No to no first use—for now

By James N. Miller, January 13, 2020

James N. Miller James N. Miller

Today, US policy is to consider the first use of nuclear weapons only in “extreme circumstances,” and only against adversaries who have nuclear weapons or are not in compliance with their Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) obligations. The United States should continue to work to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in its national security strategy with a long-term aim of shifting to a no-first-use policy; the question should not be whether, but under what conditions to make such a shift. While the conditions are not ripe today, working to establish them is a valuable goal.

As the coronavirus crisis shows, we need science now more than ever.

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