CNS Feature Stories

Special articles and reports on timely nonproliferation issues by CNS staff.
Updated: Oct 6, 2008

Barack Obama and John McCain
on Nuclear Security Issues

Examining the similarities and some important differences in the policies of Obama and McCain.
Author(s): Stephen I. Schwartz

Updated: October 6, 2008 | Posted: September 25, 2008

Related Resources: Americas | Nuclear | Treaties | Feature Stories


Senators Barack Obama (Democrat of Illinois) and John McCain (Republican of Arizona) met for their first joint televised debate on September 26 at the University of Mississippi. The focus of the debate was economic and foreign policy. As in the 2004 foreign policy debate between President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry (Democrat of Massachusetts), nuclear proliferation was discussed. Vice presidential candidates Senator Joe Biden (Democrat of Delaware) and Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska also addressed nuclear threats in their October 2 debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

At first glance, the positions of Obama and McCain on many nuclear policy-related matters appear surprisingly similar. But a careful look at their political rhetoric reveals some important differences.

Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)

Both candidates endorse efforts to improve the NPT. Obama has said he will "strengthen the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty so that nations that don't comply will automatically face strong international sanctions." In July, Obama stressed, "By keeping our commitment under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, we'll be in a better position to rally international support to bring pressure to bear on nations like North Korea and Iran that violate it."[1] McCain says he will use the 2010 NPT Review Conference to "seize the opportunity to strengthen and enhance all aspects of the nonproliferation regime." In particular, McCain wants to close a critical loophole in the NPT so that "countries that receive the benefits of peaceful nuclear cooperation must return or dismantle what they receive if they violated or withdraw from the NPT."[2]

Neither candidate provides much detail about how he would fix these well-known and significant problems with the NPT. However, both acknowledge that strengthening the NPT must be part of a larger multilateral effort to enhance the global nonproliferation regime. Of course, the NPT does not exist in isolation, so success on this front will depend in large measure on how well the next president can work with the international community to address longstanding concerns in a constructive fashion.

Reducing Nuclear Weapons and Developing New Nuclear Weapons

In an October 2007 speech, Obama declared:

Here's what I'll say as president: America seeks a world in which there are no nuclear weapons. We will not pursue unilateral disarmament. As long as nuclear weapons exist, we'll retain a strong nuclear deterrent. But we'll keep our commitment under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty on the long road towards eliminating nuclear weapons. We'll work with Russia to take U.S. and Russian ballistic missiles off hair-trigger alert...[and] we'll set a goal to expand the U.S.-Russian ban on intermediate-range missiles so that the agreement is global.[3]

In a new survey by Arms Control Today released the week of September 22, Obama added, "This process should begin by securing Russia's agreement to extend essential monitoring and verification provisions of START I prior to its expiration in December 2009. As president, I will also immediately stand down all nuclear forces to be reduced under the Moscow Treaty and urge Russia to do the same."[4]

Obama thus endorses the nuclear-free world objective laid out most famously by former secretaries of state George Shultz and Henry Kissinger, former secretary of defense William Perry, and former senator Sam Nunn, while at the same time insisting that the United States will continue to deploy nuclear weapons so long as they "exist" anywhere.

McCain, too, supports a world free of nuclear weapons, though perhaps in slightly more visionary terms. Speaking in Denver in May, he said:

A quarter of a century ago, President Ronald Reagan declared, "our dream is to see the day when nuclear weapons will be banished from the face of the Earth." That is my dream, too. It is a distant and difficult goal. And we must proceed toward it prudently and pragmatically, and with a focused concern for our security and the security of allies who depend on us. But the Cold War ended almost twenty years ago, and the time has come to take further measures to reduce dramatically the number of nuclear weapons in the world's arsenals.[5]

As Obama did, McCain offered important caveats:

I would ask the Joint Chiefs of Staff to engage in a comprehensive review of all aspects of our nuclear strategy and policy. I would keep an open mind on all responsible proposals. At the same time, we must continue to deploy a safe and reliable nuclear deterrent, robust missile defenses, and superior conventional forces that are capable of defending the United States and our allies. But I will seek to reduce the size of our nuclear arsenal to the lowest number possible consistent with our security requirements and global commitments. Today we deploy thousands of nuclear warheads. It is my hope to move as rapidly as possible to a significantly smaller force.[6]

