It is ironic that this award comes on the same day that the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the administration is considering sending as many as 60,000 more troops to Afghanistan. President Obama needs to prove that he really is a force for peace. He can do that by refusing to put more troops in Afghanistan, and instead committing to a non-military solution that doesn’t destabilize a nuclear-armed Pakistan like a surge would.
The President is moving in the right direction on global nuclear disarmament but hasn’t done enough yet to warrant a Nobel Prize. For example, in saying that nuclear disarmament may not be achieved during his lifetime, he is taking the slow track toward a goal that is urgent to avoiding the use of nuclear weapons, by nations or terrorist groups, in the foreseeable future.
The President should instead declare that the United States is initiating multi-lateral talks right away on a global treaty to ban nuclear weapons. Similar treaties have already banned chemical and biological weapons. If those weapons of mass destruction have been outlawed, why not begin negotiations toward eliminating the most dangerous ones of all, nuclear weapons?
There is a hunger for a new, less militaristic U.S. foreign policy around the world, and President Obama has made a good beginning in that direction. But unless he approaches Afghanistan and Pakistan with more peaceful strategies, and takes more urgent leadership toward nuclear weapons abolition, those hopes may well be dashed.
The Rev. Robert Moore
Coalition for Peace Action
The Princeton-based coalition is the largest peace group in the region, with more than 7,800 member and supporting households, and 18 chapters in central and southern New Jersey and Southeastern Pennsylvania. Moore has been executive director since 1981.