Your online guide to the intense debate over no first use

By | August 31, 2016

Recent reports suggest that President Obama is considering altering longstanding US nuclear policy by making a “no-first-use” declaration. Is this stabilizing or destabilizing?  Does the current policy address current threats, or outdated ones?

We’ve assembled some of our best writing on the subject—some recent, some from the archives. In a world in which every major nuclear state is modernizing its nuclear arsenal, your informed opinion about the US nuclear posture is important.  

Rethink oldthink on no first use, by Kingston Reif and Daryl Kimball.

Why Obama should declare a no-first-use policy for nuclear weapons, by Ramesh Thakur

The dangers of no-first-use, by Franklin C. Miller and Keith B. Payne

Declaring a no-first-use policy would be exceedingly risky, by Gordon G. Chang

Related Reading:

What if you don’t trust the president whose finger is over the nuclear button? by Louis René Beres

China’s nuclear submarines: The end of “No First Use”? by Richard Woolgar-James

No nukes? No–no first use, by Sinan Ulgan (Umlaut over the “U”)

Would the United States ever actually use nuclear weapons? by Kingston Reif

WMD no first use in the Middle East: A way to move forward in 2012? by David Friedman, Emily B. Landau, Ephraim Asculai, Tamar Malz-Ginzburg, and Yair Evron

From the John A. Simpson Archive:
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No First Use: The way to contain nuclear war in South Asia, by Lawrence J. Korb and Alexander Rothman. March 2012

No first use: having it both ways, by Scott Plous, January 1986

No first use: a history, by Lawrence D. Weiler, February 1983

How No First use can work, by Peter D. Zimmerman and G. Allen Greb, December 1983

No first use: a view from Europe, by Michael Carver, March 1983

No first use: a view from the United States, by Eric C. Ravenal, April 1983

‘No First Use’ needs careful study, by McGeorge Bundy, June/July 1982

Let’s agree—no first use! by Bernard Feld, May 1980

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