Friday, October 31st, 2014

The Obameter

Appoint a White House Coordinator for Nuclear Security

Obama "will appoint a deputy national security advisor to be in charge of coordinating all U.S. programs aimed at reducing the risk of nuclear terrorism and weapons proliferation. This person will work closely with him, the national security adviser, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, and senior officials of the relevant cabinet departments, and will have budgetary oversight over all programs related to nuclear security."

Updates

White House nuclear security coordinator was installed in January

During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama said he would "appoint a deputy national security adviser to be in charge of coordinating all U.S. programs aimed at reducing the risk of nuclear terrorism and weapons proliferation. This person will work closely with him, the national security adviser, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, and senior officials of the relevant Cabinet departments, and will have budgetary oversight over all programs related to nuclear security."

We're a bit late in rating this one, as Gary Samore was installed as National Security Council coordinator for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation within a few days of Obama's Jan. 20, 2009, inauguration.

Samore, a veteran nonproliferation hand, worked for the National Security Council under President Bill Cliinton from 1996 to 2000 and later was a vice president at the Council on Foreign Relations, a nonpartisan think tank focusing on foreign policy.

The post of coordinator for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation -- recommended by the 9/11 Commission report -- was never filled by President George W. Bush. Obama's decision to fill it was regarded in foreign policy circles as a move that gave the issue higher visibility within the administration. Many of the administration's thorniest foreign policy challenges -- including relations with Iran, Pakistan and North Korea -- involve issues of nuclear proliferation.

We belatedly rate this a Promise Kept.

Sources:

The White House, transcript of press briefing by Gary Samore and other administration officials on the president's meeting with Russian President Medvedev, Sept. 23, 2009

FoxNews.com, " Gary Samore Tapped for Weapons of Mass Destruction 'Czar ,'" Jan. 29, 2009