Candidates should pledge ‘no first use’ of nuclear weapons

On July 30–31, CNN’s Jake Tapper asked the Democratic presidential candidates about a “no first use policy for the United States.” I, like the majority of Americans, support our government adopting a policy that states the U.S. will never use nuclear weapons first.

Tapper, unfortunately, used a pro-war frame, erroneously claiming “no first use” ties the president’s hands.

The reality is that a “no first use” policy for the United States would simply state the U.S. will not initiate a nuclear war. Right now, arms control treaties that reduce the amount of nuclear weapons in the world have fallen apart, and a whole new generation of new nuclear weapons—ones more likely to be used—are being built. We’ve never been closer to a miscalculation that leads to nuclear war.

That’s why Americans and the media should be pressing every presidential candidate to commit to not using nuclear weapons first. The world’s deadliest weapons will not go away unless we work to make it so.

Today, 74 years after the first use of nuclear weapons in war, it’s clearer than ever that we must do more to prevent the use of these dangerous weapons and re-energize the public movement to eliminate nuclear weapons.

George Beddoe


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