The overwhelming case for no first use

By John P. Holdren, January 13, 2020

John Holdren John Holdren

The arguments in favor of the United States’ declaring that the only purpose of its nuclear weapons is to deter others who possess them from using theirs – in other words, that in no circumstances will this country use nuclear weapons first – are far stronger than the arguments against this stance. It must be hoped that the next US administration will take this no-first-use step promptly.

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David Ecklein

John Holdren’s state seems in essence an endorsement of the MAD doctrine that governed the late unlamented Cold War, where only two superpowers faced each other with nuclear weapons, unless you count France and UK. Now however, the proliferation cat is out of the bag, and many nations like Pakistan, India, China, DPRK, Israel and others either have nuclear weapons or will get them soon – for protection if not aggression. There are now two many moving parts to consider anything resembling MAD realistic. A mistake, accident, or misinterpretation could result in catastrophe – and Murphy’s Law holds: anything that… Read more »



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