The election of Barack Obama has brought a new spirit of hope to the United States and the world. We now have the opportunity to chart a new course for US foreign policy and provide leadership to restore peace under international law, promote justice and reestablish America’s credibility in the world. Our time demands such leadership from the United States, which could be demonstrated by taking the following ten steps:

1. Commit to US leadership to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons. Enter into negotiations with the Russians and then the other seven nuclear weapons states to create a new treaty for the phased, verifiable, irreversible and transparent elimination of nuclear weapons.

2. End the war in Iraq, withdraw American troops, close US military bases in Iraq and provide reparations to the people of Iraq for the damage we have caused there.

3. Pursue and bring to justice the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks, using police and intelligence to address counterterrorism, and cease the US war against the Taliban.

4. Close Guantanamo, bring the prisoners to trial in US courts or release them, and provide assurances that the US will never again be a party to torture.

5. Increase the US role in brokering peace in areas of conflict, particularly the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

6. Reduce the military budget by 25 to 50 percent, eliminating wasteful and unneeded military expenditures, and reducing our foreign military bases and our global naval presence; and apply the savings to meeting human needs and revitalizing our economy.

7. Cease US plans to put weapon systems in outer space, and join Russia and China in a treaty prohibiting the weaponization of outer space.

8. Pledge US respect for the United Nations Charter and international law, including fulfilling the noble goals of the Charter of ending “the scourge of war” and formulating plans for “the establishment of a system for the regulation of armaments.”

9. Re-sign the Rome Treaty establishing the International Criminal Court and give full US support to holding individuals accountable under international law for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

10. Establish a Department of Peace with a cabinet level Secretary of Peace, so that peace has a permanent place at the table in the councils of government.

We have the opportunity to change our country and the world. Now is the time to seize the moment.

David Krieger is President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation ( and is a councilor on the World Future Council.