‘Old Think’ Is Driving U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy
Cutting drastically the number of U.S. nuclear weapons should not depend on Russian or Chinese assent and could and should be considered now.
In testimony before the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, he put a finer point on this view: “The retaliatory capability of 300 nuclear weapons on anybody’s territory is catastrophic—catastrophic.”
It is well past time to move past the Old Think on how we think about nuclear weapons. Proceeding to zero nuclear weapons is an aspirational goal for the future and requires several countries to move simultaneously; however, cutting drastically the number of U.S. nuclear weapons should not depend on Russian or Chinese assent and could and should be considered now.
The 1945 nuclear bombs dropped on Japan changed the world. It’s time the military and politicians changed the Old Think.
John Isaacs is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, where he has worked on nuclear and national security issues since 1978.