The moral bankruptcy of nuclear weapons

Humanity, peace, war, emotional thinking and more.

Matthew Wright

I recently read an opinion piece from a UK journalist suggesting that Ukraine’s biggest mistake in recent years was to get rid of its nuclear weapons. When the Soviet Union broke up, Ukraine ended up with a significant part of the former Soviet arsenal – 176 ICBM’s carrying 1900 independent warheads, coupled with around 2600 tactical nuclear bombs. It made them the world’s third largest nuclear power. What happened? In return for solemn guarantees, they gave them to Russia, largely to reduce proliferation but also as part of a general sense that the Cold War was over and the world now faced a future of permanent peace.

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has, of course, shown just how effective a ‘solemn guarantee’ actually is, internationally. In point of fact I am hard-pressed to think of any international treaty guaranteeing peace that has lasted more than a generation or so. That aside…

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