December 1st, 2008
02:26 PM ET

Nuclear weapons: What should Obama's first priority be?

 Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

On Inauguration Day, Barack Obama gets the "football." It's not what you think. This football is the small leather-bound metal briefcase that contains the U.S. nuclear launch codes. It will be handed off to Obama at his swearing in, and from that moment on will go everywhere with him. Think of it as Armageddon in a box.

The world is awash in potential nuclear weapons problems right now. North Korea already has them. Iran is racing toward acquiring them. The main nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia expires next year. And tensions between India and Pakistan are on the rise in the wake of the terror attacks in Mumbai last week. Pakistan is a nuclear power. It's a daunting array of problems for any president to face.

Watch: Cafferty: Nuclear priorities?

So what's inside the football? A secure phone that can connect President Obama to the nuclear command centers at the Pentagon, Colorado Springs and "Site R," a bunkered emergency command center just over the Maryland border in Pennsylvania. Through these centers, the president can reach the 1,300 U.S. strategic nuclear weapons which are always on alert. There is also a list of various attack options, everything from a single shot to an all-out war.

Here’s my question to you: When it comes to nuclear weapons, what should Barack Obama's first priority be as president?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Meagan from Baltimore, Maryland writes:
I think his priority should be to make other countries aware that we no longer subscribe to the policy of "appease us or we'll attack". He needs to follow through on his promise to be as diplomatic as he wants the rest of the world to be.

Mike from New Orleans, Louisiana writes:
Obama should take the lead and make a goodwill gesture of destroying some of our nukes in the U.S. The less nukes in the world, the less likely an accident could occur.

Debra from Washington, D.C. writes:
Of all the issues facing Obama, this one he started the ground game in his first years in Congress with his bill on nuclear proliferation. Now he will use his present popularity along with the charm of Hillary Clinton to re-establish relationships with the NATO allies, to create a strong coalition behind nuclear accountability and control. I think he has in mind a world in which countries don't fight countries, but if there is fighting it is countries verses extremists.

Mark from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma writes:
How about dropping a nuke on the "lawless" area of Pakistan where Osama Bin Laden is hiding out. You know, just to send a message on Inauguration Day.

Dave from Brooklyn, New York writes:
He should begin talks with Russia, China and the rest of the club to begin a serious attempt to reduce the arsenals. No one needs enough fire power to destroy the Earth ten times over.

Jim writes:
First, move all the Israelis to Texas; that way they'd be safe and add some civilization to a blighted area. Next, destroy as many nukes as possible by setting them to go off around 3000 feet above Syria, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan thereby assisting that part of the world in its efforts to re-decorate and make things warm and inviting. Bright lighting can add so much.

Filed under: Barack Obama
soundoff (292 Responses)
  1. Jenny Rome Ga

    If you are speaking targets perhaps Pakistan?

    December 1, 2008 at 1:06 pm |
  2. Kerry Diehl

    1. Walk as softly as possible, but be sure they all know you carry a VERY big "stick".

    2. Also let them all know you WILL use it if needed as a LAST resort.

    December 1, 2008 at 1:10 pm |
  3. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    He should begin talks with Russia, China and the rest of the club to begin a serious attempt to reduce the arsenals. No one needs enough fire power to destroy the Earth 10 times over. Destroying it once should be sufficient. Besides, we’re doing a good enough job on that without the use of nukes.

    December 1, 2008 at 1:15 pm |
  4. Dave from Orlando

    He should begin an education program that teaches the proper pronunciation of the word “nuclear.” First two students: EX-president Bush and (hopefully) never president Pailin.

    December 1, 2008 at 1:16 pm |
  5. Mike, Cleveland, Ohio

    As far as nuclear weapons go, he needs to set an example by destroying some nukes in order to stem the tide of proliferation by other countries. Set a coordinated date to destroy some nukes with other countries. Another option is to have a conventional arms for nukes deal where industrialized nations provide conventional arms to countries who completely destroy their nuke piles.

    December 1, 2008 at 1:17 pm |
  6. Carl Deshazer

    The United States has nuclear weapons, having said that, what would give president Obama or the United States the right to dictate who gets nuclear weapons and who doesn't. Our presidents need to learn that the United States is not the police of the world. It's time we keep ourselves out of other countries and worry about what goes on in the United States, like rebuilding our roads,schools etc.

    December 1, 2008 at 1:18 pm |
  7. Bizz, Quarryville, Pa.

    The first priority should be to see that nuclear weapons are being secured and protected from terrorist around the world. The second priority should be stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and their development in terrorist countries like Iran and North Korea.

    December 1, 2008 at 1:19 pm |
  8. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Try to arrange a meeting of all the countries that have nuclear weapons and forge a treaty to stop the proliferation of such weapons.

    December 1, 2008 at 1:24 pm |
  9. Chris

    Priority No. 1 should be to keep nukes out of the wrong hands. For starters, we need to make sure that we have all our ducks in a row, so we can show the rest of the world we mean business.

    Chris from NC

    December 1, 2008 at 1:26 pm |
  10. Jackie in Dallas

    To make sure that they are never used except as an abolute last resort. Nuclear weapons have the potential to exterminate all human life on this planet, not to mention 99% of all life. I hope that they are NEVER used again.

    December 1, 2008 at 1:27 pm |
  11. Kim Caldwell

    The single most significant threat to life on this planet is the risk that terrorists acquire NC2 weapons and use them. Period! There is no room for failure here; this cannot happen. Ever! Ever! If it does, we are all doomed.

    December 1, 2008 at 1:28 pm |
  12. Jenna Wade

    When it comes to nuclear weapons, what should Barack Obama’s first priority be as president?

    Well since Israel has nukes, refuses to have IAEA inspections and declines to sign the Non Proliferation Treaty, I think that Obama should have our ally join the fold.

    Afterall didn't we go into Iraq because of WMD's and Saddam's "refusal" to have IAEA inspections?

    Roseville CA

    December 1, 2008 at 1:33 pm |
  13. John

    Jack: President-elect Obama should use diplomacy to limit the spread nuclear weapons to other nations. To those rogue nations trying to acquire nuclear weapons and delivery systems should be met with strong words, but with a full diplomatic plan to convince these nations to reconsider their plans. President-elect Obama should require strong measures to account for nuclear weapons and treaties to destory these weapons.


    December 1, 2008 at 1:34 pm |
  14. gregS Canada

    Get the launch codes 😉

    December 1, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  15. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    work with the UN and insist that all nukes from the break up of the Soviet Union are collected and accounted for. With the people in charge now it is easy for anyone to see these being sold to a country like Iran.

    December 1, 2008 at 1:36 pm |
  16. Katiec Pekin, IL

    A meeting of the world leaders should be arranged to try and convince other countries of our sincerity, creditbility and willingness to work
    together to try and resolve this horrific problem. After that is
    established, they all need to join forces and come up with
    agreed upon solutions to eliviate the loss of control that has
    been allowed to take place.
    In the meantime we all must pray and hope that insanity will
    not occur.

    December 1, 2008 at 1:37 pm |
  17. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    Jack, the United States should have unlimited access to Pakistan’s A.Q. Kahn, the world’s most dangerous nuclear arms peddler. Since he was the one that provided the nuclear know how to rogue nations like North Korea and Iran in the first place, we can interrogate him on who else has this information. I feel that finding out what nations and groups have what technologies is more important at this point, since we already know for the most part what Iran and North Korea already have.

    December 1, 2008 at 1:38 pm |
  18. Joe in DE

    Get a concensus in NATO.

    December 1, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  19. Steve of Hohenwald TN.

    Well Jack, the way i see it is, americans can`t stand to be told what to do. I think it`s safe to say, Iran and other countries don`t like it ether.If you try to tell them what to do, it will only anger them into postureing. So my answer is, Obama should reduce arms as a sign of good will, and set the pace for others to follow.

    December 1, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  20. Kevin

    My personal opinion for President-Elect Obama is to solidly establish his energy team that can monitor the growth of nuclear proliferation throughout the global community. There are various countries who have made it publicly aware of engaging in nuclear activities and others who have gone undetected for over the years. If Obama wants to make his mark as a no-nonsense, he must act fast and make an example out of his first contender.

    December 1, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  21. Kevin

    My personal opinion for President-Elect Obama is to solidly establish his energy team that can monitor the growth of nuclear proliferation throughout the global community. There are various countries whom have made it publicly aware of engaging in nuclear activities and others whom have gone undetected over the years. If Obama wants to make his mark as a no-nonsense president, he must act fast and make an example out of his first contender.

    December 1, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  22. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    I would hope he would make agreements with these countries to have that stop making nuclear weapons or at least slow them down with the idea of further agreements to cease making weapons. He should also try to find out exactly what they have and how many. If we get rid of the "do as I say, not as I do" approach to world politics, it would be a helpful start.

    December 1, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  23. Martyn Bignell

    Good Question Jack, however, how to put a priority on this one is not easy, this being due to unstable countries having this weapon at all is the biggest issue of all.
    After recent events then Pakistan and India would be at the top of my agenda, it will require a huge amount of diplomacy to get these two working together. Ironic really, after all they are the same race seperated by that man made beast religion.

    On top of these two we have North Korea and Iran, currently I would have to place Iran in first place out of these two, then we need to get the russians on side to try and prevent further unstable countries getting hold of materials and technology, Israel is probably ok, however, I do not believe they would think twice to use it if required.

    So in order of priorty I would go to Pakistan and force them to play ball with the incentive of aid, then to India and get them to do the same, heavy import duties on the products they manufacture would probably bring them to the table. Iran would be more difficult, so I would work with them the Palestinians and Israel for a fully negotiated peace settlement. In fact I would invite Saudia Arabia, and other friendly Arab nations to work with us on that one, sorry Israel you may not like it but face up to it, as this will have to happen one day. Jordan would be an excellent mediator.

    With Iran then feeling a part of the world again then it just may be they would play ball, so that now leaves Korea, again an aid package of some sort and perhaps China taking in a hand in negotiations could be constructive, that then leaves our old friend Russia, I believe anything is now possible with them; but never forget what Karl Marx said. "Never trust a Russian", but since he wrote that a lot has changed within Russia; just look at all of the multI Billionares coming out of their to answer that one.

    Martyn, Fort Lauderdale.

    December 1, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  24. carson

    to protect and create a bit more.

    December 1, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  25. John F

    Nuclear weapons are a no no once they are distributed around the world. I think as his first job in the nuclear relm is to get a real number of just how many of these weapons are around and who has them.

    We know there has been some uranium stolen and there may be even more that they are not telling us. We should know who has them and what can be done to make those weapons more secure. I think its a matter of time before the wrong group gets a nuclear weapon and uses it.

    John F.

    Dayton Ohio

    December 1, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  26. Daniel Ambrose

    Simple. He has already appointed the right people for this. Obviously anything that would not harm the Ameican people is the ultimate and only priority.

    Daniel Ambrose,
    Atlanta, GA

    December 1, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  27. don in naples, florida

    Obama should have a summit with all the countries who have nukes and begin a full scale disarmament. Nothing good can come from owning a nuclear weapon.

