The Morality Of Nuclear Deterrence

The humanitarian consequences of using nuclear weapons are now central to the debate about their future, owing to the efforts of a new global movement. Just within the last few weeks, Pope Francis has called for complete nuclear disarmament on ethical grounds and the new leader of Britain’s Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, has said that, as prime minister, he would never authorize nuclear use. Join us for a discussion about the morality of the possession and use of nuclear weapons. Is there indeed a contradiction between the strategic goals of nuclear deterrence and its moral dimension? Could the use of nuclear weapons ever be justified? And do humanitarian considerations have any implications for states’ nuclear posture or employment policies?

This was a joint event with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

What: A panel discussion on the humanitarian consequences of using nuclear weapons, and the morality of nuclear deterrence.


George Perkovich, Vice President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Michael Krepon, Co-founder and Senior Associate, Stimson Center

Thomas Moore, Independent Consultant

Elbridge Colby, Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow, Center for a New American Security

Drew Christiansen, Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Global Development, Georgetown University

Moderated by:

James M. Acton, Co-Director of the Carnegie Endowment’s Nuclear Policy Program.

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