Is There Future Utility in Nuclear Weapons Nuclear Weapons Save Lives
AIR WAR COLL MAXWELL AFB AL MAXWELL AFB United States
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The debate over the future of nuclear weapons has become more prominent each year since the end of the Cold War. The United States leadership is faced with a decision regarding the future of the nuclear weapons program in the face of worldwide proliferation concerns and threats. There are many cogent arguments for disarmament of the nuclear arsenal, specifically focused on cost, international instability and proliferation concerns, the potential for nuclear terrorism, and the credibility of the American deterrent. Those concerns, however, do not overmatch the future requirement of a nuclear deterrent. Nuclear weapons are a cost effective wedge against existential threats facing the United States from Russia and China, as well as a proven deterrent against large-scale great power war, which has been avoided worldwide since the Atomic Age began. The United States must continue to resource the nuclear deterrent and communicate a posture that ensures allies and deters potential adversaries. The threat remains, and the United States must maintain its leadership position to ensure international stability.