NEXT week President Obama will welcome world leaders to Washington for his fourth Nuclear Security Summit, a biennial event he initiated to mobilize global action to prevent terrorists from acquiring atomic bombs. Republican-controlled Congress that is pushing the most ambitious arms control project in recent memory. Inexplicably, President Obama is the one resisting. last year Congress authorized and appropriated funding for initial research and development of low-enriched uranium fuel for America’s naval reactors. This project could be a game-changer, since the United States is the world’s biggest user of bomb-grade naval fuel. Simply by signaling an intention to convert to safer fuel if feasible, the United States would put substantial pressure on Russia to follow suit, and would reduce Iran’s justification for seeking highly enriched uranium. That would seem like a no-brainer addition to the president’s laudable nonproliferation agenda, which helped earn him the Nobel Peace Prize. Instead, the president has opposed it. When Congress initiated the program in the 2016 fiscal year, the White House objected on the ground that funding was to be taken from an existing Energy Department nonproliferation account. This was an odd objection, given the plan’s undeniable nonproliferation intent, but bureaucrats guard their budgets vigilantly. Eventually, the president acquiesced to the first-year funding as part of larger legislation.
New York Times 25th March 2016 read more »