Russia, China and now North Korea have renounced “first use” of nuclear weapons. The United States has never done so.
I believe North Korea’s leaders because they would be fools to launch a nuclear attack, knowing that their nation would literally be obliterated by the USA in response.
They also would be fools to give up nuclear weapons so long as they are threatened by the USA. Only possession of nuclear weapons prevents North Korea from meeting the fate if Iraq and Libya.
The United States has never renounced “first use” of nuclear weapons because US conventional forces are not a match for Russia’s in eastern Europe and possibly not for China’s in the South China Sea.
The U.S. government seeks to be the dominant military power in every region of the globe. The tools for doing this are sea power, air power, flying killer drones, Special Operations troops and subsidized foreign fighters.
But the ultimate backup consists of nuclear weapons, and the power to make a credible threat to use them. So long as this is U.S. policy, no other nation with nuclear weapons will disarm. So long as this is U.S. policy, a global nuclear holocaust is still a possibility, just as in the days of the Cold War.
The only way to end the threat of nuclear war is for the United States and Russia, the two main nuclear powers, to negotiate further reductions in their nuclear stockpiles, leading to elimination of nuclear weapons altogether, as was envisioned by Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan.
Maybe possibility of nuclear war is small at any given time. But if the possibility continues to exist indefinitely into the future, sooner or later it will become reality.
We the American people should demand our government adopt a policy of peaceful coexistence and resume negotiations for reduction and eventual elimination of nuclear weapons.
North Korea, Following China and India, Pledges No First Use of Nuclear Weapons—So Could Obama by John LaForge for Counterpunch.
NATO Would Probably Lose a War Against Russia by Shellback for Russia Insider.
US Now Overtly at War With Russia by Eric Zuesse for Strategic Culture.
China’s Military Wants to Put Its Nukes on Hair Trigger by Gregory Kulacki for Defense One.
Why President OBama is moving ahead with the biggest modernization of US nuclear weapons in decades by T.J. Raphael for Public Radio International.
Nuclear Weapons: Who Has What by the Arms Control Association. This contains a larger version of the chart above.