Stimson in the News

THE NUCLEAR FIRST — AND SECOND — USE DILEMMA by Michael Krepon

in Program

We are rightly focused on the consequences of having hard-to-imagine destructive force at the voice command and finger-tweeting powers of any single individual. This circumstance is impossibly absurd. We’ve always known this, and now we understand it all too well.

Legislation has been proposed by Congressman Adam SmithTed Lieu, Senator Ed Markey and others to have other responsible figures engaged in the most consequential, time-constrained decision making that any human being could possibly face. Requiring the addition of two more individuals to the decision-making process for the first use of nuclear weapons ought to be an easy sell. It’s essential in my view  and in the view of Richard Betts and Matthew Waxman,  Bruce Blair and others. This isn’t a partisan issue. Nor is it a deterrence issue; we’re talking, after all, about first use, not about retaliation. It’s an issue that begs us to apply plain and simple common sense.

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