In a speech, Adm. Mike Mullen reiterated his support for the 'New START' agreement with Russia. Senior US military officials fear the nuclear weapons agreement is faltering in Congress.
The most important reason why the Senate should ratify the US-Russian new START agreement is that without it, America has no way to physically monitor Russia's nuclear forces.
If Obama fails to make good on his weekend vow to get Senate approval of the START nuclear arms control by January, Russia could turn toward China.
The foreign policy front, including the issues of trade and arms control, could present opportunities for Obama to boost his standing with the US electorate. But pitfalls and challenges also loom.
US Energy Secretary Steven Chu discusses his proposals to encourage the peaceful use of nuclear power at this year's International Atomic Energy Agency gathering in Vienna.
Nuclear arms control: The New START treaty still faces hurdles in gaining ratification by the full Senate, but the 14-4 vote Thursday in favor of the treaty in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee demonstrated cooperation from Republicans.
Russian Defense Minister Anatoyl Serdyukov comes to the Pentagon for the first time this week to meet with Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a former intelligence officer once skilled in the art of Kremlinology.
Senate ratification of the New START treaty on nuclear weapons could open the way to progress on several stalled strategic issues between the US and Russia, as well as between NATO and Russia.
President Obama is facing Republican opposition and midterm elections in his push to have the US-Russia Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty ratified before year's end.
Actually, there could be limited fallout from the Russian spies case, some international experts say. For the most part, however, the ball is in Russia's court now.