Courtesy Reuters

Bruce Blair, Matt Brown, and Richard Burt

In their ringing defense of classical nuclear deterrence ("Less Than Zero," January/February 2011), Josef Joffe and James Davis see nuclear weapons not as a problem but as a solution. We profoundly disagree. Nuclear weapons represent a global threat that is orders of magnitude greater than any other. The danger has increased as these weapons have spread to weak and fragile states, and they could eventually fall into the hands of terrorists.

The Global Zero movement, which we coordinate, calls for the phased and verified elimination of all nuclear weapons worldwide and is spearheaded by more than 300 international leaders, including current and former heads of state, national security officials, and military commanders. It does not discount the real or perceived benefits of nuclear weapons that existed during the Cold War, but it argues that the growing dangers of nuclear proliferation and terrorism have come to greatly outweigh those dissipating benefits. That is why Global Zero calls for eliminating all existing nuclear arsenals and building stronger barriers against the acquisition of nuclear weapons and the materials to build them.

Global Zero does not underestimate the difficulty of reversing proliferation. Our critics,

This article is part of our premium archives.

To continue reading and get full access to our entire archive, you must subscribe.