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The Day After

Nov 05, 2008
Let us hope today, which we are writing about on October 25, is not as horrific an aftermath as that depicted in the TV film “The Day After” 25 years ago.1

We have lived under the threat of nuclear annihilation our entire life. How can this world continue to tolerate the anxiety and the threat of these weapons? Some signs point to the possibility that it cannot and will not continue to tolerate them. Most leaders of nuclear nations have expressed interest in reducing the world’s arsenal of nuclear weapons, and the U.S. is actively reducing our own.2 Nevertheless, much remains to be done to move efforts along aimed at zero nuclear weapons in a world where the global development of nuclear power for peaceful purposes is set to expand significantly in the next generation.

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has produced a reported entitled Abolishing Nuclear Weapons: Why the United States Should Lead, by George Perkovich. Billed as “Foreign Policy for the Next President,” it sets out “four security interests that would be served by making the long-term project of abolishing nuclear weapons a central purpose of U.S. policy:

  • Preventing proliferation
  • Preventing nuclear terrorism
  • Reducing towards zero the unique threat of nuclear annihilation
  • Fostering optimism regarding U.S. global leadership
Should America one day return to rational governance, these goals could be met. The Carnegie report bears reading in order to understand the difficulties the country faces—internally and externally—in pursuing these goals.

Difficult or not, it is the ultimate responsibility of the nation that brought nuclear weapons into the world to see that they are ultimately removed.
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1 The Day After (1983) (TV), from IMDB (Accessed October 25, 2008)
2 United States Reducing Nuclear Weapons at an Extraordinary Pace, by Jacquelyn S. Port, from America.gov, April 25, 2008 (Accessed October 25, 2008)
tags: Militarism | Nuclear | Politics

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