Paul Castleman Fellow Erin Connolly wrote for the Berkley Forum about the need to shift the nuclear narrative away from deterrence and toward disarmament.
“Recent efforts to highlight the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons around the seventy-fifth anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki offered an alternative perspective to the traditional narrative that nuclear weapons ended World War Two, saved countless lives, and created a stable deterrence system. The divergent perspectives expose the tension between disarmament and deterrence in nuclear policy.
The nuclear narrative defaults to deterrence, which creates a system predicated on the existence of nuclear weapons for peace; this leaves little room for weapons reduction. The deterrence narrative is deeply engrained in policy, dialogue, and the public perception of how to maintain security. Governments, like that of the United States, actively work to cement the theory of deterrence as it conveniently supports power projection and defense spending. U.S. Strategic Command even started “Myth Monday” on Twitter to corroborate the theory, much to the chagrin of many arms control experts.” Read more