Perhaps most significantly, McCain did not limit reductions to strategic weapons: "In close consultation with our allies, I would also like to explore ways we and Russia can reduce—and hopefully eliminate—deployments of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe."[7] This may be the first time since the end of the Cold War that a candidate from either party has publicly supported the elimination of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons. However, as nonproliferation expert Jon Wolfsthal has pointed out, this might not sit well with Turkey, which still hosts an estimated 50-90 nuclear gravity bombs: "...if we pull nuclear weapons out of Turkey as Iran advances its nuclear program, they are not going to have increased confidence in NATO and the U.S. This speech, and the references to it, will send shock waves through Europe...."[8]

Regarding the looming expiration of the START agreement, McCain said in May, "We should be able to agree with Russia on binding verification measures based on those currently in effect under the START Agreement, to enhance confidence and transparency."[9] But McCain's insistence that Russia be removed as a member of the Group of Eight, along with his determination to deploy missile defenses in Europe, are likely to complicate if not impede efforts to secure Russian cooperation on such matters.

Asked in 2007 whether the United States should develop new nuclear weapons, such as the Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW), Obama stated, "I do not support a premature decision to produce the RRW," leaving open the possibility that he might support this weapon following a thorough review of U.S. requirements.[10] However, in the new Arms Control Today survey, Obama was less equivocal: "I will not authorize the development of new nuclear weapons and related capabilities."[11]

In his May speech, McCain asserted:

I would only support the development of any new type of nuclear weapon that is absolutely essential for the viability of our deterrent, that results in making possible further decreases in the size of our nuclear arsenal, and furthers our global nuclear security goals. I would cancel all further work on the so-called Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator, a weapon that does not make strategic or political sense.[12]

In 2004 and 2005, McCain voted against eliminating funding for the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator.[13] Strong congressional opposition to the program, coupled with the Bush administration's subsequent decision not to seek future funding, may have played a role in McCain's new position on this program. Nevertheless, McCain's language does little to rule out—and in fact seems carefully crafted to encompass—future support for the RRW or similar programs.

Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)

Obama has said that, "As president, I will make it my priority to build bipartisan consensus behind ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty" and that he will "seek its earliest possible entry into force."[14] McCain outlined his approach in May:

As president I will pledge to continue America's current moratorium on testing, but also begin a dialogue with our allies, and with the U.S. Senate, to identify ways we can move forward to limit testing in a verifiable manner that does not undermine the security or viability of our nuclear deterrent. This would include taking another look at the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty to see what can be done to overcome the shortcomings that prevented it from entering into force. I opposed that treaty in 1999, but said at the time I would keep an open mind about future developments.[15]

Obama therefore seems likely to push for ratification of the CTBT while McCain remains skeptical about the verifiability of the agreement nearly ten years after it was first brought to a vote, notwithstanding significant technical advances since that time and widespread agreement among arms control and nuclear policy experts that the United States has the most to lose if other countries resume—or begin—nuclear testing. The composition of the Senate after the election—and in particular whether Democrats are able to control sixty seats and thus override Republican filibusters on key legislation—will also influence future action on the CTBT.

Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT)

In the new Arms Control Today survey, Obama responded, "I will lead a global effort to negotiate a verifiable treaty ending the production of fissile materials for weapons purposes...."[16] McCain, in his May speech, also addressed this subject, "We should move quickly with other nations to negotiate a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty to end production of the most dangerous nuclear materials." He then added:

I would seek to establish an international repository for spent nuclear fuel that could collect and safely store materials overseas that might otherwise be reprocessed to acquire bomb-grade materials. It is even possible that such an international center could make it unnecessary to open the proposed spent nuclear fuel storage facility at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.[17]

It is unlikely, however, that such a facility would be willing to accept more than 62,000 metric tons of U.S. spent fuel (even if transportation safety and cost concerns could be addressed). Moreover, would the United States really be willing to relinquish control over material containing enough unseparated plutonium for perhaps 100,000 nuclear weapons?

Neither candidate has addressed the verification provisions for such an agreement.

