Why Nuclear Weapons Must Be Eliminated
Policy Briefs

Why Nuclear Weapons Must Be Eliminated

APLN Policy Brief 2

The following is a summary. Click on the adjacent link to download the full brief.

The arguments against nuclear weapons – humanitarian, strategic and financial – need constant restating. The core humanitarian arguments are straightforward: nuclear weapons are morally and environmentally indefensible challenges to our common humanity. The strategic arguments require fuller discussion because deterrence thinking is so entrenched: in essence, they are that reliance on nuclear weapons to deter attack is misplaced, any deterrent utility they may have is in any event outweighed by the huge risks associated with their retention, and retention by any state is an encouragement to proliferation by others. The financial arguments are simply that nuclear weapons are an indefensibly costly misallocation of resources. Having these arguments understood and accepted by policymakers may not be a sufficient condition for achieving nuclear disarmament – many technical, psychological and geopolitical obstacles will remain – but it is a necessary one.

About the Authors

Gareth Evans was formerly Foreign Minister of Australia (1988–96) and President of the International Crisis Group (2000–09). He co-chaired the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (2008–10), and is currently Chancellor of The Australian National University, Convenor of the APLN, and Chair of the International Advisory Board of the CNND.

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