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Deterring Conflict, Getting to Zero

Gigi Kwik Gronvall
Date posted:
March 27, 2015
Publication type:

Bull At Sci 27 Mar 2015

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For this second round of commentary, I focus on the grave risks of relying on nuclear weapons as a deterrent, and what is actually being done—and could be done—about those risks. While it can be imagined that a “safer” weapon could be switched out for nuclear weapons in our strategy of deterrence, in practice this will not happen. The myriad challenges of reducing nuclear weapons numbers across the globe would remain. In any case, governments need to do something to diminish the potential for armed nuclear conflict, for accidental launch, and for the increasing likelihood of nuclear-armed terrorist groups, which threatens to upend the strategic balance between nuclear armed and protected nations in ways that cannot be deterred. Adding another weapon of mass destruction to the mix does nothing to decrease this strategic risk.



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