Katrina vanden Heuvel
Editor, The Nation
John McCain's widely-touted speech on nuclear security has been treated by the mainstream media as a major break with Bush Administration policy. And while there are elements which diverge from some of Bush's destructive politics and policies–it is, after all, an Administration which has shredded several decades worth of bipartisan arms control agreements with the Russians– it's also important to understand that McCain continues to define the problem through the prism of the Bush Doctrine.
How, for example does McCain, who seeks to expel Russian from the Group of Eight industrialized countries, anticipate negotiating successful arms agreements with the expelled country? How does a candidate whose neocon "League of Democracies" proposal–which would exclude Russia and, in doing so, undermine any role that country could play in dealing with Iran and securing weapons of mass destruction–expect Moscow to be receptive to real efforts on nuclear cooperation? Instead of hailing McCain's stance as a sign of his newfound realism –and a Johnny-Come-Lately break with the neocons– it's critical to put McCain's remarks into a larger context.
I asked Joseph Cirincione, president of the respected Ploughshares Fund and author of Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons, for some deeper analysis of McCain's speech:
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