The administration has patted itself on the back for identifying nuclear terrorism as a major threat and Obama went so far as to claim that the risk of a nuclear terror attack “has gone up.” As a straining-to-be sympathetic reporter put it: “Coming from Dick Cheney, words like that had a way of sounding like a scare tactic. Coming from Obama, they are genuinely scary.” What the reporter didn’t say, is that for nearly eight years critics have complained that the Bush-Cheney administration took the threat of nuclear terrorism too seriously (see the One Percent Doctrine). There is even a cottage industry devoted to pooh-poohing (see here and here) the entire matter as hype. Perhaps that industry will now direct its fire at Obama or perhaps it will find itself suddenly able to split the hair between a “scare tactic” and “genuinely scary.”
–Peter Feaver on the nuclear summit that took place this past week.