On Sunday December 10, 2017 the ICAN (International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons) received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo. The double Peace Prize lecture, reprinted in the annex to this entry, was forceful and moving. ICAN is a world wide network of Non Governmental Organizations, campaigning for a treaty outlawing nuclear weapons. The Nuclear Prohibition Treaty, concluded in the framework of the UN was opened for signature in July 2017.
During the era of the so called "Cold War" I belonged to those who accepted the necessity for NATO to maintain its nuclear deterrence while offering arms control negotiations to the Soviet Union.
After the end of the Cold War ( cf. vol. III and V of my series: Footprints of the Twentieth Century), I came to the conclusion that NATO should give up reliance on nuclear weapons, and the U.S. should give the good example of starting to abolish nuclear weapons. As long as the major powers maintain their arsenal, further proliferation of nuclear weapons can not be prevented. As has been the case for the abolition of chemical and biological weapons, only good example has a chance. In the post-Cold War era, a nuclear deterrent can no longer be credible.
From the published documents of NATO's strategic concepts and military doctrine (See documents to Part II, Chapter 3 in my Third Volume) I learned that NATO planners stopped thinking the moment they had to answer the question: what to do when deterrence fails? They just looked into the black hole of total annihilation. In the current and complex world situation, there is no longer any situation in which the use of nuclear weapons can be justified. Abolishing them is the only sensible policy to follow.