Yesterday Paul Mirengoff wrote here about Obama nuclear policy advisor Joseph Cirincione. Paul’s post was based on Gabriel Schoenfeld’s discussion of “Obama’s radioactive potato.” Cirincione has now responded to Schoenfeld:
I am not a top advisor to Senator Obama. I have never met the Senator. I have written occasional memos to his campaign and publicly endorsed his candidacy, but I am afraid there is no way I could be considered Barack Obamas top expert on matters nuclear.
With all due respect to Joseph Cirincione, I stand by my claim that he serves as Senator Obamas top adviser on matters nuclear and I am astonished that he would deny it.
In a March 12, 2008 article in the New Republic by Michelle Cottle in which he was extensively quoted, Cottle wrote that Cirincione agreed last spring to advise the candidate on non-proliferation.
If that statement is true, and I see no evidence that Cirincione has disputed it, then he is their adviser on nuclear proliferation, and indeed their top adviser unless he can point to a more senior nuclear expert advising the campaign.
Cirincione has been widely identified as an Obama adviser all over the blogsphere by publications spanning the political spectrum, from National Review to the Weekly Standard to the DailyKos, where he was even given the title Informal National Security Adviser. I did not find a disavowal from Cirincione in the comments section of that web document.
Stephen Zunes, chairman of the program in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of San Francisco, writing in Foreign Policy in Focus, described Cirincione as a key Obama adviser. Once again, I did not find a disavowal from Cirincione in the comments section of that web document.
Will the real top Obama nuclear advisor please stand up.
(See Schoenfeld’s post for the links.) Perhaps nuclear policy is another one of those areas, like foreign policy, in which Obama esteems his own expertise sufficiently to dispense with the need for an adviser.