The Nuclear Security Summit of world leaders in Washington today and tomorrow is a follow-up of the promise United States President Barack Obama made last year in his Prague speech. He said “… We must also build on our efforts to break up black markets, detect and intercept [nuclear] materials in transit, and use financial tools to disrupt this dangerous trade … And we should start by having a Global Summit on Nuclear Security that the United States will host within the next year.”
Although the stated focus of the summit is to secure nuclear materials around the world, the conference has a much broader significance. For one thing, the summit marks the restoration of Mr. Obama's arms control initiatives set in motion last year. Until recently, it looked as if these initiatives had been derailed by the Obama administration's preoccupation with domestic issues such as healthcare and the economy. But with the healthcare bill having been passed, the extension of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia negotiated and the new, less belligerent Nuclear Posture review announced, the prospects of making further progress on disarmament and arms control seem brighter now.