by Lawrence Wittner on the History News Network
In a major address in Prague on April 5, 2009, the newly-elected U.S. president, Barack Obama, proclaimed “clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” On January 24, 2013, however, Senator John Kerry, speaking at Senate confirmation hearings on his nomination to become U.S. secretary of state, declared that a nuclear weapons-free world was no more than “an aspiration,” adding that “we’ll be lucky if we get there in however many centuries.” Has there been a change in Obama administration policy over the past four years?
There are certainly indications that this might be the case.
During the 2008 presidential election campaign, Obama made his support for nuclear weapons abolition quite clear on a number of occasions, most notably in Berlin. Speaking on July 24 before a vast, enthusiastic crowd, the Democratic presidential candidate promised to “make the goal of eliminating all nuclear weapons a central element in our nuclear policy.” He argued that “this is the moment to secure the peace of the world without nuclear weapons.”…