Yes, every kind of weapon, if used against noncombatants, can violate the humanitarian laws of warfare. But nuclear detonations add a whole new scale to this problem. A single mushroom cloud, except under highly particular circumstances, will violate the humanitarian laws of warfare. And, if a single detonation triggers more detonations and all Hell breaks loose, even singular use cannot be justified. So, what are we to do with the approximately 16,000 nuclear weapons that currently exist?
The endgame of abolition provides only a placeholder answer to this question. Abolition is a long way off, and the pursuit of abolition is fundamentally a function of international and major-power relations. Only enlightened leadership and political accommodation allows for a process of nuclear subtraction to be realized.
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