LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Visions of nuclear-free world naive, dangerous

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Thank you, Keith B. Payne, for drawing attention to a self-appointed commission’s report that had received little previous publicity (“Zero nuclear sense” Commentary, Wednesday). The Global Zero Nuclear Policy Commission’s report, remarkably, was headed by a retired Marine Corps general and clearly could be used in the future to support President Obama’s ill-conceived concept of a nuclear-free world.

The concept of a nuclear-free world, while having emotional appeal, is naive at present, as Russia and China are intent on enhancing their nuclear-offensive systems, and other nations, such as North Korea and Iran, work assiduously to join the nuclear club.

The members of the commission contend that if we reduce our capabilities, others will follow. There is no historical precedent for such a concept. The Soviet Union did not fold because America was weakened but rather because America’s capabilities had been strengthened under President Reagan.

Sadly, the self-appointed-commission’s report adds context to the overheard comment from Mr. Obama to then-President Dmitry Medvedev earlier this year: “I will have more flexibility after the election.”

The next U.S. president needs to exercise that flexibility in emphasizing our strengths in a world that currently provides no confidence of a near-term move toward a more peaceful society. We must retain a strong nuclear-deterrent posture.

STANLEY ORMAN

Rockville

EUGENE FOX

Plano, Texas

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