A nuclear-test-free zone in the Middle East would be a realistic and practical way to lower regional tensions.
Preventing the civilian nuclear fuel cycle from contributing to proliferation is an integral part of the disarmament challenge. The nuclear industry should participate positively in efforts to advance nonproliferation tools rather than seek to distance itself from this challenge.
It is difficult to predict how public opinion will affect disarmament dynamics. However, it could act as a brake on disarmament progress rather than as an accelerator.
Neither Australia nor Japan speaks for the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, but as co-chairs of the Commission their goals complement the Obama administration's Nuclear Posture Review in more ways than one.
While Israel is likely sympathetic to the idea of achieving a world without nuclear weapons, it remains agnostic about the prospects of a nuclear-free world and realistic about the complicated process.
Insisting on the establishment a Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone in the Middle East is unrealistic and creates counterproductive expectations. A Nuclear-Test-Free Zone, however, would be a step in the right direction.
Ultimately, the challenge of enforcement is more difficult and important than the process of verification for securing a world without nuclear weapons.
The prospect of enforcing a ban on the possession or use of nuclear weapons would require addressing similar difficulties to those faced in abolishing nuclear weapons entirely.
Governments should commission their defense research institutions to assess whether and how multilateral nuclear disarmament could be managed in nuclear-armed states to reach lower numbers.
While some have taken to calling President Obama a realist, his goal of global nuclear disarmament is nothing if not idealistic.