For Whom Should America Fight a Nuclear War? by Doug Bandow

It should be a very short list. From Doug Bandow at

America’s continued post-Cold War commitment to extended deterrence risks losing U.S. cities to other nations’ fights.

Most Americans are horrified by the prospect of nuclear war. Yet during his recent summits with the leaders of South Korea and Japan, President Joe Biden reaffirmed Washington’s willingness to use nuclear weapons to defend both nations. Even though the U.S. risks nuclear attack in return.

“Total” conventional war is horrific. Nuclear weapons greatly magnify the threat. The U.S. and Russia could destroy each other and the rest of the planet. The realization of how close Washington and Moscow came to nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis fuels present efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons. However, mankind has opened Pandora’s Box and the deadly knowledge is out.

Thankfully, none of the other nuclear powers—including Russia, China, and even North Korea—have any reason to target America by itself. Their sometimes-serious disputes with the U.S. still are not important enough to trigger nuclear conflict. A much greater danger exists, however, because of Washington’s commitment to often nonessential, always cheap-riding, and sometimes reckless allies.

The principal defense against nuclear weapons, given the difficulty in preventing their use, is deterrence. Attack me and I will destroy you in return. This mutually assured destruction is unsatisfactory, since the failure of deterrence leaves both sides devastated and dead. Horror at this possibility led Ronald Reagan to advance the Strategic Defense Initiative. Alas, the likelihood of thwarting a determined attack by even a medium-size nuclear power is slight, at least in the near term.

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One response to “For Whom Should America Fight a Nuclear War? by Doug Bandow

  1. can we just “lose”
    San Franciso

    That would pretty much fix the problem.

    In Minecraft


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