- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 9, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Frank J. Gaffney Jr. argues that the U.S. arsenal of nearly 10,000 nuclear weapons is needed to deter our adversaries (“What’s at stake,” Opinion, Web, Tuesday). Primarily, this ostensibly is to deter Russia, which recently agreed to verified reductions in nuclear weapons. This insistence on including nuclear weapons in our security strategies is dangerous to the body politic and will only make America less safe.

The likelihood that Russia would intentionally use nuclear weapons against the United States is so small as to be unthinkable. However, there is a chance of an accidental launch of a U.S. or Russian weapon, since each nation has some 1,700 nuclear warheads still on high-alert delivery vehicles. These weapons can be launched in minutes, leaving a lot of room for error.

There is also a real chance that extremists could get their hands on one of Russia’s 8,000 tactical nuclear weapons. The U.S. and the world will be much safer once we negotiate verifiable agreements to end the testing of these weapons and eliminate them altogether.

JILL MARIE PARILLO

Deputy director for security programs

Physicians for Social Responsibility

Washington

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