    December 1, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  28. Denis Duffy

    Make sure we still have the ones we are supposed to have. Then ask other countries to account the same. Probably a lost cause in both instances.

    Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  29. hugh ~ tracy, california

    Stop Iran from developing its nuclear ambitions, first by attempting lengthy diplomacy, second by international sanctions, and third by United Nations resolutions. If all these attempts do not convince Iran to end its nuclear program, the last option available is to take military action against them with tactical missile strikes on their nuclear facilities.
    Doing nothing would end with greater consequences. It would encourage our enemies to further destabilize the region. It would embolden the enemies of Israel and further erode the confidence our allies see in us as a superpower. There would be little chance for a peaceful future in the middle-east without this military option.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  30. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    He needs to keep Iran from getting them. North Korea wants nukes for self preservation, while Iran seems to have genocide on the mind.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  31. Allan Hanson Cameron Park Ca.

    As others have said, we need to get our own house in order before we try to tell them what they should do. We have by far the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons beyond what all other nations togeher have.
    Start by setting a good example.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  32. David, Tampa, Fl

    Control proliferation so we don't depleat our stockpile in retaliation for some stupid ass using their's.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  33. Jay, Niagara Falls, Ont

    Pronouncing 'nuclear' correctly is the top priority.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  34. David in San Diego

    The US should help other, less secure countries (like the former USSR, Pakistan, and India) control their nuclear weapons stockpiles to keep them out of the hands of rogue states and stateless terrorist groups.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  35. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Obama and others should educate the World on the after affects if nuclear weapons are used. Obama has effectively used the internet to spread his messages around the world and I can think of no better way to reach people which could result in putting pressure on world leaders to disarm themselves of nuclear weapons.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  36. Steve

    Dust off our arsenal

    December 1, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  37. Terry from North Carolina

    Its a whole new ballgame we have to establish our position on nuclear power, with all the countries that have this capability, and let them know that we will not stand for the production of weapons of mass destruction.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  38. Michael watching from Canada


    Create a global network that tracks every single nuclear device that exists on this planet. Nuclear armament is one issue that is important to all humans. In a world where rogue radicals will do anything, all countries must account for where all their nukes are. Only until all nukes are accounted for will it be possible to plan disarmament.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  39. john .... marlton, nj

    If you are referring to our nuclear weapons, it isn’t Christmas day and they aren’t some kind of toy that Obama will unwrap. In a world were deterrents are a form of diplomatic currency, nuclear weapons should serve only as the underlying gold standard. Only in the most extreme of crisis need the weapons be called upon with the clear understanding that we intend on destroying a part of the very civilization we live among.

    If you are referring to others processing nuclear weapons, it would be naive and ignorant to believe anyone would relinquish there weapons or intentions until we demand and facilitate the removal of nuclear weapons from Israel, ending an era of antagonism and oppression against its own citizens and neighbors.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  40. Pat,Lexington, Ky.

    He may not have a choice. Looks like Pakistan and India may still be in the forefront on Jan. 20th. Wouldn't it be great if he could deal with them AND Iran at the same time?

    December 1, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  41. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    1. To prevent any of them from being fired...period!!!

    After that–he can try to negotiate issues with Iran, etc, etc....but frankly speaking–we want to avoid ANY KIND of nuclear war or attack at all.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  42. Alie

    In my humble opinion, I think President-Elect Obama should take a cautious approach with other Nuclear Armed countries. He should call for a special meeting in Washington with Leaders of Nuclear Armed Countries and address the issue accordingly. Some of the key talking points is to find a way to reduce Nuclear weapons, discuss best was to Safeguard Nuclear Weapons Sights, so terrorists will not get access to them, and discourage other nations that are persuing Nuclear Weapon Technology.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  43. odessa

    keep nuclear weapons out of the wrong hands...always watch other countries because they may stabb you in the back too just like the bad guys..obama will make the right decision for this country unlike bush who caused a unnecessary war as well ruining lives too..

    December 1, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  44. John in Santa Barbara, CA

    ideally we would want to keep those weapons out of the hands of terrorist and unstable governments. That should be Obama's focus, and that would need the cooperation of every nation in the world.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  45. Mickie in Stallion Springs, CA

    When you answer that question you have to ask yourself another: Why would anyone want to be President given the Iran/Pakistan/India nuclear threats. It is surely a daunting task and balancing act.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  46. Karen - Nashville TN

    I don't believe we have the right to rule the world, but we do have the right to protect our country and allies. We should also have the right to withhold monetary aid to countries who are a threat, and put those resources toward improving our military.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  47. Terrence, Georgia

    I think Obama's first priority should be stabilizing our relationship with Pakistan. This is a nuclear state that has terrorist operating in its borders and a place many people believe Osama bin Laden is located. In the last two years the former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated, President Pervez Musharraf was forced to resign, the current government is now in a state of transition with recent resignations and the election of a new president and now most people believe the terrorist attacks in Mumbai were carried out by a terrorist group from Pakistan. Add all of this to the growing anti-American sentiment from cross border attacks from Afghanistan in which our forces have killed Pakistani civilians, it seems that Pakistan may be a ticking time bomb, no pun intended.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  48. Glenn in California

    Jack, President Obama's first priority needs to be making sure that Bush no longer has the launch codes.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  49. ronald lawson

    why should should we even worry. wehave enough ourselves to blow the world apart.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  50. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    After being sworn-in,President Obama should immediately organize an Armed Nuclear Conference with all nations possessing nuclear weapons and also include the ones that are developing them. His diplomatic team should try reasoning with these nations and present the consequences of using these weapons in today's interdependent world. To use them would be a lose-lose for everyone.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  51. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    The best offense is still a strong defense so we need to maintain a level of nukes that are greater than our enemies and then let them know up front the exact number of weapons we have. But will never and I mean never use them first.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  52. lynnej from lattimore, nc

    Let's have some common sense enter the room. There are countries out there with more nuclear weapons than we know of, counting us and our allies. No one country is honest about their capabilities. Let's be real about it.

    Right now, everyone is bluffing to see what the other hand is holding.

    President-Elect Obama should as some others have said, walk softly and carry that big stick and let others know that if pushed he will use them. But on the outside chance that one of these countries are telling the truth, try to stop the further development of these types of weapons and try to reduce what we have.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  53. Judy, Exeter, Ca

    He should be very careful and respectful. There are many small countries in the middle east who want the power to push forward their political agendas. They think Nuclear Weapons are their "Big Stick". Diplomacy, diplomacy, diplomacy.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  54. Steve

    Before he thinks about what to do with nuclear weapons, he should think of a good use of nuclear material: Nuclear power. If Obama really cares about energy reform, nuclear power is one of the safest and cleanest options out there that's ready for large scale use the fastest.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  55. Deb I , Nauvoo, IL

    The older and grayer I get the more hopelessly cynical I become. Forty or fifty years ago, we might have had a chance against nuclear proliferation. Now? I can't think of anything useful, and I bet nobody else can either. Since the breakup of the USSR, nobody knows who has their weapons. SO–who do you talk to, and what do you do if someone uses them? Nobody has any answer.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  56. Mike, Albuquerque, NM

    Keep our nukes under the control of the energy department.
    Keep theirs out of terrorist hands.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  57. Lynn, CA

    Diplomacy, Diplomacy, Diplomacy – with the clear objective of ending the threat to the entire Planet from nuclear weapons and proliferation.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  58. Tina (Texas)

    Jack we for once need to mind our own business. We, at home are in worse shape than them. Our military are worn out, our economy has already been bombed by a nuclear landside and we are worried about over seas? Bring the jobs back stateside.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  59. Annie, Atlanta

    Attempt to make nice with the guys who have nuclear arsenals, for starters, none of this "I am the decider" dipolomacy. I like to believe most leaders worldwide don't want to be involved in nuclear war, or have their nukes wind up in the wrong hands. However, I can be very naive.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  60. Dave in Saint Louis

    Use them! No more troops should be killed by terror and out of control Dictators.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  61. Kerry in Florida

    The best option would be to know who has control of the nuclear weapons in Russia, Pakistan, etc...And then work on a worldwide unified agreement to keep them out of the hands of those who want them now and then on the dismantling of them...

    President Obama's only option may be to appeal to the world on the importance of protecting those weapons already assembled and not make anymore...

    December 1, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  62. CJ in Atlanta, GA

    His first priority should be an investment in nuclear weapon detection and interception. Reports have proven that nuclear bombs can be brought in via our ports and we need to invest in mechanisms to prevent attacks by land, sea, and air.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  63. Thom Richer

    Halt any more development and show the world that we are serious about curbing nuclear power and lead the way to ending nuclear development worldwide. Lead by example. We have made war acceptable again thanks to the Bush administration's imperialistic and greedy policy's. Hey, if the U.S. condones invasion of another country and supports even an illegal war, other countries mentality is,"Why can't we?" It's time for real and lasting peace and war will never attain that.

    Negaunee, MI

    December 1, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  64. Frank from Peterborough

    Unfortunately the U.S. has lost so much credibility with the illegal invasion of Iraq it is virtually impossible to convince nations like Iran they don't need nuclear weapons for self defence.

    America can no longer say to these nations, "You don't have to worry about us we wouldn't attack an innocent nation!".

    Likely the best bet is try to get as many countries as possible involved in nuclear prolifercation an forget about trying to bully and scare other nations into abandoning their nuclear ambitions as it just won't work it will just make more enemies.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  65. Tony from Torrington

    A new President Obama should follow our current policy. No nukes for Iran. If Iran does get a nuke and attacks Israel, Obama's presidency will become historic for another reason. One that won't be very positive.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  66. Jennifer F.

    Jack, let's nuke the bad guys before they nuke us. Actually, if Obama will take America off China's list of economic dependents, he'll not only fix the nuke problems, but he'll fix our economy as well.

    Jennifer F., Tupelo, Mississippi

    December 1, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  67. Leonard Krivitsky, MD, D. Div.

    Jack, this answer is obvious: to contain further proliferation of nuclear weapons and to prevent any access by terror groups to nuclear weapons and technology.

