The Vanishing Bomb
WARSAW – The agreement by the American and Russian presidents to renew strategic arms reductions has revived hope for the global abolition of nuclear arms. The urgency can hardly be exaggerated: nuclear weapons may come into the possession of states that might use them, as well as of stateless terrorists – creating new threats of unimaginable proportion.
A noble dream just several years ago, the elimination of nuclear arms is no longer the idea only of populists and pacifists; it has now been adopted by professionals – politicians known for their realism and academics known for their sense of responsibility.
The invention of nuclear weapons – which served the goal of deterrence during the Cold War, when the world was divided into two opposing blocs – answered the needs and risks of the time. Security rested on a balance of fear, as reflected in the concept of mutually assured destruction.