Thinking about Hiroshima 40

 In a Front Page article here, the author argues that in a world of nuclear proliferation it is necessary for the US to maintain its nuclear capability.  But is the US doing so? 

The 63rd anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima is a time to think realistically about this. 

Like it or not, the truth is that we cannot rid the world of nuclear arms. But we can eliminate ours. And the dirty little secret is that we are well on the way to doing just that – unbeknownst to most Americans who would rightly be appalled at the prospect.

Thanks to 16 years of inattention, purposeful neglect and willful unilateral disarmament measures under both Republican and Democratic administrations, the United States’ nuclear arsenal is steadily obsolescing, becoming evermore problematic to maintain and increasingly losing its deterrent credibility. We alone among nuclear powers – declared and undeclared – are going out of the business by failing properly to preserve, let alone modernize, our aging stockpile.

The 63rd anniversary of the destruction of Hiroshima should serve as an opportunity for urgent stock-taking. We can persist in the pretense that our inexorable, solo denuclearization is of no strategic consequence by pretending to rid the world of all nuclear arms.

Or we can recognize reality: A world without effective, safe, reliable and credible U.S. nuclear weapons will not be one in which there will be no more Hiroshimas. It will, instead, be one in which others can continue to inflict such destruction on us. And the contribution our deterrent has made to world peace – to say nothing of the security and freedom of this country and its allies (including post-war Japan) – will be no more.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, August 6, 2008

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