Magazine April 19, 2010, Issue

Disarmament Danger

The nuclear-zero initiative evinces no appreciation of Churchill’s warning. (National Portrait Gallery/KRT)
‘Nuclear zero’ would make the United States and the world less safe

The Obama administration has placed nuclear disarmament at the top of its foreign-policy agenda. Other possible goals, such as modernizing U.S. nuclear forces for deterrence purposes, are now considered either transitory or subordinate to taking steps toward “nuclear zero.” In itself, banning nuclear weapons is not a new U.S. goal; Ronald Reagan also supported it. But this prioritization is unprecedented.

In the past, Republican and Democratic administrations have maintained a balance between the parallel goals of modernizing U.S. nuclear programs for deterrence and pursuing nuclear-arms reductions when feasible. This balancing act can be seen in the Clinton administration’s policy of “lead

Keith B. PayneMr. Payne is head of the department of defense and strategic studies at Missouri State University and a member of the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States. His is the author of The Great American Gamble:  Deterrence Theory and Practice From the Cold War to the 21st Century.

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Letters

Letters

Finding Hassett’s premise unsatisfactory regarding racial differences in layoff rates.
The Week

The Week

During the eight years of George W. Bush, we heard constantly that dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

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