Nuclear weapons do NOT “deter” other nations or keep us safe.

Actually, they provoke other nations and could destroy us in just a few minutes.

• Nuclear weapons do NOT protect us. The notion that having nuclear weapons will “deter” other nations from attacking us is fatally flawed. Nuclear weapons threaten other nations and provoke those nations into building their own nuclear weapons. Global tensions rise. The “deterrence” theory is a reckless psychological experiment full of errors at the human and technical levels. If anything goes haywire, nuclear weapons could destroy us in just a few minutes. The “deterrence” theory leads to mutual suicide!

• The U.S. designed nuclear weapons for our “first-strike” policy of starting a nuclear war. But a nation fearing that we are on the verge of launching its nuclear weapons might launch its own first, so their own missiles will not be destroyed while still in their silos. This fear of an enemy’s launch could actually provoke – rather than deter – a nuclear at-tack. The only remedy is to eliminate nuclear weapons entirely.

• We can do that all at once or step-by-step. Decades ago, “Confidence Building Measures” (CBMs) were proposed so the US and the Soviet Union could take small verifiable steps mutually and develop confidence that we could take mutual steps toward reducing the danger. The world needs to promote CBMs now, instead of the escalation that the U.S. recently began.

• 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 use in an instant, and also by threatening to attack certain other nations (including nations without their own nuclear weapons) 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.

• Instead of the phony “deterrence” theory, let’s use the $100 BILLION or more spent each year on nuclear weapons to deter – and abolish – poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental problems, etc. See the fact sheet debunking the myth that we can afford nuclear weapons.

• Even if deterrence were true, accidents and near-misses keep occurring and keep us in perpetual danger of nuclear destruction. See the fact sheet debunking the myth that safety precautions are adequate.

Connect with the Olympia Coalition to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

We meet monthly to organize a good variety of strategically smart, useful activities.
We reach out to educate and mobilize the public, and we urge the government to abolish nuclear weapons.
Contact us at (360) 705-2407 or (360) 491-9093.
Our statewide coalition is Washington Against Nuclear Weapons, (206) 547-2630.

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