Are you alarmed at Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons? The U.S. has been threatening exactly that for decades!

American politicians, mainstream media, and most Americans are alarmed that Putin — during his illegal war in Ukraine — has said he might launch nuclear weapons.

The world should be EQUALLY ALARMED that the U.S. has been threatening to launch nuclear weapons since the 1940s (and we actually did drop atomic bombs on two civilian cities in Japan in August 1945.  For decades the U.S. has maintained a “first-strike” policy – the willingness and intention to start a nuclear war.

Since the late 1960s the U.S. has been designing and building nuclear weapons NOT to retaliate against an attack, but rather specifically to be used to start a nuclear warThe nuclear weapons the U.S. has been designing, building and deploying since the 1960s have been specifically to carry out our “first-strike” policy of starting a nuclear war!

For more than half a century the U.S. has designing, building, and deploying missiles that are so extremely precise that they can destroy another nation’s missiles while they are still in their silos, before they can launch them.  This makes frightening real the U.S.’s “first-strike” policy.

Some people think deterrence has worked because we have not used nuclear weapons since 1945.  Actually the U.S. has used them by always keeping our nuclear weapons ready to attack in an instant, and also by repeatedly threatening to attack certain other nations (especially nations that do not have nuclear weapons of their own) on many occasions.  This is “using” nuclear weapons in the same way that a robber stealing your wallet at gunpoint is guilty of Armed Robbery even if he never shoots.  In criminal law, threatening with a weapon is “using” it.  During an international crisis when a president says “all options are on the table,” this is an explicit threat to use nuclear weapons!

Why haven’t people reacted to the U.S.’s reckless threats of nuclear war in the ways they have been reacting to Putin’s comment?  People are correct in damning Putin for this, but people should ALSO have been damning the U.S. for the past half century!

The U.S. has NEVER had a “no-first-use” policy, but Russia and China have pledged “no-first-use” for decades!  (Putin is actually violating Russia’s long-standing policy of “no-first-use.”


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About GlenAnderson 1515 Articles
Since the late 1960s Glen Anderson has devoted his life to working as a volunteer for peace, nonviolence, social justice, and progressive political issues. He has worked through many existing organizations and started several. Over the years he has worked especially for such wide-ranging goals as making peace with Vietnam, eliminating nuclear weapons, converting from a military economy to a peacetime economy, abolishing the death penalty, promoting nonviolence at all levels throughout society, and helping people organize and strategize for grassroots movements to solve many kinds of problems. He writes, speaks, and conducts training workshops on a wide variety of topics. Since 1987 he has produced and hosted a one-hour cable TV interview program on many kinds of issues. Since 2017 he has blogged at He lives in Lacey near Olympia WA. You can reach him at (360) 491-9093