President Barack Obama has unquestionably brought new energy to the battle against weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and the threat of nuclear or biological terrorism. What he has not brought is a dramatic change in U.S. policy or our actions to address these evils. These are both very good things.
Pop quiz: Which U.S. President, in his first term:
• Signed a new arms-control treaty with the Russians, lowering the number of operational nuclear weapons that both sides were allowed to deploy
• Issued a nuclear-strategy review that markedly reduced the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. deterrence policy
• Rallied leaders at an international summit to commit unprecedented resources to reducing the threat of WMD
• Delivered a speech in a world capital calling for the strengthening of multilateral tools to combat nuclear terrorism and the spread of nuclear weapons, leading to adoption of a new UN agreement?
The answer is not the current occupant of the White House; it is George W. Bush (although Presidents Obama, Bill Clinton, and George H. W. Bush can all claim some similar achievements).