U.S.-India Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement

Both Obama and McCain have supported granting India exemptions from existing nuclear nonproliferation agreements in order to foster a stronger strategic partnership, increase trade in civilian nuclear technology, and bring India's nuclear program under some international controls. But while Obama voted for the so-called 123 Agreement (after the section of the Atomic Energy Act it would amend), he also voted in favor of amendments that would require India to end its military cooperation with Iran and require the president to certify that the agreement will not enable India to manufacture more nuclear weapons. Still, both Obama and his vice presidential running mate Joe Biden (Democrat of Delaware) continue to speak in support of the agreement.[18]

In May, McCain stated, "I support the U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Accord as a means of strengthening our relationship with the world's largest democracy, and further involving India in the fight against proliferation."[19] The House of Representatives approved the historic deal on September 27 by a vote of 298 to 117, followed by the Senate on October 1 by a vote of 86 to 13. Obama, Biden, and McCain all voted in favor of the agreement.

Iran

Speaking before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in March 2007, Obama said:

The world must work to stop Iran's uranium enrichment program and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. It is far too dangerous to have nuclear weapons in the hands of a radical theocracy. And while we should take no option, including military action, off the table, sustained and aggressive diplomacy combined with tough sanctions should be our primary means to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons.[20]

A more detailed version of this approach appears in the 2008 Democratic National Committee platform:

The world must prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. That starts with tougher sanctions and aggressive, principled, and direct high-level diplomacy, without preconditions. We will pursue this strengthened diplomacy alongside our European allies, and with no illusions about the Iranian regime. We will present Iran with a clear choice: if you abandon your nuclear weapons program, support for terror, and threats to Israel, you will receive meaningful incentives; so long as you refuse, the United States and the international community will further ratchet up the pressure, with stronger unilateral sanctions; stronger multilateral sanctions inside and outside the U.N. Security Council, and sustained action to isolate the Iranian regime. The Iranian people and the international community must know that it is Iran, not the United States, choosing isolation over cooperation.  By going the extra diplomatic mile, while keeping all options on the table, we make it more likely the rest of the world will stand with us to increase pressure on Iran, if diplomacy is failing.[21]

Addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference in February 2007, McCain declared, "I intend to make unmistakably clear to Iran we will not permit a government that espouses the destruction of the State of Israel as its fondest wish and pledges undying enmity to the United States to possess the weapons to advance their malevolent ambitions."[22]

The 2008 Republican National Committee platform adds:

We call for a significant increase in political, economic, and diplomatic pressure to persuade Iran's rulers to halt their drive for a nuclear weapons capability, and we support tighter sanctions against Iran and the companies with business operations in or with Iran. We oppose entering into a presidential-level, unconditional dialogue with the regime in Iran until it takes steps to improve its behavior, particularly with respect to support of terrorism and suspension of its efforts to enrich uranium. At the same time, the U.S. must retain all options in dealing with a situation that gravely threatens our security, our interests, and the safety of our friends.[23]

North Korea

Echoing earlier campaign remarks by Obama, the 2008 Democratic National Committee platform declares:

We support the belated diplomatic effort to secure a verifiable end to North Korea's nuclear weapons program and to fully account for and secure any fissile material or weapons North Korea has produced to date. We will continue direct diplomacy and are committed to working with our partners through the six-party talks to ensure that all agreements are fully implemented in the effort to achieve a verifiably nuclear-free Korean peninsula.[24]

In his November/December 2007 Foreign Affairs article, McCain wrote:

It is unclear today whether North Korea is truly committed to verifiable denuclearization and a full accounting of all its nuclear materials and facilities, two steps that are necessary before any lasting diplomatic agreement can be reached. Future talks must take into account North Korea's ballistic missile programs, its abduction of Japanese citizens, and its support for terrorism and proliferation.[25]

Preoccupied with the financial crisis rocking Wall Street and Washington, neither candidate has yet addressed North Korea's recent decision to halt the dismantlement of its Yongbyon nuclear reactor and its announcement on September 24 that International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors had been asked to leave the country and that reprocessing of spent fuel (and therefore production of additional plutonium) will resume within a week.