    Leonard, Philadelphia, PA

    December 1, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  68. Greg in Cabot AR

    Talk to our adversaries, tell them how many nukes we have, brag about being able to memorize the launch codes and ask them to play nice.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  69. Don (Ottawa)

    Jack, the first priority when it comes to nuclear weapons is to make sure they are never used. Whoever has them now should prove to the world that they are secure, then the President must take the lead in disarmement and inform the world that no one will be allowed to gain the technology. Weapons of mass distruction make no sense as there are no winners if they are used.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  70. Chris from NY

    It means that the world is coming to an end. For those of us who believe in the bible, it says that fire and brimstone will destroy the earth. And it's nothing more than the nuclear arsenals countries are buidling. Countries are building these arsenals so they could anahilate each other.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  71. Howard M. Bolingbrook IL

    The answer is obvious, Iran. If our country and the rest of the world really believe Iran having nuclear weapons is a threat to everyone, then, Iran should be address first as it relates to that subject.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  72. Yertie

    Make sure all his military leaders and staffers know that we will not even threaten any nation with a devestating attack. Once our axis of evil (Bush/Cheney) are secured in their home states, then more thoughtful responsible people can deal with war mongers from other countries.
    Yertie in Tyler,MN

    December 1, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  73. I. B., Rocky Mount, North Carolina

    Priority one for President Obama should be to keep nuclear weapons as well as all weapons of mass destruction out the hands of terrorists. He should secure and prevent the proliferation of these weapons from countries that already have them. Finally, he should prevent other non-nuclear countries from obtaining nuclear weapons.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  74. Richard McKinney, Texas

    No Pun intended Jack but this is a loaded question. We have plenty of our own Nuclear weapons but we don't know what everyone else has. On top of that we don't know what lose material is still out there or where it is going to end up. That would be my top priority. Securing the lose material and preventing more from being made. Not so much what weapons are currently out there but what material is available to produce them. A dirty bomb in the wrong hands or even in the right hands could start world war 3. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

    December 1, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  75. carol in Oregon

    Think and plan very carefully. Now that we are a bankrupt country and CEO's and our leaders are ignoring the fact that crimes have been committed against the working people. They may buck our policy of "Do as WE say and not as we do". We need write a program that shows our good faith.

    December 1, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  76. Marie Ontario

    There is only one effect method to deal with today's problems whether they be nuclear or something else. That way is diplomacy period.

    America has to get used to the fact it doesn't scare anyone any more with their only advantage being their nuclear arsenal and pretty soon most other countries are going to be just as well equipped.

    December 1, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  77. Kevin, Chester Springs PA

    First, craft a non-proliferation agreement for all current nuclear powers. Then total world disarmament for all nuclear and biological weapons. If that doesn't work, start casting for a Slim Pickens replacement to ride the first nuke launched.

    December 1, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  78. Barb New Port Richey Fl

    Who says we are the only country in the world with enough responsibility to have nuclear weapons? And what gives us the right to say we should be?

    December 1, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  79. B-Koi Vancouver Island, BC

    Call a meeting with the highest representatives, or leaders , of each country that has nukes. Lay his cards on the table ! No time like the present !

    December 1, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  80. Todd

    Ask Chuck Norris to please rid the world of nuclear weapons once and for all.

    December 1, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  81. Tom

    Initiate constructive talks. The Bush approach has not worked at all. Set meetings and listen what nations with nuclear capacity have to say but also make the stand point of the US clear. If talks are not constructive then economic pressures and isolation should follow. This can only work if the US and its allies are on the same page not like the last eight years.

    December 1, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  82. jon hoffman

    To get the rest of us to understand that except for the US and the Euro nuclear powers, all the rest of the Nuclear club and the wannabees are dysfunctional states or failing states barely containing large oppressed social-economic groups. This includes China and India that have show-case economies with massive poverty and instability 20 miles from every "prosperous civic center".
    Then Obama can obtain really broad support to suppress these nuclear government nutcakes by hammering them to spend their money on the people and avoid a revolution from within. Is it little wonder that the Indian Gov't immediately needs to scapegoat Pakistan; beats taking your own blame! There is nothing more dangerous than an educated elite without upward equal opportunity.

    Jon in Calif.

    December 1, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  83. wally Ruehmann las vegas nv

    gather everyone having them and banning and destoying all of them. including US. we are the only nation to use them, we should be at the top of the list.

    December 1, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  84. Aly

    I don't know where the US government is getting this idea of being "The Universal Police" of the world? As importatant as this issue is, the allies must take big part of the International Diplomacy to make the world safer... No wonder the country is facing the economic challenges we are going through now. I believe it is because of this non sense and arrogant signal of US and it's allies being entitle to it and not the rest of the world that create hate and furie around the world. With that said, I do believe that Barack Obama should work hard with the allies through the UN to STOP some of the countries in pursuit of that kind of weapon through international diplomacy...


    December 1, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  85. Jim, from Las Vegas

    What's the big deal? We have them and anyone who wants to can develop them, too. Nothing more than simple physics. The only sane approach is to watch out for those who don't want to play nice and make sure they understand the consequences if they don't. Please note that this does not rule out pre-emptive action.

    December 1, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  86. LM from Fayetteville, NC

    He is a lot smarter than I am and I leave it up to him to know what is in our best interest. For the first time in a long time, I think this man actually would know when the smart idea comes along and as far as I can tell, he is smart, he is not encumbered with cigars and interns, he hasn't told us to "read my lips" and he doesn't seem to have a lot of oil people in his back pocket. He may be able to identify a smart idea or a problem area and actually know how to resolve it without putting on a cowboy hat and threatening whoever.

    December 1, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  87. Anthony Smith

    To use them on Saudi Arabia and Pakistan! Weren't we going after the countries that housed, financed, and protected terrorists?

    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    December 1, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  88. Dee in Florida

    He needs to be SURE he knows where the button is! That's something I doubt anyone ever told Bush.

    December 1, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  89. Doug in New Mexico

    The thing is Jack, that America must do what it preaches. We cannot ignore our own mounting pile of bombs and rockets and yet tell the rest of the world "NO NO". Especially after this last 8 years we are not the moral leadership of the world. In most cases we have no rights telling anyone anything. We have even sponsored torture. If there is to be monitoring of nukes then it is a world wide issue because it will effect the whole world if something blows. (No pun intended) But with us screaming and shouting and acting like the worlds ego shouting and telling everyone what is right and wrong, who wants to listen to that? It is time that a whole lot of politicians and others here got a life and made their own lives better rather than worrying about Iran and others.

    December 1, 2008 at 3:31 pm |

    What about the united nations, aren't they the ones that should be the police? We can not be a nation of peace, if we don't let the U.N. do their work.

    December 1, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  91. STAN - IL.

    Palin watches Russia, maybe she could keep an eye on Iran and
    N. Korea too. No pardons, like the turkey though!!!!!

    December 1, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  92. Jerry from Jacksonville

    Make sure that they are secure, also that we have sufficient numbers to defend our country against anyone that gets a wild idea that they can defeat the U.S.

    December 1, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  93. earle,florida

    I seem to remember a phrase my father used,"It's a Rich Man War,and a Poor Man's Fight". Your probably asking yourself,well, what's that got to do with Nuclear War? Thankyou for asking, the"Rich Man", will now have to fight "Their War".....

    December 1, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  94. Jake, Oregon

    This whole concept of instant nuclear attack capability is a throwback to the Cuban missile crisis. In my opinion it is promoted and given extended life by the Pentagon war spenders. If the amount of weapons were used you talk about, the earth would no longer support life of any kind.

    Make no miostake, there is no such thing as nuclear retaliation, it is spelled a-n-n-i-h-i-l-a-t-i-o-n.

    December 1, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  95. Karl in CA

    He needs to talk individually and en mass to all of the current and future nuclear powers, some of whom haven't conversed with a US President in eight years. They need to know where we stand and we need to know where they stand. We can't police the world, but we can talk to fellow weapons owners in a civil manner.

    December 1, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  96. Phil P. in NJ

    Jack, I expect President-Elect Obama to use the God given wisdom that he has in deciding how to use the power of nuclear weapons. I also expect him to use Clinton as an extention of himself in speaking to other countries around the world pertaining to this issue. It's my belief that many nations around the world share America's vision of peace. Secty of State Clinton has her work cut out for her in repairing the damage done by the Bush Administration regarding America's world image. I have all the confidence in the world in Obama and his Administration in protecting America and it's allies. We, as Americans, have a golden opportunity to show the world our real intentions of working together within the world community. Let's all seize this moment in history and support President-Elect Obama and his team of all-stars.

    December 1, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  97. Diana NJ


    Do you have any idea how the thought of it being in his hands has comforted me..... A grown up who does not react... a Grown up who thinks before he speaks and acts....
    It will be in the hands of a man, smarter than all of us, who does not feel he has something to prove...who is slow to anger, quick to think...

    December 1, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  98. Terry in Hanover County

    Change the launch code, memorize the new one, and don't write it down. Then think long and hard about ever using the "football" in a pre-emptive strike. I trust President Obama with this particular "football" far more than I could ever trust President Bush with it. Look at how much damage he did without it. Come January 21st, I think I'll finally be able to take a deep breath after living 8 years in fear that Bush would finally figure out how to open that briefcase.

    December 1, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  99. karen-phoenix

    He needs to form a NATO type organization of Lybia, Syria, Jordan, Isreal, Palestine, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Afganistan, India and start them ALL talking to each other to see what THEY can do to help their own situtation. Then get that group talking to NATO and Western countries talking and MAYBE, just maybe we ALL can talk instead of bombing!!!

    December 1, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  100. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    It would be nice if Obama could organize the rest of the world leaders to enact global laws against religious extremism that spreads hate and bigotry as well as advocating murder.

    Doing this might not diffuse the nuclear threat but it might help to diffuse the wackos who you have to fear using them to further their radical views.

    December 1, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  101. PAT California

    He'll know what to do without our even making suggestions. He has been doing a terrific job so far without our input. As he said, he can multi task and has shown us all how capable he is in doing so!

    December 1, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  102. Larry in Texas


    The United States HAS NUCLEAR WEAPONS, having said that, what would give president Obama or the United States the right to dictate who gets nuclear weapons and who doesn’t ???

    So why should other countries NOT be allowed to have Nukes ??

    Our presidents need to learn that the United States is not the police of the world.

    It’s time we keep ourselves out of other countries problems, and worry about what goes on in the United States, like rebuilding our roads, schools, fixing Health Care, & etc.

    Larry C.
    Houston, Texas

    December 1, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  103. Mike S.,New Orleans

    Obama should take the lead and make a goodwill gesture of destroying some of our nukes in the U.S. The less nukes in the world, the less likely an accident could occur.

    Or, he could emulate our current president and talk about 'mushroom clouds' and the 'axis of evil' and how we're gonna 'smoke 'em out of the foxhole' 'dead or alive.'

    December 1, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  104. L.M.,Arizona

    He needs to go to the UN just as Bush did to try and form a coalition.
    But instead of a coalition to start a war which many nations said no way, we need a coalition to have everyone to start destroying their nuclear weapons. I think Obama needs to first tell Israel if they want our money and support they need to get rid of their nuclear weapons. Just like Libya,North Korea,and hopefully Iran will do.We need to be realistic Iran,Syria,and Iraq will always want nuclear weapons as long as Israel has them wouldn't you.


    December 1, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  105. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Well before he becomes president, Barack Obama should know the nuclear response system and all its' options absolutely cold; inside and out. Given the proliferation of nuclear weapons in areas of the world currently controlled by nitwits, the "3:00 AM phone call" just might come on inaguration day. His first priority as president is to already be prepared.

    December 1, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  106. Sonny in SC

    I think Obama has shown he is a man who will give more thought than Bush has ,we have had a hot head,for the last 8 years . I was afraid to wake up not knowing when someone would tick Bush off to the point where he would push the button,come 21 of jan, I think we can all sleep better.

    December 1, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  107. Diane Glasser

    I think he should send his Secretary of State to visit all the countries with nuclear power and invite them to the White House for a meeting.
    Set up some binding rules and regulations that are clear and fair.
    Help those countries that have had problems keeping their nuclear power safe.

