With 16,000 of the world's 17,000 nuclear bombs in the U.S. and Russia, the U.S. should certainly not be fanning the fires for a new cold war after the distressing events in Crimea and the Ukraine.
The ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the negotiation of a Fissile Materials Treaty, both of which the Obama administration favors, have been held up, one by the U.S. Senate, the other by another country.
Behind the current impasse over five tiny specks of land in the East China Sea is an influential right-wing movement in Japan.
Nuclear weapons have not been used in warfare since Hiroshima and Nagasaki - but such good fortune may not last forever.
Speaking in Prague a year ago, President Obama proclaimed "America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons."
Much rests on next month's review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty - in particular, the obligation of all signers to achieve complete nuclear disarmament.
There is substantial symbolism in this week's visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the United States.