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Letters - August 26, 2011
I think it is fair to assume that most rational people would rather that nuclear weapons somehow be “un-invented” and cease to exist. The reality of the matter though, is that can’t really happen. The page 8 interview with former sub commander Tom Rogers unfairly omits the harsh truth that our remaining weapons do indeed provide a deterrent, one which is needed until such time as the world can be rid of the technology.
Many countries, led by the United States, have been working since the mid-60s to reduce the numbers of weapons in existence. The US currently has only one third the number of weapons that we had in the early 1960’s, and that number continues to improve. Meanwhile, hostile regimes such as Iran continue their efforts to achieve nuclear capability. We can’t assume that people like that will simply abide by some international rules on “playing nice” once they have that capability.
It’s fine to keep the discussion alive, but it’s not completely honest to ignore the effort and real progress that has been made in the past 50 years by many good people. It’s also naïve to assume that if we unilaterally give up our deterrent that everyone else will choose to do the same.