Rebutting the Standard Arguments against Disarmament

Rebutting the Standard Arguments against Disarmame
Op-Ed Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Those opposed to ridding the world of nuclear weapons have a tendency of setting up and knocking down the same old straw men, argue George Perkovich and James. M Acton. If disarmament advocates want to improve the debate, they need to stress that the US would not disarm unilaterally or leave its allies in the lurch.
Related Media and Tools

In any debate, there is a tendency to set up and knock down straw men. The emerging debate about whether the United States should work toward abolishing nuclear weapons is no different.

Certainly, there is much room for serious disagreement about whether a nuclear-weapon-free world is achievable or even worthwhile. In fact, such discussion is welcomed. Unfortunately, opponents of abolishing nuclear weapons tend to make their case by rebutting a selection of five weak arguments that the growing bipartisan movement of nuclear zero supporters led by realists such as Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, Bill Perry and Sam Nunn rarely use. In the interest of improving the quality of the debate in future, here's how disarmament proponents should respond to the "fatuous five":

Read the full article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

End of document

About the Nuclear Policy Program

The Carnegie Nuclear Policy Program is an internationally acclaimed source of expertise and policy thinking on nuclear industry, nonproliferation, security, and disarmament. Its multinational staff stays at the forefront of nuclear policy issues in the United States, Russia, China, Northeast Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East.


Stay in the Know

Enter your email address to receive the latest Carnegie analysis in your inbox!

Personal Information
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
1779 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20036-2103 Phone: 202 483 7600 Fax: 202 483 1840
Please note...

You are leaving the website for the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy and entering a website for another of Carnegie's global centers.