The risk of an intentional nuclear war between Russia and the UnitedStates is much lower;
The threat of an accidental or unauthorized nuclear launch continues;
threat of a nuclear attack - deliberate or by mistake - has increasedsince India, Pakistan and North Korea developed their arsenal and sinceIran has embarked on its nuclear program; and
A terrorist nuclear attack is more likely because of the wide availability of nuclear weapons materials, the growing number of nuclear powers, andthe spread of nuclear technology and knowledge.These dangers are threats that every country faces, and no country can defeat onits own.We are in a race between cooperation and catastrophe.
The Vision of Ending this Threat to the World
With growing nuclear dangers and stakes in mind, George Shultz, Bill Perry,Henry Kissinger and I published an op-ed in January 2007 in
The Wall Street Journal
thatcalled for a different direction for our global nuclear policy with both vision and steps toimmediately begin to reduce nuclear dangers.The threats have changed. We need new strategies. We need to change directionto reduce reliance on nuclear weapons and ultimately end them as a threat to the world.The four of us, and the many other former security leaders who have joined us,are keenly aware that the quest for a nuclear weapons free world is fraught with practicaland political challenges. As
magazine wisely said in 2006: “By simplydemanding the goal of a world without nuclear weapons without a readiness to tackle the practical problems raised by it ensures that it will never happen.”I believe that one of the best ways to describe the threat – at least from my perspective – is to lay out a few of the imperative steps we must take to reduce the threat.We have taken aim at the “practical problems” by laying out a series of steps thatwe believe constitute the urgent new actions for reducing the nuclear dangers and laythe groundwork for building a world free of the nuclear threat.We must:
Change nuclear force postures in the United States and Russia to greatly increasewarning time and ease our fingers away from the nuclear trigger.
Reduce substantially nuclear forces in all states that possess them.3