Argument: US nuclear weapons reduce the intensity of international conflicts

Issue Report: Abolition of nuclear weapons


  • Paul Robinson, President and Director, Sandia National Laboratories. “A White Paper: Pursuing a New Nuclear Weapons Policy for the 21st Century”. March 11, 2001 – “Let me then state my most important conclusion directly: I believe nuclear weapons must have an abiding place in the international scene for the foreseeable future. I believe that the world, in fact, would become more dangerous, not less dangerous, were U.S. nuclear weapons to be absent. The most important role for our nuclear weapons is to serve as a “sobering force,” one that can cap the level of destruction of military conflicts and thus force all sides to come to their senses. This is the enduring purpose of U.S. nuclear weapons in the post-Cold War world. I regret that we have not yet captured such thinking in our public statements as to why the U.S. will retain nuclear deterrence as a cornerstone of our defense policy, and urge that we do so in the upcoming Nuclear Posture Review.”