By Mark Fitzpatrick, Alexander Nikitin, Sergey Oznobishchev
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Here in California we still have levees that were built a hundred years ago. These levees are an imminent threat to the wellbeing of this state and its people. It would be only a matter of time before a disaster strikes. But we’re not waiting until such a disaster. We in California have taken action to protect our people and our economy from devastation. Neither can this nation nor the world wait to act until there is a nuclear disaster. I am so thankful for the work of George, Bill Perry, Henry Kissinger Sam Nunn, Max Kampelman, Sid Drell and so many of you at this conference.
This undefined term has been in use for many years and generally refers to the minimum level of nuclear weapons that could still deter. Clearly what that level might be is dependent upon specific scenarios and the psychology and goals of those being deterred, but it is obviously far below current levels, or even those established by the Moscow Treaty. Anyone who has accepted the line of reasoning earlier in this paper will object that there will always be bad people and outlaw nations and groups that refuse to abide by international norms, and they must somehow be deterred.
Unfortunately, this led to levels and policies that were far beyond what was needed and were inconsistent with Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Although this process did achieve its primary goal—the prevention of nuclear war—we were lucky to survive the process. Our task now should be to reduce nuclear weapons to very low levels, relying increasingly upon collective conventional forces for deterrence, gradually pushing nuclear deterrence into the background as a last resort. If this sounds like the New World Order, it probably is.