Russia

The 2008 Democratic National Committee platform, which distills Obama's views on U.S.-Russian arms control and nuclear cooperation, says:

To enhance our security and help meet our commitments under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, we will seek deep, verifiable reductions in United States and Russian nuclear weapons and work with other nuclear powers to reduce global stockpiles dramatically. We will work with Russia to take as many weapons as possible off Cold War, quick-launch status, and extend key provisions of the START Treaty, including its essential monitoring and verification requirements.[26]

McCain, while strongly critical of Russian political leadership, nevertheless supports working together with Russia where possible, as he pointed out in May:

While we have serious differences, with the end of the Cold War, Russia and the United States are no longer mortal enemies. As our two countries possess the overwhelming majority of the world's nuclear weapons, we have a special responsibility to reduce their number.... Further, we should be able to agree with Russia on binding verification measures based on those currently in effect under the START Agreement, to enhance confidence and transparency.... I would seriously consider Russia's recent proposal to work together to globalize the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces [INF] Treaty. I would also redouble our common efforts to reduce the risk that nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons may fall into the hands of terrorists or unfriendly governments.[27]

Whether the newly assertive Russia will be willing to cooperate with the United States on such programs, particularly if current U.S. policies opposed by Russia are continued, remains to be seen.

Cooperative Threat Reduction Programs

Obama, unlike most members of Congress, has taken a significant interest in nuclear arms control measures, particularly those involving Russia (perhaps not a surprise given that as a senior at Columbia University he reportedly wrote a course paper on Soviet arms control negotiations).[28] Obama has worked closely with Senator Richard Lugar (Republican of Indiana) on strengthening and expanding the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program. As the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation noted in a fact sheet earlier this year:

In August 2005, Obama traveled with [Lugar] to nuclear and biological weapons destruction facilities in the former Soviet Union, where they urged the destruction of conventional weapons stockpiles. With Lugar, Obama introduced the Cooperative Proliferation Detection, Interdiction Assistance, and Conventional Threat Reduction Act, which passed as part of the Department of State Authorities Act of 2006. [In April 2007] Obama also said, "As President, I will lead a global effort to secure all nuclear weapons and material at vulnerable sites within four years—the most effective way to prevent terrorists from acquiring a bomb."

In his May speech in Denver, McCain said, "we need to increase funding for our own nonproliferation efforts, including the Cooperative Threat Reduction programs established by the landmark Nunn-Lugar legislation, and ensure the highest possible standards of security for existing nuclear materials."[29]

Ballistic Missile Defenses

Perhaps the biggest difference between the candidates concerns their position on the necessity and effectiveness of ballistic missile defenses. In a July 2007 statement, Obama said:

The Bush Administration has been developing plans to deploy interceptors and radar systems in Poland and the Czech Republic as part of a missile defense system designed to protect against the potential threat of Iranian nuclear-armed missiles. If we can responsibly deploy missile defenses that would protect us and our allies we should—but only when the system works. We need to make sure any missile defense system would be effective before deployment. The Bush Administration has in the past exaggerated missile defense capabilities and rushed deployments for political purposes.[30]

A more recent campaign fact sheet explains Obama's position this way:

In a world with nuclear weapons, America must continue efforts to defend against the mass destruction of its citizens and our allies. But past efforts were both wasteful and ineffective, pursued with neither honesty nor realism about their costs and shortfalls. We must seek a nuclear missile defense and demand that those efforts use resources wisely to build systems that would actually be effective. Missile defense requires far more rigorous testing to ensure that it is cost-effective and, most importantly, will work. Barack Obama has been a leader to ensure that we are investing in sound defenses not merely against missiles, but also against the more likely scenarios of attack, via 'loose nukes' and the terrorist delivering a weapons of mass destruction to the United States. Finally, our deployment of missile defense systems should be done in a way that reinforces, rather than undercuts, our alliances, involving partnership and burdensharing with organizations such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.[31]

According to a McCain campaign position paper on national security, on the other hand:

John McCain strongly supports the development and deployment of theater and national missile defenses. Effective missile defenses are critical to protect America from rogue regimes like North Korea that possess the capability to target America with intercontinental ballistic missiles, from outlaw states like Iran that threaten American forces and American allies with ballistic missiles, and to hedge against potential threats from possible strategic competitors like Russia and China. Effective missile defenses are also necessary to allow American military forces to operate overseas without being deterred by the threat of missile attack from a regional adversary.

