Responding to Obama's Nuclear Weapons Policy

Readers share their thoughts.

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Lawrence J. Korb at the Center for American Progress says banning the use of nukes against nonnuclear states would enhance U.S. security; Rep. Buck McKeon says it would embolden enemies. Your feedback:

Shouldn't the question be: "Should the U.S. Renounce the Use of Nuclear Weapons Against Nonnuclear Powers?" in view of that whole Hiroshima/Nagasaki thing? I can see the wisdom of reserving the option of retaliation with nuclear weapons in response to nuclear, biological, or chemical attacks against the United States. But if the perpetrators are terrorists or non-state actors, against whom do we retaliate?

JAMES BAKER Alexandria, Va.

How is Obama's plan different from Reagan's? We may live in a real world, as Sarkozy said, but is it impossible that sometime in the future we might be able to live in a reasonable world? If so, how should we begin to act with reason rather than with the warring traditions that humanity has perpetuated?

BOB O’CONNOR Oslo, Norway

President Obama's policy shift would make more sense if, along with the planned reductions, we increased the number of antiballistic missiles and ABM sites in operation. Instead we're holding steady on the number of interceptors at only Fort Greely [in Alaska] and Vandenberg Air Force Base [in California]. Strong nations are never attacked. If we're perceived as weak, as we were prior to 9/11 under Bill Clinton's administration, you can be sure we will be attacked again.

DANIEL W. ROBERTS Burkburnett, Texas

The actual policy is that the United States will not use nuclear weapons on signatories of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty who are judged to be in compliance and who don't use other WMDs against us.

KEVIN SMITH Dayton, Ohio

How can this not be a good idea? Sadly, the right will never give this president credit for the best of ideas. Fox News has distorted the nuclear weapons plan, counting on their naive audience to believe their rhetoric. To date, I have never seen a president have so much pushback with the best of intentions. It's very sad that we lost our moral compass. Inaction is not, nor ever will be, an option for this administration. I am happy this has finally been addressed.

ROSE HANN Oakdale, Conn.

That America's nuclear deterrent is designed to send a simple message to potential state and non-state aggressors is in itself a nice idea, but it could also be provocative and lead to nukes going undergound.


Policy statement: "The United States will not use nuclear weapons against nonnuclear nations that abide by treaty obligations." This restricts their use; it does not preclude such use. Since the use in Iraq and Afghanistan of conventional weapons have caused a problem with collateral damage and the loss of civilian lives, think of the collateral damage resulting from the use of either tactical or strategic nuclear weapons in these countries.