The Common Good

'A Step-by-Step Agenda for the Elimination of Nuclear Arms'

The page one story in Sunday's New York Times is one that I have been waiting for for a long time. "The Long Arc of a Nuclear-Free Vision" is about the vision for a "nuclear free world" of the president of the United States, Barack Obama. It traces how President Obama's commitment to seek a world free of the terrible threat of nuclear weapons dates back to at least his college days, that it has stayed with him ever since, and is now leading to a concrete strategy to gradually reduce and ultimately eliminate the world's nuclear arsenals. It is an important story that should be widely read. The story says that:

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In the interview, Mr. Obama noted that he was too young to "remember having to do drills under the desk." But as a student "interested broadly in foreign policy," he recalled, he focused on "a central question: how would the United States and the Soviet Union effectively manage these nuclear arsenals, and were there ways to dial down the dangers that humanity faced?"

I do not think he could have imagined as a college student writing papers and articles that the day would come when he would sit face to face with the president of Russia and negotiate around this question. Even more surprising: that he has been successful. This morning's breaking news is that the U.S. and Russia have agreed to cut their stockpiles of strategic nuclear weapons by up to one-third

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