John McCain is committed to deploying effective missile defenses to reduce the possibility of strategic blackmail by rogue regimes and to secure our homeland from the very real prospect of missile attack by present or future adversaries. America should never again have to live in the shadow of missile and nuclear attack. As President, John McCain will not trust in the "balance of terror" to protect America, but will work to deploy effective missile defenses to safeguard our people and our homeland.[32]

The 2008 Republican National Committee platform elaborates:

We must develop and deploy both national and theater missile defenses to protect the American homeland, our people, our Armed Forces abroad, and our allies. Effective, layered missile defenses are critical to guard against the unpredictable actions of rogue regimes and outlaw states, reduce the possibility of strategic blackmail, and avoid the disastrous consequences of an accidental or unauthorized launch by a foreign power.[33]

In conclusion, both Obama and McCain say they want to strengthen the NPT, although neither has explained in detail what he would do. Both have expressed support for further reductions in deployed U.S. nuclear weapons, and McCain wants to take a serious look at eliminating tactical nuclear weapons in Europe. Although both candidates support the objective of a nuclear-free world, only Obama is prepared to make this presidential policy.

Regarding the development of new nuclear weapons, Obama is strongly opposed while McCain appears open to supporting the RRW or similar programs in the future. Obama would work to secure ratification of the CTBT while McCain, who supports the existing self-imposed moratorium on nuclear testing, remains skeptical that the treaty can be effectively verified. Both candidates express support for a FMCT, but neither has discussed how it would be verified.

Obama and McCain support the U.S.-India nuclear cooperation agreement, but Obama also supported efforts to condition the agreement on changes in Indian foreign policy. Both call for Iran to halt its uranium enrichment activities, but Obama would emphasize international diplomacy while McCain only supports talking to Iran after it has suspended uranium enrichment and stopped supporting terrorism.

Both candidates would maintain pressure on North Korea to verifiably halt and dismantle its nuclear program, but Obama favors direct diplomacy while McCain remains skeptical of North Korea's intentions. On Russia, Obama and McCain support working together to extend the verification provisions of the START Treaty and further reducing nuclear weapons. Obama supports additional efforts to take nuclear forces off day-to-day quick launch alert, while McCain is open to discussing Russia's proposal to globalize the INF Treaty. However, McCain's condemnation of Russia's recent invasion of Georgia and his strong support of European-based missile defenses may complicate his efforts to engage Russia.

Finally, Obama strongly opposes the premature deployment of untested missile defense systems, and would emphasize other means of defending against nuclear attack, while McCain strongly supports the ongoing deployment of national and theater missile defenses to address threats from North Korea and Iran as well as potential threats from Russia and China.

Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden shares Obama's positions on nuclear security issues, and as a longtime member of the Senate and the ranking member and now chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee he has played a direct role in such matters as the CTBT, the START Treaty, relations with Russia, the U.S.-India nuclear cooperation agreement, cooperative threat reduction programs, and missile defense.[34] Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee, has not yet publicly commented on any nuclear security issues (although key portions of the ground-based missile defense system are located at Fort Greely, Alaska). That may change beginning with the vice presidential debate scheduled for October 2.

Stephen I. Schwartz is Editor of the Nonproliferation Review.


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Sources


[1] Barack Obama, "A New Beginning," October 2, 2007, Chicago, Illinois, <www.barackobama.com/2007/10/02/ remarks_of_senator_barack_obam_27.php>. Barack Obama, "Summit on Confronting New Threats," West Lafayette, Indiana, July 16, 2008, <www.barackobama.com/2008/07/16/ remarks_of_senator_barack_obam_95.php>. For a detailed explanation of Barack Obama's strategy for nuclear security, see the Obama campaign fact sheet, "Confronting 21st Century Threats," July 16, 2008, <www.barackobama.com/pdf/issues/ foreign_policy/Fact_Sheet_21st_Century_Threats.pdf>.

[2] John McCain, "Remarks by John McCain on Nuclear Security," University of Denver, Denver, Colorado, May 27, 2008, <www.johnmccain.com/Informing/News/ Speeches/e9c72a28-c05c-4928-ae29-51f54de08df3.htm>.

[3] Obama, "A New Beginning."

