The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Stop or START? — Shouldn’t we ban, rather than limit, nuclear weapons?

Shouldn’t we ban, rather than limit, nuclear weapons?

Stop or START? — Beyond Nuclear International

Does an arms reduction treaty matter when zero nuclear weapons is the only safe number?

By Linda Pentz Gunter

After writing an initial quick reaction piece about Russian president Vladimir Putin’s decision to suspend his country’s participation in the New START Treaty, there has been time for some logic to set in. In other words, I have thought more about this and something doesn’t add up.

What doesn’t make sense is the inherent contradiction of, on the one hand, condemning Putin’s decision to step back from the last treaty that limits the US and Russia’s nuclear weapons arsenals, but on the other, espousing a conviction that there can never be few enough nuclear weapons unless that number is zero.

Why does it matter, then, whether the two nuclear super powers agree to cap their arsenals at “only” 3,000 or so lethal nuclear missiles and warheads each? Given the utter destruction of planet Earth that these would cause if used, an escalation (or even a decrease) seems irrelevant.

Dr. Ira Helfand of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War put this case all too clearly in a February 22 appearance on Democracy Now! when he told host, Amy Goodman: “The New START treaty, while somewhat useful, is a very limited document and a very inadequate treaty. It still allows the United States and Russia to maintain — and they do — 3,100 strategic nuclear weapons, ranging in size from 100 kilotons to 800 kilotons. That is six to 50 times more powerful than the bombs which destroyed Hiroshima.”

It’s a treaty, Helfand said, that “allows both the United States and Russia to maintain arsenals which are capable of destroying modern civilization six times over.”

So is there any point to START, “New” or otherwise? Surely we need to stop the manufacture, possession, siting (including in other people’s countries), and especially the use of nuclear weapons and get rid of them altogether? And the only instrument equipped to do that is the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons……………………………….


February 25, 2023 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international, weapons and war

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: