The Threat Of Nuclear Weapons

Article by Norm Gottlieb

SeniorsCAN call upon the U.S. to unilaterally reduce its nuclear weapons and to work with other nations individually and collectively to reduce theirs and to stop any furhter development of such weapons.

Nuclear bombs may well be the ultimate weapon of mass destruction.  They threaten the very existence of life on earth as we know it.  Nuclear bombs have been used in the past and are now universally condemned.  The Cold War engendered an arms race and a stalemate of mutual assured destruction.  The use of nuclear weapons in war is virtually unthinkable, but even the very possession of these weapons poses a grave threat to all peoples.

The issue we should be adddressing now is that of safety and security.  Technological and system failures, deterioration, and human errors pose a significant threat of catastrophic accidents.  A nuclear incident could lead to nuclear escalation.  Terrorists or others bent on power or destruction also pose a threat.  Reducing the number of nuclear weapons will reduce these threats.

Robert McNamara, former U.S. Secretary of Defense, has stated that nuclear weapons are dangerous, immoral and unnecessary; that the combination of human fallibility with nuclear weapons leads to human destruction; and that the only way to eliminate the risk is to eliminate the weapons.  This should be the world’s ultimate goal.

Nuclear weapons have no military value-they are weapons of terror and genocide.  Each nation that possesses nuclear weapons does so for special interests.  The continuing nuclear weapons programs by nations and the stockpiling of such weapons is the result of an irrational arms race and display of power.  Israel does not want Iran to have the capacity to make even a single bomb for fear of annihilation. Iran and North Korea would possibly like to possess the weapon for deterrance or for diplomatic leverage.

We believe that the only way to manage this world-wide matter is to put it under the control of the United Nations.  The goal is the total ban on the possession of nuclear weapons.  What is needed now is a renewed pledge to adhere to the Nuclear Weapons Convention and a thoughtful orderly process to destroy existing stockpiles as soon as possible.  Transparency will lead the world toward enhanced security.

Norm Gottlieb


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