The Doomsday Clock is an internationally recognized design that conveys how close we are to destroying our civilization with dangerous technologies of our own making. First and foremost among these are nuclear weapons, but the dangers include climate-changing technologies, emerging... Read More
The author argues that viewpoints on nuclear policy, including on missile defense, can only be grounded deeply in theory. But one’s attitude toward these theoretical approaches, and their conclusions about missile defense, will inevitably be influenced by one’s national allegiances.
The author argues that the Obama administration’s refusal to accept limits on missile defense makes it impossible to achieve nuclear goals such as maintaining strategic stability and pursuing disarmament.
As of mid-2014, the authors estimate that there are approximately 16,300 nuclear weapons located at some 98 sites in 14 countries. Roughly 10,000 of these weapons are in military arsenals; the remaining weapons are retired and awaiting dismantlement.
If they participate in military cyberoperations—intentionally or not—could employees at Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, and many other tech firms be considered “civilians directly participating in hostilities” and therefore legitimate targets of war?
The author argues that reducing nuclear arsenals to the point that they represent only a minimum deterrent might be a useful interim step for disarmament, but complete abolition must remain the eventual goal.
Moving past the Ukraine crisis will require a mindset rare among national leaders. It is a mindset capable of seeing connections, patterns, and dynamic systems, one with a sightline extending into the future beyond the next political election, and into the past as seen by others who experienced it.