    December 1, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  108. Kel in Auburn, AL

    Keep doing work to minimize Nuclear Proliferation and to reduce arsenals by disposing of stockpiles of unused weapons

    December 1, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  109. Bud, Columbia, Mo..

    I think he should propose a global banning of all nukes and the destruction of all those already made. There was a raid on a nuclear plant in Africa to get uranium for bombs and the perpetrators got away. Abolish nukes of every kind, everywhere, globally. Einstein would agree. Burn the football and start a new game that's less competitve and more co-operative. Use the UN to do it. We don't need them. Educate all people of the evils of mass destruction.

    December 1, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  110. Jerry Bennett

    Seeking a 21st century accord with Russia is the top priority. While Iran is on the front page, they have little global capability. In reality, Russia and the U.S. are the only substantive nuclear threats on a global scale. The administration's first priority is the protection of the homeland. The U.N. should focus on Iran, not the U.S. IMHO

    Houston, TX

    December 1, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  111. Sean in California

    His first priority regarding nukes should be to stop using them (as bush has) as a tool for fear-mongering the American public. Open a dialogue with other nations, respect the decision by nations in the non-proliferation treaty (like Iran, for example) for making said decision, and put the screws on nations that won't sign the non-proliferation treaty (Israel, India)...no sign-ee, no support-ee. Oh, and set a good example by putting the US on that list.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  112. Michael from Greenfield, Wi.

    What can he do. Everybody else has failed with this problem, and the problem is the other nuclear powers. They are the ones that have given and or sold the technology, and the equipment to these other nations. Hell, we are guilty of this too. The biggest problem is the nuke black market ,and up to now we haven't been able to penetrate that operation. Heck, we can't get into the terrorist organizations either.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  113. Gordon NJ

    He should remind the world that we have them, that we never want to use them, but we will never say "never" - especially if we are attacked with WMD's.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  114. Jay in Atlanta

    Nothing. The whole point of nuclear weaponry at this stage is show, not blow. A mass deployment of large scale nuclear weapons is certain doomsday, thus a more sane approach is a silent, secret, quiet, non-reminder that the U.S. can eradicate forever a country such as, say, Iran if it opted to do so, but has the sense, civility and sanity not to (even though it doesn't seem to have the sense to stay out of conventional conflict). Thus it may become apparent that the acquisition of nuclear weapons by renegade countries such as, say Iran, is a foolhardy use of their own national resources. It's a club not to be coveted.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  115. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    It should be to reduce nuclear arsenals around the world.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  116. Shirley -AK OHIO

    He should give his national security team the task of finding out, who has them, who are trying to get them and who in the future have potential for making them (North Korea) and get them away from them as soon as possible.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  117. Mike - Hot Springs, Arkansas

    He should make certain that he does not drop the football.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  118. John in Rohnert Park

    The true enemy in the nuclear age is not any given nation or group of nations. The true enemy in the nuclear age is "War Itself". Humans in all nations are sadly violent by nature. Unfortunately, we now have weapons that can destroy all life on this planet. Obama needs to get the nations of the world to concentrate on finding a way to overcome this human nature to destroy that is within us. It will matter little what we do with these weapons . . . if we can't figure out what to do with ourselves.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  119. Dr. B


    He needs to reign in all of the nuclear weapons in rogue nations such as Iran. A lot of it is being made in terrorist friendly nations and additionally there are still many unaccounted weapons from the former Soviet Union. Third, he should lead a global effort to eliminate ALL NUCLEAR weapons. Nuclear weapons allow humans to play God.

    Dr B,
    Bloomington Indiana

    December 1, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  120. Jay-San Antonio

    Keep them safe. Educate replacement scientist that know how to build them. Work hard to ensure we never have to use them. And remind our enemies that they should never use wmd on us either.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  121. Pat in Hampstead, Maryland

    Jack – Obama's first priority should be to send a message to the World that we are for non proliferation and that we seek a broader committment from Russia, China, Pakistan and India to reduce the stockpile. In addition, Obama should make it clear to IRAN that we will not tolerate a Nuclear IRAN and will use force to prevent it. We should also let Russia, Cuba and Venezuela know that we will not tolerate another Nuclear Power in our Hemisphere.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  122. Tomasz


    Disarmament is the fist priority with regard to Nuclear weapons.
    There is no proof that Iran is looking for nuclear weapons.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  123. Dr. George, Granarolo dell'Emilia

    First ask Dan Quail to spell, "nuclear", if he spells that word right, then the whole country is in danger! But let's not worry. The average American is worried about spelling yhe words, "food", and "potatos", or was Quail right in spelling the latter, "potatoes"? Let's first worry about Earth's starvation, and then about plaques, before suicidal actions by nuking!

    December 1, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  124. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi JAck,

    this is a multi answer :

    coalition to stop the proliferation of such weapons

    Major diplomacy has to be done to reduce tension in concerned countries.

    Also, India and Pakistan has to be taken into account to bring dramatic change to the quality of life of many citizens.

    We need to focus on the well being of people to be able to work and feed themselves...Can we understand for once that a person that can work and eat has no reasons to fight!

    December 1, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  125. Tracy Oats

    To not have an anxiety attack

    December 1, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  126. Pat in Hampstead, Maryland

    Jack – if people are truly innocent than no pardon would be necessary. However, if a person has been unduly punished then why wait for a Presidents exit to do the right thing. Is it justice or another abuse of power?

    December 1, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  127. Bill, Hartford, CT

    Obama's first nuclear priority should be to completely disarm most, if not all, of America's nukes. We have enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world many times over. And while other countries, dangerous countries, have nuclear weapons, we have the military might to overcome them if necessary, without nukes of our own. It would be a great sign to the rest of the world if we were to disarm.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  128. Jennifernalabama

    The PEOPLE Jack.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  129. Warren

    First priority? No brainer, Jack.


    Everything else is secondary. I'm shocked you have to ask - didn't you watch The Day After?

    December 1, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  130. Ann Burgess

    Memorize the codes.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  131. Jennifernalabama

    The PEOPLE, Jack.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  132. barry

    Jack, as always good question, I think he should have a sumit of all nations holding such weapons, and let them know that it is in noone`s interest that these weapons be used, and that if these weapons get in the hands of radical, it would be a disaster not just for the U.S. but for the rest of the world as well.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  133. Linda in Bisbee, AZ

    He should make sure they're all accounted for, and not falling off a plane somewhere. That would be a good start.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  134. Jenna McGill

    Disarm Pakistan!!!
    With the international pressure they are under at both borders and internally, Pakistan is dangerously close to being declared a failed state. With such insecurities threatening its very existence, it is almost certain that they will try to prove their prowess by launching an attack in South Asia !

    December 1, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  135. David Phelps

    The first priority should be to see it that nuclear weapons never have to be used.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  136. Dan

    Given Barack Obama's affinity for a different sport, perhaps the 'football" should be renamed the "basketball". He seems quite adept at handling that, as I think he will be at at managing any full court press that confronts him.

    Vancouver, BC

    December 1, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  137. Meagan H, Baltimore, MD

    I think his priority should be to make other countries aware that we no longer subscribe to the policy of "appease us or we'll attack". He needs to follow through on his promise to be as diplomatic as he wants the rest of the world to be.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  138. Arliss


    Pres-Elect Obama's nuclear priorities after taking office...
    Iran, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, Somalia, and then finally Fox News HQ. If we have some nukes left after that, Wal-Mart HQ in Bentonville, AR.

    Calistoga, CA

    December 1, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  139. Ramon Noches

    Obama needs to solicit world-wide coopertion in reducing nuclear proliferation as it serves no nation's interest and certainly not world peace.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  140. Todd, State College, Pa.

    Making sure all necessary security measures are in place and up to date. No more lost or misplaced nuclear pieces regardless of how dangerous they are by themselves, or unauthorized bombs, armed or unarmed, flying across the country.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  141. Joel

    Barack Obama should approach a situation, how he promised. That being diplomatically.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  142. james hogan Calumet city IL

    As John McCain said "Bomb Bomb Iran"

    December 1, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  143. Richard L. Shultis, New York State

    Keep the nuclear bombs hidden, not to be used except in dire straits. Then hit Wall Street, the auto industry, AIG and force them to surrender or else. Treat them like a foreign country and no financial aid, no talks, just unconditional surrender.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  144. monique illinois

    he needs to talk to all who have nukes and try to get a peace treaty with all nations so we don't annilalate oursleves

    December 1, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  145. ozzi in AZ

    I think his, and EVERY leader's, first priority should be to do everything possible to create PEACE!
    This is not like the old days. If the bombs start flying now, the whole world will be affected, enemies and friends alike.

    I think we, and everyone on this planet, should pause for a moment and consider the devastation that could ensue from irrational reactions and anger....and the consequences that would affect EVERYONE!
    This is not something to be taken lightly.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  146. Ed


    Be not the first by which the new is tried, but not the last to lay the old aside. With the situation of the world today, he should have his target list revised. Keep the phone close by and don't be affaid to use them. Some radical groups would stop and nothing. Sometimes countries must suffer who support and do nothing about these groups.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  147. chuck

    The only way for Iran to become a Nuke Free nation is to allow Israel to bomb the various sites.Make no mistake,Israel knows all those sites and has the capabilities of doing a clean job.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  148. Venru

    Global Disarment should be the cornerstone to any presidency.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  149. Debra Rich, Washington, DC

    Of all the issues facing Obama, this one he started the ground game in his first years in Congress with his bill on nuclear proliferation. Now he will use his present popularity along with the charm of Hillary Clinton to re-establish relationships with the Nato allies, to create a strong coalition behind nuclear accountability and control. I think he has in mind a world in which countries don't fight countries, but if there is fighting it is countries verses extremists.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  150. Jonathan Navia

    Renewal. Ask NASA or any other large technical organization how brain drain due to retirement can impact the expense and feasibility of a large scale project. Institutional knowledge is priceless. For example, today NASA is relearning the lessons it learned in the 1960s with a new generation of scientists because the rocket scientists of the Saturn V era have long since retired. The US still needs nuclear weapons in this dangerous world as a deterrent, but has not built a new design since the mid-1980s. President Obama should ensure that the US not only has the will to maintain its strategic deterrent, but the technical capability to maintain it.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  151. Marsha

    Stop helping all the other countries we support until we have taken care of all Americans at home.

    Do NOT get involved again unless NATO all nations of that alliance get involved as well. Don't do this all on our own again. It has put us in debt. It has hurt Americans at home and those killed, it hasn't kept us any safer if there had been no war.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  152. Kevin Aubie in New Brunswick Canada

    Obama's first priority with respect to nuclear weapons should be to make further dramatic cuts in the US nuclear arsenal. Perhaps it would set an example to the world that the US is no longer the worlds biggest hypocrite when it comes to weapons of mass destruction. You can not lead the world with a mantra of "do as I say, not as I do".

    Is there even any imaginable situation which could ever justify launching over a thousand nuclear weapons? It's time to end this madness.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  153. Ken in NC

    Jack, he should first insure that the Military people responsible for turning the keys and pressing the button are not out trying to get unemployment checks.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  154. Cecil

    1300 on alert! Barack's no dope so there's only one way to go. The man will gravitate to sanity, his brain will lead him there.
    Viva Obama!

