U.S. Policy Update for Thursday, 31 March 2016

5 things you should know about nuclear weapons

Nuclear Security Summit

30 March  2016 White House Press Call Previewing the Nuclear Security Summit  “In this summit schedule, which I will address in a little bit, we deal, in addition to nuclear security and nuclear energy, with our ongoing efforts to promotes nonproliferation, specifically a number of meetings that will focus on our efforts to promote denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and to lift up our successful efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons to Iran.

In addition, this year’s summit will include a special summit that will focus leaders on the threat of groups like ISIL, who have targeted urban areas across the globe.  ISIL clearly is an organization that poses a threat not just to individual countries, but to global security.  And having this many leaders together at once provides us an important opportunity, in the wake of the recent attacks in Brussels and other countries, to address how we can enhance our capabilities to work together to confront the threat posed by ISIL, both in the context of preventing the spread of nuclear materials and also with respect to enhancing our own counterterrorism activities.

Following the conclusion of the summit, the President will hold a press conference here in Washington.

We’ll stay in touch with everybody over the course of the two days, and we’ve also launched a website — NSS2016.org — which is the official website for the summit, which will have regular updates as well as a Twitter handle — @NSS2016.”

30 March 2016 5 things you should know about nuclear weapons   Think you learned everything you need to know about nuclear weapons from Hollywood? Think again. Nuclear doomsday thrillers might be entertaining, but they’re full of inaccuracies and exaggerate the threat. Here are five facts you won’t see in the movies:

  1. 80% of all nuclear weapons that have ever existed have been destroyed, but the hard part is ahead of us.
  2. Countries have given up nuclear weapons, but not by force.
  3. Nuclear power need not lead to nuclear weapons. But it can improve lives.
  4. For most of the world, nuclear weapons are already illegal.
  5. There are things you can do.

Read the full article on ShareAmerica.

Department of Defense

30 March 2016 DoD Preparing for Competitive, Demanding Future, Carter Says    he Defense Department’s future course is competitive and demanding of America’s leadership, values and the military’s edge, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said here yesterday at the World Affairs Council’s Annual Honors Global Education Gala.

“But in our overall approach and also in our budget … we’re taking the long view as well as the near-term view,” the secretary said. “We have to, because even as we fight today’s fights, we must also be prepared for what might come, 10, 20, 30 years down the road.”

As the gala’s keynote speaker, Carter addressed a broad group of defense leaders, wounded service members, educators, members of corporate and nonprofit organizations and ambassadors from more than 75 nations, including the United Kingdom, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Ukraine.


 The iconic Space Needle, at left, towers over Seattle's skyline while Mount Rainier peeks through the mist in the background, at right. (Shutterstock)
The iconic Space Needle, at left, towers over Seattle’s skyline while Mount Rainier peeks through the mist in the background, at right. (Shutterstock)

U.S. States – Washington

30 March 2016 Washington: Mountains, museums and high-tech innovation  Washington is in the Pacific Northwest and is known as the “Evergreen State” because of its lush forests. The state’s largest city, Seattle, is called the “Emerald City” for much the same reason — frequent rainfall makes the area verdant. But Seattle is perhaps most famous for its striking skyline, its high-tech companies and its plentiful coffee shops.

Outdoorsy types can explore Washington’s national parks, which include beaches, lakes and (mostly dormant) volcanoes. And this coastal state is a seafood lover’s paradise.

Take a ferry to the islands dotting Washington’s Puget Sound — where you’ll find art galleries and whale-watching opportunities. Also, throughout the state, there are cultural centers devoted to the region’s American Indian tribes, whose history is recorded in totem-pole carvings.