Ambassador Richard Burt made a very impressive appearance on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. Ambassador Burt was a chief negotiator of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in the President George H.W. Bush administration. (It seems strange to me now that the Reagan-Bush administrations were creators of major arms control treaties, with Reagan’s saber rattling, nationalism, and Cold War rhetoric, and Bush’s Gulf War—that being something that got us to the state we’re in today.)
We’ve known for quite a while that President Obama has made reference to President Reagan. According to Ambassador Burt, Reagan sought nuclear reduction and elimination, finally being able to achieve it with Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev. Bush followed up with the first START treaty, and President Obama has signed the second one. Ambassador Burt points out that it’s a good starting place for further arms reductions. While this treaty alone will not eliminate Russian or American nuclear weapons, nor even a whole class of those weapons, it has restarted a process that was sidelined during the misguided George W. Bush years.
The group Global Zero is working to further the aim of eliminating nuclear weapons from the world. That’s a goal worth pursuing.