    December 1, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  155. Les Oklahoma

    He should contact Allies and enemies a like and find out what it would take to reduce the amount of nuclear weapons. The people who want Nuclear weapons like Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia will never under stand why we don't want them to have them when Israel has them and they were provided by us. We need to find out and do what works to reduce nuclear weapons

    December 1, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  156. Annie Naples FL

    I hope he knows. I sure don't.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  157. Diane A.

    Dear Jack , Obama will do just fine , thank God Palin hasent got her mittts on that briefcase .
    Love from Cape Breton Island , Nova Scotia to you all .

    December 1, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  158. Rich Hutchison-El Paso,IL

    We need to become friends with people again.George Bush has killed any diplomacy with anyone. Obama is right about talking
    with other countries.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  159. Warren

    How President elect Obama deals with the topic of nuclear weapons is just one more opportunity for the US to become truly re-engaged with the world….and not as the world’s policeman. Reinforcing to the rest of the world that America’s nuclear weapons are not deployable by any one person, including the President, will go some way towards achieving this.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  160. Mike

    Yea I agree with the Roosevelt quip about carrying a big stick, Obama is smart and he's behind the most advanced nuclear weaponry in the world, so that's not a problem. But really, can we get someone to slip a small uranium pellet into Ahmadinejad's Kashi?


    December 1, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  161. Dr. George, Granarolo dell'Emilia

    Disarm, Disrobe, Make Love, Not War! Love is the Answer!

    December 1, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  162. Alan, Buxton Maine

    Nuclear weapons are insanity personified. Obama should do everything in his power to get all nations with such weapons to destroy them. There are many other ways we can kill ourselves without contaminating the whole planet.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  163. Jack O'Connell

    the President-elect certainly has his hands full with a variety of issues, but one of the most disturbing related to nuclear weapons is in our own country.

    For years the University of California Berkeley has run our major nuclear facility at Los Alamos, New Mexico. Unbeknownst to most Americans, the Bush government removed UC and in its place it has put Haliburton. So, nulcear weapons are being produced in our own country by a for-profit entity. Considering the "magnificent" job Haliburton has done in Iraq they should be removed immediately – or is this Dick Cheneys new – post Vice President employment - controling the production of nuclear weapons?

    December 1, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  164. Arnie Sealove

    "Above all, not knowingly to do harm"


    December 1, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  165. Karron

    First priority should be; making sure he'll never have to use those weapons.......I hope he's the Man we all have made him out to be.....

    December 1, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  166. Isborne Fredericks

    Hi Jack,

    President Obama should do what the presidents have all done before him. Do everything possible to avoid ever having to use nuclear

    (Proud Vietnam Vet)

    December 1, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  167. Daryl Kimball

    Obama should reiterate his campaign pledge to "set a new direction in U.S. nuclear weapons policy and show the world that America believes in its existing commitment under the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to work to ultimately eliminate all nuclear weapons."

    To turn rhetoric into reality he must start by : negotiating deeper, verifiable cuts in U.S.-Russian stockpiles to 1,000 warheads or fewer; winning Senate approval of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty: engaging with Iran to convince its leaders to freeze its program and allow broader IAEA inspections.

    More on Obama's nuclear risk reduction pledges, see

    December 1, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  168. Meaghan Byrne

    Obama needs to show the world a United States that is confident, yet responsible in all regards. Given the current state of affairs in Mumbai and Russia's threats, Obama needs to attempt to stabilize, to create a peaceful balance. When we retaliate, fight violence with violence, we only fuel the fire. I'm hoping that Obama will be able to establish a sense of détente.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  169. Paul

    Peace, Peace, Peace, Peace, Peace, Peace, Peace. With all of the nuclear and biochemical capabilities nations have, I would hope Peace and Diplomacy is the goal of all nations. GOD HELP US.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  170. Barb Townsend

    President Barack Obama needs to have as his first priority, to be cautious and aware of all people who would step forward to influence him. Caution is the number one rule. Not all data is fact. President Obama needs to follow (what I feel) is his natural reaction to problems and that is step back and take a very good look. He has stated he will emphasis diplomacy not blustering and saber rattling.
    Regarding the nuclear weapons he needs to continue what he worked on in the Senate: To locate and tabulate and attempt to eliminate nuclear weapons. Perhaps a lot more talks with Iran will help reduce this threat, meanwhile.
    Number one in nuclear issues is to get the treaty back on track with Russia.
    Barb Townsend Clearwater, FL

    December 1, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  171. John in Georgia, Vermont

    Regarding nuclear weapons, Obama's first priority has to deal with nuclear proliferation. SALT and SALT two were a good start, but proved in the end to be ineffective. Limitation is not an option with nuclear weapons. One mistake, and the world will quickly be plunged into world war three. Is nuclear deterrence and the possibility of a nuclear winter worth sacrificing millions or even billions of lives?

    December 1, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  172. Howard Evans

    In my perspective, Barrack Obama needs to reassure other nations that he will not use it as a threat but as a defense mechanism in case of an immediate precaution. However, I think he should advocate that NATO needs to be removed from Russia's borders becuase it causes more conflict against the re surging Russia. Barrack Obama should apprehend in a manner of peaceful negotiations and set NATO proliferation treaty just like the nuclear proliferation treaty to increase a better relationship with Russia, Iran, and other adversaries.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  173. Susanna from NM

    Since my high school days 40 years ago I have been advocating for World nuclear disarmament. It is high time this country and ALL countries abandon the totally devastating "possible" use of nuclear weapons which can only hurt potentially millions of innocents and permanently pollute our environment. The means have never justified these ends. The use of nuclear energy for our power needs is also a worn out, unjustifiable solution as we still have NO place for the tons of radioactive waste that is generated from these power plants. Let's develop geothermal and solar and other environmentally friendly systems. Put this genie back in the bottle, no matter what it takes. Our wishes for world domination are backfiring, we MUST lead the way to a non-nuclear future.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  174. Rose

    I feel that his first priority with regard to the nuclear weapons, should be to listen to the experts that he's appointed...and make a collective decision from that...
    I also feel that the present administration was never asked these kinds of questions, nor was it questioned until it was too late...
    Therefore, I'm hoping that these questions are not just being asked because president elect, is the first man of color in the white house...
    If we had this level of concern before we went into iraq, maybe things would be different for our country....

    December 1, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  175. Barb Townsend

    PS I agree with previous posters who mentioned that the US needs to show a good example, and this will occur when the US and Russia eliminate thousands of nuclear weapons.
    Barb Townsend
    Clearwater, FL

    December 1, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  176. Mike from Texas

    The day after Ms Clinton is confirmed as Secretary of State she should be on a plane to Russia. We much improve our relationship with Russia to extend and strengthen the nuclear weapons deal which expires next year. I would also use the Defense shield that President Bush has thrown in the face of the Russians as a bargaining chip to get Russia to pressure Iran to cease their nuclear plans. They are about the only country who may still be able to reach the Iranians with any real pressure.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  177. Max in Michigan

    Hi Jack,

    He should have our new Secretary of Defense do a complete evaluation of our nuclear program to make sure it's not screwed up like everything else the Bush/Cheney administration has.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  178. Ken M . Millington MI

    Hello Jack. What a question tough question. I would say his first step is to stablize Pakistan before the Taliban and al queda throw the country into utter chaos and obtain a nuclear bomb. Second he needs to take the lead with the E.U., China and Russia to open talks of securing and reducing weapons. But the main scary scenario is weapons grade plutonium that can be used for dirty bombs. that is where he'll have to strongly negoiate with Iran and Syria. control their need for nuclear energy and strictly monitor that they are not developing weapons grade plutonium.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  179. Sarge

    First off – the North Korean's have never detonated a nuclear weapon.
    They tried – and failed. Come on! Pyongyang has trouble making a
    good bicycle. Iran: they have never tested a weapon and continue
    to insist that their nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. We know that Pakistan and India have the bomb and sooner or later,
    someone has to address the issue of the Israeli nukes. I say, "keep the powder dry" and unlike Bush – talk to those who oppose us....


    December 1, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  180. Mike from Texas

    The day after Ms Clinton is confirmed as Secretary of State she should be on a plane to Russia. We much improve our relationship with Russia to extend and strengthen the nuclear weapons deal which expires next year. I would also use the Defense shield that President Bush has thrown in the face of the Russians as a bargaining chip to get Russia to pressure Iran to cease their nuclear plans. They are about the only country who may still be able to reach the Iranians with any real pressure.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  181. Chris

    Not much he can do, untill a newer more powerfull weapon is created, or a defensive system is created that renders them useless. Otherwise, do his best to keep the number in the world as low as possiable, and fewer countries possesing them. I don't think nulcear weapons are the greatest threat, a well designed Bio-weapon could do far more damage for far longer.

    Chris G.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  182. Jack in Fontana, CA

    Sorry, Jack, but we let that genie out of the bottle and it granted us three wishes: a decisive end to our war with Japan, to become a military superpower and to keep the Soviet Union from using it on us. Now the rest of the world has found the lamp, and they're rubbing it for all it's worth. We have the capability to disarm, but as long as someone else has or can get "the bomb," we never will. We can expect no more (or less) from Russia. That leaves preventing nuclear proliferation by everyone else, which we appear not only incapable of, but lacking political will to do, given the Bush Administration's current policy with India. It's half-a-century too late to say it, I know, but we should have been careful what we wished for, because we got it.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  183. Darren

    Talking with our enemies and quit pretending the problem will go away if we just ignore them, like the Bush administartion did.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  184. Tino

    Get rid of them and see to it that everyone else does too!

    December 1, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  185. Miles Pomper

    Negotiating a follow on agreement to the expiring Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with Russia.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  186. Howard Evans

    Also, there needs to be a new program in the United Nations by giving out incentives to other countries who can eliminate nuclear warheads by disposing them in a discreet location. Many of the drums in nuclear warheads have corroded in may facilities and people are suffering and dying from nuclear wastage, so he needs to reassure the whole world that he can responsibly implement safety measures for nuclear wastage, warheads, etc affecting the public and other civilians from other countries. This will add weight to his leadership and should find ideas how to conceal nuclear facilities to show America's strength of bringing more innovative ideas to reduce nuclear dependence, which is a dangerous threat in the forthcoming prospect of an inevitable disaster if mismanaged.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  187. michael byrne


    Fairness and openness should be his first priority.
    For example, if we are talking about nuclear weapons in Iran, N Korea, Pakistan etc. let's stop pretending Israel doesn't have 200 + nuclear weapons. You remember those? That's the arsenal that, when one of their citizens dared to speak about them caused him to be jailed for 18 years and "gagged" when released.

    Obama needs to stop the pretence and demonstrate balance not jingoistic rhetoric.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  188. Michael, Sparks, Nevada

    The first thing he should do is everything he can to lessen the chances they would ever be used. Let's be honest here, the use of nuclear weapons is an unthinkable event that would forever change the world and could very well end humanity as we know it. Do the math, with 1,300 nuclear missiles, each containing 8 to 10 M.E.R.V. warheads, we are talking about 10,400 to 13,000 independent targets.

