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April 13, 2010

Obama's Big Nuke Summit Yields Pretty Much Nothing

47 heads of state gathered and what happened?

Well, Ukraine, Canada and Chile agreed to ship some uranium to the United States. That's, um, nice but probably didn't require a two day show.

Oh and they agreed this is real important stuff and they will meet again in a few years.

World leaders concluding a 47-nation nuclear security conference on Tuesday endorsed President Barack Obama's call for securing all of the globe's vulnerable nuclear materials within four years — but offered few specifics for achieving that goal.

Aiming for quick action, the United States declared that the Obama administration had submitted to Congress legislation to bring U.S. laws into line with two treaties: one to crack down on potential nuclear terrorism and one on the physical protection of nuclear materials.

Obama had called the summit to focus world attention on keeping such dangerous materials out of terrorist hands, a peril he termed the greatest threat facing all nations.

...

The summiteers announced that a follow-up nuclear security conference will be held in South Korea in 2012.

President Lee Myung-bak told reporters that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il will not get an invitation until the North gives up its efforts to build a nuclear arsenal.

North Korea's efforts — and its withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that sets the rules of the road for nuclear technology — kept it out of the Washington summit. Syria, which is suspected by the U.S. and others of harboring nuclear weapons ambitions, also was not invited.

How do you know this summit was an event looking for some real news? The US and Russians announced a deal to shut down a Russian weapons reactor. Thing is, that deal had already been announced. As we might say here at the HQ, it's old.

Granted nuclear terrorism is an important issue but it's not actually the most important issue when it comes to nukes. Iran is. There's nothing that this summit did that couldn't have been handled at a lower level. But perhaps something dramatic could have been done on Iran. The thing is when it comes to getting agreement, Iran is hard, terrorism is easy.

It's almost as if Obama did something for show and not, I don't know, real results.

On the upside, it did give Obama a chance to bow to a despot.

Meanwhile, the health care law is unpopular and the economy is in the tank and will be for the foreseeable future but Obama got some happy press, so it's all good.


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posted by DrewM. at 05:12 PM

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