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Adopt ‘dual-track” policy on nuclear weapons, scientists tell Obama

By Hamish Johnston

A report released yesterday by a group of US scientists including representatives of the American Physical Society urges president elect Obama to follow a “dual-track nuclear arms control and refurbishment/updating policy”.

This, says the report, is in line with Obama’s “vision of a nuclear-free world, and the continuing need to have a credible US deterrent as long as nuclear weapons exist”.

Although this “I’ll drop mine when you drop yours” approach makes as much moral sense as mutually assured destruction, the pragmatist in me knows the best we can hope for is that the US and others refrain from developing any new weapons — something the report calls for. And of course, pray that no-one (government, terrorist or otherwise) is demented enough to actually use one.

On more cheery notes, the report urges Obama to address the challenge of boosting global reliance on nuclear energy while controlling the risks of weapons proliferation.

The report also calls for the US and Russia to come to a new agreement on the simultaneous reduction of their nuclear weapons stockpiles.

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