LETTER TO THE EDITOR: ‘Zero option’ makes no sense

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The opinion column “Rethinking the ‘zero option’ ” (Thursday) is a timely reminder of a piece we wrote for The Washington Times in December 2008. The premise in that op-ed was that proliferation of missile and warhead technology since the end of the Cold War has substantially changed the security we believed we enjoyed under the concept of mutual assured destruction (MAD).

We suggested that new concepts of security had to be developed for this multipolar world, including a measured assured response strategy, MARS, that would incorporate but not replace MAD.

Sadly, little has been undertaken nationally or internationally since our warning three years ago on the challenges of achieving enhanced stability in this far more complicated nuclear environment. Reducing our nuclear weapon stockpile may lead to financial savings, but without the development of a modified strategy, it does nothing to enhance our security.

As G. Philip Hughes and Mark Davis concluded in the above-mentioned piece, we have changed from a policy of MAD to one of madness. The time is well overdue for the Obama administration to recognize that we now live in a more unstable environment than that of the Cold War, and operating under a policy of moving toward a nuclear-free world merely encourages those already hostile to us.

STANLEY ORMAN

Rockville

EUGENE FOX

Plano, Texas

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