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The Case for No First Use

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The forthcoming US Nuclear Posture Review should broaden the traditional focus of such policy reviews on deterrence requirements and include a thorough analysis of how US nuclear declaratory policy influences the likelihood of nuclear proliferation, the consequences of proliferation, and perceptions of the illegitimacy of nuclear terrorism. Such a broader frame of analysis leads to the conclusion that it would be in the US national interest to adopt a no-first-use declaratory policy, stating clearly that 'the role of U.S. nuclear weapons is to deter nuclear weapons use by other nuclear weapons states against the United States, our allies, and our armed forces, and to be able respond, with an appropriate range of second-strike nuclear retaliation options, if necessary, in the event that deterrence fails'.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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