    This is just the United States, what about Russia, China, India and all the other countries who have nuclear weapons. It seems everyone tends to forget the follow quote, "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."
    Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955)

    It is far past time to rid the world of these weapons before their use rids the world of us.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  189. Vickie Canton, GA

    Disarm try diplomacy for once. It's very simple. The golden rule still applies: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you!

    December 1, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  190. Jan from Delaware

    Well, from what I hear, Israel is going to blow up Iran's nuclear facility.
    It may happen before Jan.20,2009 but not much later. I think he needs to get the UN to do something more definitive before this happens. Iran is taunting the world so I am not sure just diplomacy will work but it is worth a try to get Iran and Israel to talk things out before the whole middle east goes up in a mushroom cloud. Hillary could start something now as she is still a senator.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  191. Aneil from Denver, CO

    Jack, I'm not sure if you've heard about this, but an eight year study recently came to conclusion, and the data collected demonstrated a strong correlation between one's leadership abilities, and their ability to pronounce the word "nuclear" correctly. As long as Obama stays articulate, I think we'll be ok.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  192. Alieu Darboe, Detroit-Michigan

    With the expiration of the US-Russian agreement, there may become instances Russia flexes its muscles by seeking assosiation with countries that US regards as rogue. But I think President Obama should explain to the World why USA has nuclear arsenal and yet goes about bullying others who wish to acquire nuclear weapons. In fact, why should any country have nuclear arsenals at all, including Israel and USA? I think the best of world leadership will be summoning the courage to rid the world of nuclear bombs, no matter who has them.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  193. Daniel, Indiana

    He should work for the destruction of all nuclear weapons in all countries, including the US and Russia. Until that is reached, we stand a chance of a nuclear holocaust.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  194. Linda Owens

    1. How do you open it.
    2. How does the program work.
    3. Is there a 'delete key'.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  195. Dan of Arkansas

    With the apparent lack of security of our own weapons, ie, nukes on aircraft flying across the US without the knowledge of the crew, Missile Weapon's Officers asleep on duty, etc, etc, it sounds like his first move should be to assure the world that HE will take measures to ensure that WE have POSITIVE control of our OWN weapons. Being retired military, I have been "just blown out of the water" about what I've heard about our lack of security for the weapons we have, therefore HE has to ask himself the question; "How can we protect ourselves from others, if WE can't secure OUR own???"

    December 1, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  196. Michelle, PA

    I would say unstable nuclear Pakistan which happens to share a border and a disputed territory with enraged and grief-stricken nuclear India. Or unstable nuclear Pakistan which shares a border and a Taliban with even more unstable Afghanistan, which itself sits on a fairly convenient smuggling route from corrupt nuclear Russia to potentially nuclear Iran. Central Asia is a nightmare waiting to happen.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  197. Bob D, Morristown, NJ


    Sad to say the nuclear Genie is out of the bottle. I can't imagine any of the countries that currently have them, giving them up.

    The only choice seems to be to continue the policy of previous administrations to try to keep additional countries, particularly sponsors of terrorism (e.g. Iran, Syria) from acquiring the capability.

    A good first step to reducing the current threat would be to pull the plug on star-wars anti-ballistic system that has cost a fortune, will not work to the extent of providing real protection, and is merely destabilizing the Mutually Assured Destruction that has kept any of the club members from using their toys for the past 50+ years.

    Longer term, we could renew and extends the arms reduction treaty with Russia to further reduce our respective arsenals (these toys are extremely costly to maintain). Most important, long term, is to develop non-fissile alternative energy sources that don't create the forerunners of weapons grade fissionable material as a byproduct.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  198. Patrick Disney

    President-elect Obama's first priority should be to make it clear to the Congress and the world that he intends to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and revitalize the NPT. Past that, his first major victory needs to be a negotiated solution to Iran's nuclear program in which Iran maintains the right to its nuclear program, but with unprecedented stringent inspections that make an illicit weapons program impossible.
    -patrick disney
    Washington, DC

    December 1, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  199. Ira Shorr


    President Obama's first priority should be to tell Bob Gates, his Secretary of Defense, that the U.S. should not be developing new nuclear weapons (Gates defended new nukes in a recent speech) and instead must lead the world towards the global elimination of these horendous weapons.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  200. Jason


    The first thing president Obama should do is start negotiating with other countries about nuclear disarmament, cause lets face it 1300 is a useless number of nuclear weapons, we'll all be gone before we use number 10. We should sign agreements and treaties stating that for every 100 you disarm we disarm 50, and we do this until there is no longer any nuclear threat.

    point is: negotiate, negotiate, negotiate!

    December 1, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  201. Mike

    Nuclear weapons? What a joke! China just sends foods to the USA mixed with industrial poisons, North Korea can't even light its own streets or feed its people – never mind make a nuclear bomb, Pakistan is still in denial that terrorists are having a BBQ in their back yard, and the only enriched yellow stuff that the monkeys in Iran can actually make use of are ships full of bananas from Nicaragua.

    Obama needs haul the car out of the ditch, paint it, redo the engine, and get the smell of rotting corporate death out of its fabric. Only then will people look at the USA with the mild indifference that they always have.


    December 1, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  202. 3strikes

    the dark days are upon us all

    December 1, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  203. Richard Williams in Larchmont, NY

    Talk with everyone who has, or is in the process of obtaining, nuclear weapons. Once the diplomacy begins, the better off this world will be. The U.S. lacked it for the past eight years.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  204. Jack Dempsey

    The first thing the president should think about is that only one country has ever used nuclear weapons, the U.S. Then he should try to understand the point of view of the other Nations who either have them or want them. Jack from Nice, Ca.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  205. John in Arizona

    Clearly, based on his past initiatives in Congress, and fortunately for all of us, Obama's priority will be diplomacy and negotiation leading toward the ultimate goal of eliminating nuclear weapons from Planet Earth.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  206. Sean

    Nuclear weapons remain a grave and growing threat to human civilization. The president needs to use his leadership to engage the public and the world in addressing the seriousness of the threat (not unlike climate/global warming). He needs to immediately engage with Russia - the only country that could destroy us as a functioning society in a matter of hours - to get our relationship back on track and to work together to reduce our nuclear arsenals and to work with other nations to demonstrate our resolve to de-value nuclear weapons as instruments of security. He should speak clearly that the ultimate US goal and policy is a world free of these horrible weapons.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  207. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    His first priority should be to remind the world that so far, the United States is the only country that has deployed a nuclear weapon as an act of war.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  208. JD, North Carolina

    Priority number one should be combatting global poverty. Desperation and misery breeds fanaticism, and many fanatics welcome mutually assured destruction.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  209. Patrick

    See if they work by trying one on Iran.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  210. Jay in Texas

    He should work diligently to rid the world of all nuclear weapons. The only way he can do this is if we STOP building them ourselves and begin disarming and dismantling our nukes. Ronald Reagan started this process before he left office but his attempts were thwarted by his successors. President Obama must enter into new agreements with every nation in the world who possesses nuclear arsenal and require everyone to get rid of them before they destroy the world.
    Brownwood, Texas

    December 1, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  211. Tony in Mocksville NC

    Priority number one should be working toward a new treaty with Russia that not only significantly reduces the number of warheads that both nations have, but also bolsters a renewed effort on the part of both parties to work toward global non-proliferation.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  212. George from NYC

    I think that his first priority should be to reduce the number of Nukes there are in the world. That means working with Russia to safely dismantle theirs and our own. I don't mean that we should dismantle them all, but we don't need to be able to blow up the world to retaliate for a terrorist nuclear attack.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  213. Steve in Chaska

    His first priority should be to exhaust every other avenue afforded to him so we never have to use them.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  214. RC in SC

    Tacticals to be used as needed.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  215. Dan (Redmond, WA)

    I'm afraid I can't answer your question directly. All I can say is that is one football I would not want to have possesion of.
    My only advice I guess would be to not fumble it.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  216. Michael Duchesne

    President Elect Obama needs to stop nuclear proliferation at any and all costs. The more nodes of nuclear material in the more, the higher probability of it falling into the wrong hands. The Mutually Assured Destruction strategem does not apply to states that embrace martyrdom.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  217. Gary

    Peace through superior fire power. He should: 1) determine the number of nuclear weapons we have in our arsenal, 2) ensure they are safe, 3) ensure they are up-to-date, 4) as others have said walk softly and carry a big stick.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  218. Michael Duchesne, Columbus, Ohio

    President Elet Obama needs to stop nuclear proliferation at any and all costs. The more nodes of nuclear material in the world, the higher the probability of it falling into the wrong hands. The Mutually Assured Destruction strategem does not apply to states that embrace martyrdom.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  219. Tom Bulger

    securing all nuclear material that could fall into the hands of terrorists, home grown and foreign. This will mean diplomacy. Welcome Hillary.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  220. Chase Hoffmann

    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that we live in a dangerous world. I know that certain entities don't trust the United States. However I believe that together Hillary, and Obama can rise above the madness put an end to all the foreclosures to start. Moreover more can be done to keep our borders safe. Canada and Mexico are our neighbors however in times like these we need to be cautious. We need to use talks before arms when possible. Chase Hoffmann

    December 1, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  221. Michael

    He should ask 6 of the top scientists to tell him what will happen to the entire earth if just 1 bomb were to be launched and what 6 would do. 6 and up we all kiss our loved ones good-by even if you are thousands of miles away. Can anyone say instant ice-age.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  222. Chris G

    His priority should be to maintain current nuke levels while modernizing our nuclear force. Especially with the rising threat of a Pakistan/India conflict, an agressive Russia, and a nuclear Iran, America needs to have the weapons it needs to defend itself when necessary and go on the offense if there is such a time.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  223. Rick

    Get rid of the "football." This can be accomplished by working with Russia to take all nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  224. Bill Hartung

    In his first State of the Union address, President Obama should commit the United States to seeking a world free of nuclear weapons, starting with: 1) a new treaty with Russia pushing deep cuts in current U.S. and Russian arsenals, which account for 95% of the world's nuclear weapons; and 2) a push for Senate ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban treaty, which would give Washington the moral high ground in pressing countries like Iran and North Korea to cap or eliminate their nuclear programs.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:02 pm |
  225. Erin from Oakland, CA

    The first priority is to recognize that we don't control the rest of the world. We have no right to invade countries, make demands of them, or label entire countries as "evil". However, using diplomacy and respect, Obama could make progress by demonstrating his willingness to work together with other nations to stem this out-of-control nuclear arms race. Every person on this planet's life depends on it.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:02 pm |
  226. Steve in California

    Obama should be diplomatic yet firm. Tell the countries currently sporting nukes that they have to deliver in pickup trucks that our own nukes can drop in from space and hit a target in a 10 foot diameter, and that they can do this within minutes of it being necessary to do so.
    Ask people like Kim Il Jung if he'd like to have the Presidential Palace relocated in a nanosecond.

