February 19, 2020
Dear Network Members and Colleagues,
We would like to share with you APLN Board Member and Professor Ramesh Thakur’s “Declare No First Use of Nuclear Weapons” published in The Korea Times.
In his letter to President Biden, Professor Thakur suggests that the American Commander-in-Chief should revisit the decision to adopt the policy of “No First Use” of nuclear weapons (NFU).
He makes the case that there is little military cost or disadvantage to the US adopting NFU. American conventional firepower can overwhelm and defeat any non-nuclear adversary. What gives teeth and credibility to US nuclear deterrence is not America’s first strike but its invulnerable second-strike capability to retaliate against any nuclear attack.
Unlike typical arms control advances, adopting NFU does not require painstaking and protracted negotiations but can be done unilaterally. Professor Thakur argues that developments over the past five years therefore justify a shift to a NFU poster as a matter of urgency.