[4] Arms Control Association, "Arms Control and the 2008 Election," September 24, 2008, <www.armscontrol.org/2008election>.

[5] McCain, "Remarks by John McCain on Nuclear Security."

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Jon Wolfsthal, "McCain's Nonproliferation Policy: It's a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing," HuffingtonPost.com, <www.huffingtonpost.com/jon-wolfsthal/ mccains-nonproliferation_b_103708.html>.

[9] McCain, "Remarks by John McCain on Nuclear Security."

[10] Council for a Livable World, "2008 Presidential Candidates' Responses to Seven Key National Security Questions," August 16, 2007, < http://livableworld.org/elections/2008/presidential/ 2008_presidential_candidates_questionnaire_responses/>.

[11] Arms Control Association, "Arms Control and the 2008 Election."

[12] McCain, "Remarks by John McCain on Nuclear Security."

[13] Obama vs. McCain: A Side-by-Side Comparison on Arms Control, The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, July 15, 2008, <www.armscontrolcenter.org/policy/ nonproliferation/articles/mccain_obama_arms_control/>.

[14] Jeff Lindemyer, "Potential U.S. Ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) Fact Sheet," April 15, 2008, < www.armscontrolcenter.org/policy/ nonproliferation/articles/potential_ratification_ctbt/>. Obama, "Summit on Confronting New Threats."

[15] McCain, "Remarks by John McCain on Nuclear Security."

[16] Arms Control Association, "Arms Control and the 2008 Election."

[17] McCain, "Remarks by John McCain on Nuclear Security."

[18] See, for example, Agence France-Presse, "Obama Will Not Change Nuclear Deal With India: Report," July 12, 2008, <http://afp.google.com/article/ ALeqM5hD8rqCuh4wxWg6iW2PESOvIdukTQ>.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Barack Obama, "AIPAC Policy Forum," March 2, 2007, <www.barackobama.com/2007/03/02/aipac_policy_forum.php>.

[21] Democratic National Committee, "The 2008 Democratic National Platform: Renewing America's Promise," August 25, 2008, p. 32, <www.democrats.org/a/party/platform.html>.

[22] John McCain, "Remarks by John McCain to CPAC," February 7, 2008, < www.johnmccain.com/informing/News/ Speeches/b639ae8b-5a9f-41d5-88a7-874cbefa2c40.htm>.

[23] Republican National Committee, "2008 Republican Platform," p. 13, <www.gop.com/2008Platform/>.

[24] Democratic National Committee, "The 2008 Democratic National Platform: Renewing America's Promise," pp. 32-33.

[25] John McCain, "An Enduring Peace Built on Freedom: Securing America's Future," Foreign Affairs, November/December 2007, <www.foreignaffairs.org/20071101faessay86602/ john-mccain/an-enduring-peace-built-on-freedom.html>.

[26] Democratic National Committee, "The 2008 Democratic National Platform: Renewing America's Promise," p. 32.

[27] McCain, "Remarks by John McCain on Nuclear Security."

[28] Janny Scott, "Obama's Account of New York Years Often Differs from What Other Say," New York Times, October 30, 2007, <www.nytimes.com/2007/10/30/us/politics/30obama.html>; Jim Popkin, "Obama and the case of the missing ‘thesis'." MSNBC.com, July 24, 2008, <http://deepbackground.msnbc.msn.com/ archive/2008/07/24/1219454.aspx>.

[29] McCain, "Remarks by John McCain on Nuclear Security."

[30] U.S. Senator Barack Obama, "Obama Statement on Visit of Polish President Lech Kaczynski," July 16, 2007, <http://obama.senate.gov/press/070716-obama_statement_73/>.

[31] Obama for America, "A 21st Century Military for America: Barack Obama on Defense Issues," <www.barackobama.com/pdf/Defense_Fact_Sheet_FINAL.pdf>.

[32] McCain-Palin 2008, "National Security: A Strong Military in a Dangerous World," <www.johnmccain.com/Informing/Issues/ 054184f4-6b51-40dd-8964-54fcf66a1e68.htm>.

[33] Republican National Committee, "2008 Republican Platform," p. 2, <www.gop.com/2008Platform/>.

[34] See, for example, Council for a Livable World, "2008 Presidential Candidates' Responses to Seven Key National Security Questions."


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