Issue Position: National Security - John McCain on Nuclear Security
John McCain believes that we can build a safer world, one with fewer nuclear weapons and in which proliferation, instability, and nuclear terrorism are far less likely. To achieve this, John McCain outlined a series of initiatives that will enhance nuclear security and prevent proliferation.
A Crisis That Has Been Building For Decades, The Global Spread Of Nuclear Weapons, Demands Action Now. North Korea pursues a nuclear weapons program that has advanced to the point where Kim Jong-Il has tested a nuclear weapon, and almost certainly possesses several more nuclear warheads. North Korea has shared its nuclear and missile know-how with others, including Syria. Iran is marching with single-minded determination toward the same goal. Other nations are wondering whether they need to have such weapons. We could find ourselves in a world where a dozen or more nations have viable nuclear weapons programs.
A World Free Of Nuclear Weapons:
As President, John McCain Will Establish A Long-Term Commitment To A World Free Of Nuclear Weapons. Like President Reagan, John McCain believes we can see a day when nuclear weapons are banished from the Earth. While a distant and difficult goal, we must proceed toward it prudently and pragmatically, and with a focused concern on our security and our allies' security. The time has come to take further measures to reduce the number of nuclear weapons, and the U.S. must be a leader.
John McCain's Highest Priority Will Be To Reduce The Danger Nuclear Weapons Will Ever Be Used. We must seek to do all we can to ensure that nuclear weapons will never again be used. While working closely with our allies, John McCain will ask the Joint Chiefs of Staff to engage in a comprehensive review of all aspects of our nuclear strategy and policy.
At The Same Time, The U.S. Must Continue To Deploy A Safe And Reliable Nuclear Deterrent, Robust Missile Defense And Superior Conventional Forces.
John McCain Supports Further Strategic Arms Reductions. John McCain will seek to reduce the size of our nuclear arsenal to the lowest number possible consistent with our security requirements and global commitments, moving as rapidly as possible to a significantly smaller force.
John McCain Will Work With Russia On Nuclear Security. John McCain is prepared to enter into a new arms control agreement with Russia to reduce nuclear weapons. He will work toward agreement with Russia on binding verification measures based on those currently in effect under the START Agreement. Working with our allies, John McCain will explore ways with Russia to reduce - and hopefully eliminate - deployments of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe. He will work with Russia to build confidence in our missile defense program, seriously consider Russia's recent proposal to work together to globalize the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and redouble our common efforts to reduce the risk that nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons may fall into the hands of terrorists or unfriendly governments.
John McCain Believes We Should Begin A Nuclear Dialogue With China. We should work to achieve the greatest possible transparency and cooperation on nuclear force structure and doctrine. We should work hard to bring China in to line with the practices of the other four nuclear weapon states recognized in the Non-Proliferation Treaty. We should also work to see China move toward a moratorium on the production of additional fissile material.
John McCain Will Also Address Nuclear Testing. As president, John McCain will continue America's current moratorium on testing and begin a dialogue with our allies to identify ways we can move forward in limiting testing in a verifiable manner. This includes taking another look at the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty to see what can be done to overcome shortcomings that prevented it from entering into force.
John McCain Opposes The Development Of New Nuclear Weapons Unless Certain Specific Conditions Are Met. John McCain would only support the development of any new type of nuclear weapon that is 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 national security goals. John McCain will cancel all further work on the so-called Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator.
John McCain Will Work To Strengthen Existing International Treaties And Institutions To Combat Proliferation And Develop New Ones Where Necessary. The U.S. should move quickly to negotiate a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty and improve the ability to interdict the spread of nuclear weapons and material under the Proliferation Security Initiative. John McCain will increase funding for American nonproliferation efforts, including the Cooperative Threat Reduction programs established by the landmark Nunn-Lugar legislation.
Strengthen The Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT): As President, John McCain will work to strengthen and enhance the non-proliferation regime. We need to strengthen enforcement of the so-called "atoms for peace" bargain by insisting that countries that receive the benefits of peaceful nuclear cooperation must return or dismantle what they receive if they violate or withdraw from the NPT.
Increase IAEA Funding And Enhance The Intelligence Support It Receives: The UN Security Council should require that international transfers of sensitive nuclear technology be disclosed in advance, and further require that undisclosed transfers be deemed illicit and subject to interdiction. To enforce treaty obligations, IAEA member states must be willing to impose sanctions on nations that seek to withdraw from it.
John McCain Supports The U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Accord. This accord strengthens our relationship with the world's largest democracy and further involves India in the fight against proliferation. John McCain will actively engage both India and Pakistan to improve the security of their nuclear stockpiles and weapons materials.
To Prevent Countries From Using Civilian Nuclear Programs As A Cover For The Development Of Nuclear Weapons, John McCain Will Limit The Further Spread Of Enrichment And Reprocessing. John McCain supports international guarantees of nuclear fuel supply to countries that renounce enrichment and reprocessing. He also supports establishing international nuclear enrichment centers and an international repository for spent nuclear fuel.