President Biden’s decision to fully extend the treaty without condition was mostly met with a figurative sigh of relief from arms control advocates and those who seek a world “free of nuclear weapons.” But Americans should be sober-minded about the real impact of the treaty, and not be lulled into believing New START, or any one treaty, will moderate US adversaries or better position the United States in our competition with either Russia or China.
Reinhold Niebuhr in 1945: “For only a full understanding of the practically insuperable difficulties which confront us can arm us with the humility and the courage to seek for a solution of this problem radical enough to prevent the annihilation of civilization.”
Atomic power is here to stay for the remainder of human history. Unless man can control himself as well as atomic power according to the moral law, both will no doubt terminate within a comparatively few years.
Last month was the seventy-fifth anniversary of V-J Day—Victory over Japan, August 14, 1945—the official end of World War II. Yet most Britons prefer to celebrate V-E Day—Victory in Europe, May 8, 1945—the defeat of Nazi Germany. Why so?
Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G. Press argue in “The Myth of the Nuclear Revolution” that the Atomic Age isn’t too different from other ages. Geopolitical rivalries, arms races, military doctrines, stalemates, and much else are still the same.