Nuclear deterrence is the existential threat, not the nuclear ban treaty January 22, 2024

Activists holding up signs spelling out "ban nuclear bombs".
Photo: ICAN

Ivana Nikolić Hughes; Xanthe Hall; Ira Helfand, MD, PSR Past President; Mays Smithwick | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Nuclear deterrence is a myth. Nuclear deterrence involves a nation state maintaining a believable threat of retaliation to deter an adversary’s attack. This relies on demonstrations of the readiness and the capacity to use nuclear weapons—a highly dangerous form of bluff which, in turn, makes those targeted increase their hardware and rhetoric. We are currently witnessing this kind of escalation among several nuclear weapon possessor states, which could result in nuclear war.

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