage.