Nuclear Disarmament Disarmed

US President Barack Obama’s foreign-policy landscape is littered with deflated balloons – soaring speeches, high hopes, and great expectations that, unable to carry the load, have yielded minimal returns. But none has deflated more than Obama's effort to initiate rapid and serious movement toward a world free of nuclear weapons.

SINGAPORE – US President Barack Obama’s foreign-policy landscape is littered with deflated balloons. Soaring speeches, high hopes, and great expectations have yielded minimal returns.

Across the Islamic world – from North Africa to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan – we see fragile relationships, unhappy transitions, unresolved conflicts, and outright attacks on the United States, despite Obama’s case for a new beginning, movingly articulated in his June 2009 speech in Cairo. Israel, deaf to Obama’s urging, is further from reconciliation with Palestine, and closer to war with Iran, than it has ever been.  

Likewise, for all the effort put into improving America’s most important bilateral relationships – those with China and Russia – ties with both countries have become increasingly tense, owing most recently to the Kremlin’s intransigence over Syria and official Chinese behavior in the South China Sea.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To read this article from our archive, please log in or register now. After entering your email, you'll have access to two free articles every month. For unlimited access to Project Syndicate, subscribe now.


By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.