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America Should Not Lower the Nuclear Threshold

President Bush has pushed stopping the spread of nuclear weapons to the top of the international agenda. Ironic, then, that America's nuclear weapons development program may promote the very proliferation it seeks to prevent, as US Senator Dianne Feinstein explains.

With the world's focus on the debate over Iraq, the war on terror, and the Bush administration's doctrine of unilateral preemption, the American government's new emphasis on the utility of nuclear weapons has not received the attention it deserves. This is unfortunate, as this exploration of new uses for nuclear weapons represents a revolutionary shift in US national security policy.

Today, the world faces unprecedented challenges at the nexus of terror and weapons of mass destruction. With both North Korea and Iran openly pursuing nuclear ambitions and a potential nuclear arms race in South Asia, it is critical that America provide leadership, in both word and in deed, to reduce the risks and the role of nuclear weapons throughout the world.

Instead, the Bush administration seems intent on doing just the opposite. Many of the actions of the American administration, and much of the US government's rhetoric, may actually be increasing the threat from nuclear weapons rather than making the world safer.