    It's time for us to stop playing house with these guys, and show them that if they screw around, their real estate will be the kind of place you can sit in and read a newspaper at night, with no lights turned on. Obama needs to deliver this message. I believe he will.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  227. Ralph Nelson

    I know the Armed Forces of the United States, without nuclear weapons, particularly now after years of using up our stockpile of weapons on Iraq, we could not defend ourselfs. People simply do not realize how naked George Bush has left this country to our enemies. As the husband of an Army inspector general told me: "She says every base she goes to there are massive shortages of equipment." It will take 15 years and $60 billion dollars to replace it. George Bush did not just destroy the Economy, he also destroyed the Armed Forces. Nuclear weapons, at this time, is the only thing defending us. Ralph, Yakima, WA

    December 1, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  228. drew

    To Larry and all those who think the US should not be the Police of the world. If we bury our heads in the sand the problem will just go away? You could not be more wrong. I know what all of you will be saying when these countries develope long-range missle systems to deliver the nukes you helped them develope right on top of your heads: Why did we not do something before they developed these systems? Oh yeah, because we should not tell other countries what to do, just how do you explain that to your children?

    December 1, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  229. Wes

    Will some one please explain why the U.S. is allowed to have as many nuclear weapons as they want but no one else in the world is allowed to have 1? i understand Iran and North Korea but come on!!! What's good for the goose....

    December 1, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  230. Lex from NYC

    Obama's responsibility first is to end crises we are DIRECTLY confronted with at this instant; the economy, Iraq, and other things. However, the only nations bearing nuclear weapons, ally or not, have no reason to use them on us. If one foreign country threatens another with nukes, then that is the U.N.'s problem (where have THEY been these days, anyway?) to solve, and not Obama's. Nuclear weapons are used only during wartime by governments. As for us, we are not at war with Iraq or Afghanistan, we are at war IN Iraq and Afghanistan. Our enemies (insurgent terrorist groups) have no nuclear capabilities, so we are in no immediate danger. Thus, the nuclear crisis should be confronted by Obama once he is through with more pressing issues.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  231. Sam

    Its obvious to everyone in the world at this point, that nuclear weapons are the worst invention ever created by man. If Obama really wants to set the example the rest of the world could follow, he would order the complete destruction of our nuclear arsenal.

    Then no more people could look at us as hypocrites, and may actually follow his lead. Lets be honest, we have enough fire power without our nuclear arsenal to destroy any would be enemy, we just wouldnt have to make the world a "hot" mess in the process.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  232. Phil McGinley

    Ummmm......make sure the phone is working?

    December 1, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  233. Tanya from TX

    If he's as smart as we think he is, he would get them out of the hands of 'Dub-ya' as fast as he could......the last thing we need is to have that nud-nik trip and fall while carrying the briefcase. At the rate he's going he'll blow us all sky high. He and his cronies have already done it to the rest of the country.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  234. Travis

    Being the most over-armed nuclear power in the world doesn't earn us respect. It earns us enemies who decide having their own nuclear programs is the way to earn legitimacy, like Iran and Korea.

    Two dozen warheads to ensure a response? Reasonable. Over 3,000 warheads sufficient enough to end the human race? More power than anyone has any right to. The wise statement to the world would be to cut our stockpile to a few dozen heavily protected and SECRET sites, subs, and airfields.

    We have enough might to protect ourself and our allies conventionally. I should know, I AM a soldier. Not a mass murderer or a lunatic with a death wish and my finger on a nuclear button.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  235. Peter Austin, TX


    President elect Obama should continue to modernize the nuclear forces of this country as a deterrent to other powers. In addition, diplomacy should be used with other nuclear powers in the Security Counsel like Russia and China. The United States needs to work with these powers to deter "hostile" nuclear powers and prevent other nations from acquiring them.

    "Diplomacy" is a term the Bush Administration was not familiar with. Its time for this country to get back to "walking softly, but carry a big stick"

    December 1, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  236. Jesse F from New Jersey

    The world is in a state where a nuclear attack is no longer an option. So many other countries have the bomb that if we were to launch, even in an act of defense, some one else would inevitably strike back. I can't imagine there would be much left afterward.

    Threatening to use nuclear weapons as a last resort is a loaded policy; the schoolyard equivalent of a bully brandishing a rock over its head. Well guess what... the playground is full of rocks these days

    December 1, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  237. Kyle Salerno

    I see people suggesting that Obama should negotiate with nuclear armed countires. What happens if negotiations fail and we are thrown into a nuclear war?

    December 1, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  238. Ken Rigsby

    I like everyone's suggestions for a goodwill show of peace by destroying our missiles and expecting the same in return. I mean, if you can't trust ruthless dictatorships to follow through on their promise to stop pursuing nukes, who can you trust?

    December 1, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  239. Jim Ogston from Alberta Canada

    Interesting dilemma for you Americans. I say send in Hillary Clinton. She has past experience at ducking sniper fire does she not? Or was that just fabrication? I would go for the later.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  240. Greg Dawson, Ohio

    He needs to understand what we have at our disposal, how to use them if ever needed, and not get rid of any more until we know other countries are reducing theirs. We cannot trust that some of the weapons other countries have will not get into others hands and be used to try and harm us. Having lots of them is a deterrent.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  241. Leo

    What I don't understand is that we tell the rest of the world to not make Nuke's anymore but yet sign a deal with India to supply them with nuclear fuel. Record has it that India has not signed the non-proliferation treaty and have denied IAEA access to most of its nuclear facilities. We actually pursuaded all countries to make an exception for India. What kind a message does this send to other countries especially India's neighbors.
    We continue to pass UN resolutions against Iran but have failed to enforce the oldest UN passed resolution against Indian occupation of Kashmir.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  242. AA - USA

    India should be the first target. How can we sign a nuclear pact with India without signing NPT? What double standards these are....in awake of Mumbai terror, no proof have been put forth and western blame game has started. Same thing happened about six months ago when a train was bombed in India. The balme was again the same as now. Investigation proved that a serving Indian Colonel was responsible. The police officers investigating were somehow the first one to go in these shootings. 100 plus churchs have been burned in India. Numerous Christians and muslims have been killed. But somehow the western media is asleep. What about the Marriott bombing in Islamabad? Who was responsible? India RAW maybe? Evidence show that FATA issues in Pakistan border is mainly caused by Indians and funding the Talibans.Why there are so many India cosulate offices on Afghan border? Who is looking for a visa to Afganistan. What a joke? But once again the western media has closed thier eyes. Where are the real journalists? are all dead or turned into left wing nuts? Jack for a change can you look into this instead of pointing out all muslim problems , look into the real issues. What about Kashmir? Those poor people are killed for no reason every day by Indians...where is the media? I know you will never post these comments......

    December 1, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  243. Todd New york

    Bar none ,ALL nuckes need to go. the technology we have today means the weapons we have in our country will never leave the ground its sitting on . If it wasnt for overpopulation and the need for our land , i suppose i wouldnt be writing this right now...

    December 1, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  244. Don

    Jack, nothing is going to happen with nukes. Stop this fear mongering and mistrust of others. Even if Iran gets nukes, its not going to attack anyone. All the countries with nukes are as responsible as we are. Please overcome this arrogance that only we are the most civilized and rational people. If you still want to believe this after watching some of the mccain-palin rallies, then keep on deluding yourself and keep on attacking other countries out of paranoia.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  245. Anthony from Baltimore

    Bring back SAC! (Strategic Air Command)
    As the late General, Curtis LeMay once stated: "If you kill enough of them, they stop fighting. "

    December 1, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  246. Sunny

    We need to get Russia, China, India, Israel, Palistan & any other nuclear player to dismantle their weapons. Obama should take the lead & propose that we (USA) will dismantle one-for-one nuclear weapon. All done, we should be the only country with Nukes.

    Go USA

    December 1, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  247. David Ashby-Ca

    Jack: I think Obama should have a meeting with each individual leader and put in a permanent world-wide nuclear arms reduction that is for EVERYONE. There is no reason to have nuclear weapons anymore (actually ever), it’s ludicrous. We can even start it off by dismantling ours and let the other countries follow. For anyone failing to comply with this should be subject to the International Court of Justice.

    World Peace!!

    December 1, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  248. Kyle

    Obama's number one priority when it comes to nuclear weapons should be safety! Whether it’s our nation’s nuclear weapons or other nation’s weapons, we need to be thinking safety. Everyone is so concerned about protecting the uranium, and plutonium, but what we need to remember is that there are still 13 other elements that could a nuclear weapon, for example neptunium. We need to be thinking with a clear head, and not focus all of our attention on one specific area.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  249. Travis

    President Obama should be willing to create and sign more arms treaties with other nuclear powers; however, he still has to be able to prove that the United States still carries a "big stick." Yes, the fewer in the world, the better, but it takes just one to start a large conflict.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  250. Nicole D. New Braunfels, TX

    First priority should be to tell the other countries of the world about how the United States is going to be destroying our nuclear weopons right along with them. The key to a safer world is to have this country put in time out for acting like a school yard bully...

    December 1, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  251. John Corwin

    "Team America World Police" is how much of the world views us. We're often seen as the agressors instead of the peacemakers, and if Obama puts his money where his mouth is, the "football" will truely be a last resort.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  252. Hector

    I will soon be enjoying the liberal lifestyle.... blaming all my personal short comings and poor national economy that will be getting worse on President Elect and just blindly put anyhting negative in america on his shoulders only. Wow how awsome it feels to never have to open my eyes to the truth

    December 1, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  253. Marshall

    The nuclear genie has been out of the bottle since 1945. These weapons while not easy to make and deliver are not impossible to obtain. If North Korea a country that virtually lacks an economy can build a nuke then many more can. The answer as others have mentioned; diplomacy, of course. The building of relationships will ratchet down tensions. But that won't work everywhere. So maintaining the well established U.S. policy, the use of a nuclear weapon, even one, against the U.S. or its allies subjects the attacker to a massive, instant, and non-negotiable reprisal. Yes, it's awful to even imagine, but if all you'll get from use of such a weapon is the destruction of your country, then it's extremely unlikely that such a weapon will be used. Or in otherwords, as Teddy put it, walk softly and carry a big stick. This strategy is understandably not beloved by a lot of people, but its one that works in the real world. Quite franky, it's kept, relative, peace for over 60 years.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  254. John Brown

    Obama's top priority should be the economy... forget nukes. People are suffering. We are not going to be responsible for anyone else's death over misinformation..... focus on bringing the world together,,

    December 1, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  255. Jay Coghlan

    Obama should quickly take concrete steps to begin working toward his stated goal of a nuclear weapons free world. This should include a declaration that the U.S. will not build proposed new-design nuclear weapons. Positive steps should include taking nuclear weapons off of high alert, launch-ready status; pressuring the Senate to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty; prioritizing federal R&D of improved monitoring and verification technologies; and directing that a pending congressionally-required "Nuclear Posture Review" be geared toward deep reductions and irreversible dismantlements. Genuine U.S. leadership and progress toward nuclear disarmament would strengthen the 1970 NonProliferation Treaty, thereby strengthening both national and international security.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  256. Timmy

    He ought to send a few over Iran's way. It only took 2 on Japan.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  257. dufus

    Sell them we could use the money on the bailout.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  258. Peter Kessler

    First thing is to secure all the loose nuclear material in the former Soviet Union. Yeah, Iran and North Korea are real problems and important issues are there, but they will take time to deal with and diplomacy with sovereign nations is a long process. Getting the loose stuff put away and secured is doable and clears the deck for later diplomatic steps later on.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  259. Brody, America

    loft one over to the middle east and one to amnesty international headquarters so they stop whining.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  260. TaRhaun Russ, Florida State University

    President Elect Obama should maintain his diplomatic promise by keeping the peace among other countries that oppose a threat to America. We have no other choice but to come out to the world about the amount of nuclear weapons we contain...or at least lie. I mean...who would know?

