Wednesday August 10, 2022

Nuclear words

June 23, 2021

“A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” These words echoing the Reagan – Gorbachev Principle issued thirty six years before in Geneva came as a joint statement at the conclusion of Presidents Biden and Putin’s Summit last week.

On June 16, the US–Russia Presidential Joint Statement on Strategic Stability: We, President of the United States of America Joseph R Biden and President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, note the United States and Russia have demonstrated that, even in periods of tension, they are able to make progress on our shared goals of ensuring predictability in the strategic sphere, reducing the risk of armed conflicts and the threat of nuclear war.

The recent extension of the New START Treaty exemplifies our commitment to nuclear arms control. Today, we reaffirm the principle that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. Consistent with these goals, the United States and Russia will embark together on an integrated bilateral Strategic Stability Dialogue in the near future that will be deliberate and robust. Through this Dialogue, we seek to lay the groundwork for future arms control and risk reduction measures.

The world thanks you for these words, heeding the bilateral high level appeal leading up to your meeting. The groups and individuals signatory to that appeal will work to help, support and guide you in your actions while holding you accountable to your statement. We do so for as long as these weapons exist the risk of their use either by intent, miscalculation or cyber attack remains. As medical and scientific leaders working with civil society who have long warned of the risks of climate change, pandemics and yes, nuclear war, our voices must continue to be heard.

The complete abolition of nuclear weapons is the only way to be safe from their threat. Knowing this, and the reality that nuclear weapons are far more dangerous than we had ever realized, it is essential that you, as leaders of the two nations with the largest nuclear arsenals, explain to the world when and under what circumstances you would even consider using these weapons that risk ending humanity and life as we know it.

When it comes to the risk of nuclear war, a child born today has a significant chance of experiencing a nuclear war with the potential destruction of civilization in their lifetime unless you take the steps now to prevent it. Absent these steps, one must ask if this is the legacy you want to leave.

Excerpted: ‘Presidents Biden and Putin's Nuclear Words’