ISSUE | HIROSHIMA
Lower the nuclear threat
I welcome President Obama's decision to be the first sitting U.S. president in the nuclear age to visit Hiroshima, the site of the first use of nuclear weapons ("Obama to make history with visit to Hiroshima," Wednesday). Remembering the horror and destruction wreaked by a relatively small nuclear weapon compared with today's nuclear weapons is crucial to generating the global will to move toward abolishing such weapons worldwide.
The last nuclear reduction treaty was in 2010, between the United States and Russia. The United States has plans to rebuild its nuclear arsenal, and Russia, North Korea, and others are making nuclear weapons.
At Hiroshima, Obama should announce one or more of these steps:
1. Taking nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert.
2. Reduce U.S.-deployed, long-range nuclear weapons from 1,550 to 1,000 and challenge Russia to match that.
3. Initiate negotiations for a treaty to globally and verifiably ban nuclear weapons.
I have been to Hiroshima and found it a powerful reminder of the unimaginable destruction that would result if nuclear weapons were used again. I urge the president to announce concrete steps toward a world free of nuclear weapons, in which future generations can live without the threat of nuclear destruction.