    December 1, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  261. Pat

    The idea that a country today would overtly attack the US with nukes is ludicrous. Far more likely is that a state will clandestinely provide them to terrorists who will smuggle them to their target. Given this scenario the President must develop a policy regards how we will respond to such an event, including what we will do to the state that provided the nuke. And then he should make the world aware of our intentions, and our capability to determine who provided the nuke to begin with.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  262. Rama

    Now probably is the time for Obama to make a decision to support either the Major ally that has people who wants to save Americans or the Key ally that has people who wants to kill Americans....
    (Indians helped trapped Americans escape during Mumbai attacks)

    December 1, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  263. Sam

    Unfortunately giving a comment regarding a very serious and complex topic like this one, would confuse more the illiterate morons who have commented so far and who make up today’s average American.

    Blame it to our school system.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  264. Andrew

    Hmm.. What an innovative bunch of people wouldn't you guys agree? Maybe we should just keep as many as it would take to protect our coastal perimeters? We can reduce it, and still have protection, Afterward we can discuss with Russia and China the pros and cons of doing the same. You know, kinda persuade em into it? Do it the O'l American way... jesus we're ignorant.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  265. Garrett

    Disarmament will never happen, so stop touting it. We have it as do the Russians and the Chinese.

    Section the world up into 3 empires: Russia, China, United States. Depose the remaining world governments (they are little more than a nuisance anyway) and devise a go-forward strategy for resource management which permits the 3 empires to coexist peacefully.

    Exterminate the Arab Emirates, Africa, and South/Central America. Radical? Perhaps, but it's what will happen anyway in the next two hundred years. Might as well accelerate things a little bit. We did vote for change after all.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  266. lee Ft Myers, FL

    First, count them all;, Second, make sure they work, Then tell all those Pro-Defense spending Lobyysts we will spend 0 ,on New Nuclear weapons...

    December 1, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  267. Dennis North Carolina

    terror is the biggest problem of the world, so he should work on reddening the world of this threats. remember a gun does not kill , it is the person that pulls the trigger. take a way all the guns and the killer will use a knife or something. so rid this world of the sick minds and we would not have to worry about any type of weapons.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  268. Nate, Utah

    Take a look on the bright side, if someone nudges the football wrong and we are thrust into a nuclear fallout, we don't have to worry about global warming anymore, correct?

    December 1, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  269. Rick McDaniel / Lewisville, TX

    I think he will do precisely as his actions up to this point would indicate. Business as usual. The weapons are there if needed, and hopefully they won't be needed.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  270. JR

    I thought Obama was about change. Seems to me he's putting the good old boys and girls back in DC. Some more of the same old thing we had for the last twenty years or so.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  271. Jim/NC

    Just like our past presidents, Obama won't be able to use diplomacy to change the minds of fanatics like North Korea, Iran, Russia, and others. God forbid that Chavez receives the technology that Russia has promised to begin their nuclear program. Talking does not do the trick with these idiots.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  272. Nate

    There's nothing he can do. If a country wants the bomb, they are going to get it. The world doesn't have enough resolve to stop them. N. Korea has proved as much. Then, once they have them, you can't stop them from doing anything to them because they can vaporize their neighbors if they are threatened. Unless the world is willing to take harsh actions against these countries, including military action, this president, or any other won't be able to do a thing. So, get used to it.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  273. Bode Olojede

    Keep Doomsday indefinitely postponed by locking the code box permanently and pressurise friends and foes to do same to these weapons of mass destruction. – Bode, Benin City, Nigeria

    December 1, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  274. James

    Use them and when the world is re-built make it as green as possible. The econemy is wreaked, they have finally admitted to a ressecion just as we head into a depression. So like I said use them and hope the next civilazation will actually be civilized.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:57 pm |
  275. Freduah Prempeh

    In my opinion, our president elect Barack Obama's first piority should be to to call a world summit of all nuclear armed nations. This summit should have as its express objective, a realistic assesment of the threats possed and the willingness of the US to diplomatically negotiate a reduction in arsenal with all like minded partners.

    December 1, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  276. Rik

    We should set the example by destroying all of our nuclear weapons first. We have them and didn't nuke Bosnia. We didn't nuke Iraq. Why would anyone want to nuke us if we didn't have them ourselves. We should start; other countries would follow suit. Iran would totally get our vibe and want to emulate us. *snicker*

    December 1, 2008 at 6:01 pm |
  277. Satya

    There seems to be a misconception about India and its nuclear policy among many readers here. Firstly, India has no first use policy outlined decades back. I think its the only country, to have such policy.
    Those who are lumping India together with Pakistan, Syria, Iran, Lybia, etc. do not understand international politics enough to make such a comment. India probably is the most secular country of the world. In which people from all religions have reside happily for many generations. Muslims especially have resided happily in India for more than 2000 years (which is longer than age of most countries in the world). It was only after provocation from British rule, India has had instabilities. Which also led to generation of a separate pakistan.
    India is a democracy commited to safeguards of its nuclear weaponary. India belives in non-proliferation and alternative applications of nuclear power.

    So it is not fair to speak of India in the same breath as other nuclear power countries other than US.

    December 1, 2008 at 6:01 pm |
  278. Bobby

    I keep reading the other comments about people believing that we need to just simply turn off all our missiles and hope they do the same, that we had never had a purpose for creating these weapons of mass destruction, that the thought of them is ridiculous. Well if I remember these came in handy say 63 years ago when they resulted in the end of World War 2. The main powers holding these devices have over time learn't that it is there responsibility to only use these as a last resort, it is important that we regulate who can have these weapons, preventing places like Iran from building them is a good start, its not the guy with 13000 bombs I'm worried about, its the guy with 1. Reducing our number of nuclear weapons or simply turning them off is a massively destabilizing move, these weapons don't hurt anyone now, so whats the point of getting rid of them. Obama needs to set them aside, not talk or think about them until someone leaves him with no other choice.

    December 1, 2008 at 6:06 pm |
  279. Justin

    He should immediately replace all our 30-year-old nukes and missiles with modern ones. WIth Russia modernizing its nuclear arsenal and China and India adding to theirs, it would be a fatal mistake to reduce our arsenal to the point of vulnerability. Though we may think it's a good idea now, it will NOT show others our example, rather put into their minds that we are soft and vulnerable. We'd regret it within 25 years. Guaranteed.

    December 1, 2008 at 6:09 pm |
  280. Kenzie

    TO:Mike from New Orleans, Louisiana

    You think the U.S. should destroy our nukes? You need to rethink your response to that question since no other country is "destoring" their nukes and if you think they are then you are sadly mistaken.

    We need to keep everything the way they are including "Dirty Bomb" that has not be talked about much as people don't think we have them.

    December 1, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  281. JD

    Deterence works! How about revitalizing the U.S. nuclear arsenal, upgrading training and security procedures, and restarting nuclear testing. Sounds crazy, right? Let's see...was there more stability during the cold war when MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction)–which meant if you launch on us...it will be the end of the world...or is there more stability now? Nuclear deterence can work again. Here's a doctrine: If there is any terrorist group, individual, or nation that uses a nuclear device against the U.S. or any of our interests overseas, the U.S. will launch weapons against that group, individual or nation including those supporting said attacker until the threat is deemed neutralized. Peace through strength!!!

    December 1, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  282. Ray

    You people should not be able to post any comments/opinions about international events unless you have traveled at least out of North America.

    December 1, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  283. William

    We have put in place a government that never acts. They only react. But remember we put it there and we have tolerated it for far to long. The fact we had a two or three years lead time to deal with this crisis is nothing compared to the 30+ years we have had to deal with our energy problems. We bleed a $trillion a year which is much more than has been spent on the bailout.

    December 1, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  284. tehevo

    This nuclear thing has got to stop. What in the WORLD are we thinking having enough weapons to blow up our whole solar system..........WHO WINS? boy are we stupid.

    December 1, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  285. Jeff Crocket

    Protecting US!!!!

    No withdrawal. No sweet talk with evil people!! If they refuse to comply with international law! Go to WAR!!

    December 1, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  286. imsmarterthanyou

    The biggest obstacles to nuclear disarmament are keeping track of and disposal of fissle material, and keeping nuclear scientists employed so they don't decide to work for "the bad guys." Also, you can never have too much communication with countries who posses all these things.

    December 1, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  287. Frank - Des Moines, IA

    Where does it end?! So because other countries aren't reducing their nuclear power we don't have to. I am quite sure that's what other countries are saying about the United States. War is about power and fear....the best war is no war. So if a country launches a nuclear weapon at us then we launch one at them? Then everyone else fires their nukes and then we have...nothing and no one left. Ridiculous!

    December 1, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  288. imsmarterthanyou

    the last resort argument is also pointless. If by "last resort" you mean the last thing that humans will ever do, then you are right. There is no winning nuclear war. 10 hydrogen bombs will destabilize our atmosphere and end surface life on our world. I can't believe people actually discuss this as an option...

    December 1, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  289. Susie, Capistrano Beach

    I forgot, we can begin by stopping all foreign aide to those who are defiant. We can immediately stop the purchase of oil and giving them the money to become wealthy enough to produce and purchase the makings of nulcear arms. Well, Duh!! That is so simple I could be running for President!

    December 1, 2008 at 6:35 pm |
  290. Bill from Maine

    Jack: Our first priority should always be nuclear non-proliferation. That said, we should take the lead in banning nuclear weapons world-wide. None of us need them, no one in their right mind would use them, and only a world-wide commitment to banning their production and use is going to be effective. We have to create a climate in which all countries agree to bring about the severest penalties to any country or group that refuses to participate or violates the agreement.

    December 1, 2008 at 6:39 pm |
  291. Lou


    He should ensure our nuclear enterprise is in top form so that it can be a credible deterrent. Talk of disarmament is nonsense. Russia is looking to re-live the glory days of the cold war and now nations like Iran and Venezuela fancy themselves nuclear powers. We must maintain a credible nuclear force so that others can't leverage theirs. To do otherwise is naive.

    December 1, 2008 at 6:46 pm |
  292. Lou


    He should ensure our nuclear enterprise is in top form so that it can be a credible deterrent. Talk of disarmament is nonsense. Russia is looking to re-live the glory days of the cold war and now nations like Iran and Venezuela fancy themselves nuclear powers. We must maintain a credible nuclear force so that others can't leverage theirs. To do otherwise is naive.

    December 1, 2008 at 6:48 pm |