Daalder and Lodal oct. 25.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Political Science
Justin Bumgardner

thDaalderandLodal2008October25The logic of zero toward a world without nuclear weaponsfour major steps each difficult but feasible First Washington must establish as official policy the limited purpose of US nuclear forces to prevent the use of nuclear weapons by others Other purposes are no longer realistic or necessary for the United States Second given this limited purpose of its nuclear weapons the United States should reduce its nuclear arsenal to no more than 1000 total weapons This would be more than enough to convince anyone that the United States possesses the capacity to respond to any use of nuclear weapons with devastating effect Third the United States must work to put in place a comprehensive international nuclearcontrol regime that goes well beyond the present nonproliferation regimes accounting and monitoring of nuclear materials It must include all fissile materials and provide an airtight verification system to enable the world to move from thousands of nuclear weapons to hundreds to tens and ultimately to zeroFinally Washington must launch a vigorous diplomatic effort to convince the world of the logic of zeroand of the benefits of taking the difficult steps necessary to get there This effort should start with its closest and most important allies then include other nonnuclear states who have long called for such an initiative and ultimately encompass all nuclear states US leadership of this international effort will be crucial And a willingness to act boldly to reduce its own reliance on nuclear weapons and drastically cut its own arsenal can give Washington the credibility necessary to succeedBush ordered the unilateral elimination of 5000 shortrange nuclear weapons deployed in Europe and Asia and aboard the US Navys surface fleetdrastically cut back the number and readiness of USbased strategic weapons including taking all bombers off alert Soviet and then Russian leaders committed to matching these reductions and Moscow and Washington agreed to negotiate further drastic cuts in strategic weaponsClintoncame into office the stage had been set for a fundamental rethinking of US nuclear policy The means to that end was supposed to be the toptobottom Nuclear Posture Review Unfortunately the review proved a disappointment Although further reductions in US strategic forces were possible the Pentagon concluded that the United States needed to maintain a huge number of nondeployed weapons as a hedge against the possibility of political and strategic reversals in Russia Moreover rather than further limiting the declared purpose of nuclear weapons the Clinton administration expanded it by stating explicitly for the first time that US nuclear weapons would be used to deter or respond to chemical or biological attacks on the United States or its alliesG Bush 2000His administration abandoned the decadeslong effort to maintain a firewall between nuclear and conventional weapons It reconceptualized the nuclear triad that had long distinguished between the ground air and seabased legs of the strategic force so that it now consisted of nuclear and conventional offensive strike systems defensive systems and a revitalized defense infrastructure To support the offensive leg the administration sought to develop new types of nuclear weapons to target deeply buried sites and reduce collateral damage And although it committed to reducing US strategic forces to 17002200 operationally deployed weapons the Bush administration also argued that the United States needed to retain a reserve force of many thousands more nuclear weaponsTHE UNITED STATES MUST LEAD
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