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
Hans M. KristensenMatthew McKinzieTheodore A. Postol
The combination of a lack of Russian situational awareness, dangerously short warning times, high-readiness alert postures, and the increasing US strike capacity resulting from a new fuzing system for submarine-based nuclear missiles has created a deeply destabilizing and dangerous strategic nuclear situation.
A report that reflects discussion at the symposium, “The Fierce Urgency of Nuclear Zero: Changing the Discourse,” held in Santa Barbara, California, on October 24-25, 2016. The symposium was sponsored and organized by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.
Israel is absorbed with a “submarine scandal” that centers on improprieties in the award of a billion-dollar contract under which Israel would acquire three new advanced German submarines. But the real scandal is that Germany supplies the submarines at all, and does so through a loophole in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Everyone who pays attention to the subject understands that the submarines are built to carry long-range Israeli cruise missiles armed with nuclear weapons.
Donald Trump’s presidential election victory raises many international security questions, including critically the future of a US ballistic missile shield in Europe, an effort long opposed by someone with whom Trump wishes to build a new relationship—Russian President Vladimir Putin.
It would be extremely unwise of Barack Obama to proclaim a nuclear no-first-use policy. Xi Jinping would construe it as a sign of US military decline and an invitation to further contest US political and military supremacy in the Asia-Pacific.
The author argues that if the world is ever to be free of nuclear weapons, it is time to start addressing missile nonproliferation and nuclear disarmament as two inseparable elements of the same agenda.
Probing the 2016 presidential candidates’ records on nuclear weapons makes for some interesting reading and could foretell US nuclear policies to come, yet the subject still deserves far more attention between now and November.
The difference between past nonproliferation failures and the current Iran agreement is made clear by the record of nuclear diplomacy involving four countries that did not sign the NPT or withdrew from it: Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea.
The legacy of democratic determination is a gift from the Manhattan Project scientists’ habit of openness and their faith in democratic action. This is a legacy worth cherishing and deepening as we seek a world free of nuclear weapons.