Shultz, Perry, Kissinger, Nunn Call For New, Safer and More Stable Form of Deterrence

In an op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal, former Secretary of State George P. Shultz, former Defense Secretary William J. Perry, former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger and former Senator Sam Nunn address deterrence and call for nations to begin moving now toward a new, safer and more stable form of deterrence with decreasing nuclear risks and an increasing measure of assured security for all nations.

"Moving from mutual assured destruction towards a new and more stable form of deterrence with decreasing nuclear risks and an increasing measure of assured security for all nations could prevent our worst nightmare from becoming a reality, and have a profoundly positive impact on the security of future generations," they write.

This is the fourth of a series of op-eds by the four statesmen. The series addresses how the United States, working with other nations, can work to reverse reliance on nuclear weapons, prevent their spread into potentially dangerous hands, and ultimately end them as a threat to the world. In the past, they have noted, "reliance on nuclear weapons for deterrence is becoming increasingly hazardous and decreasingly effective" and that with the spread of nuclear weapons technology, materials and know-how, there is an increasing risk that nuclear weapons will be used.

The four statesmen work together under the auspices of the Carnegie Corporation-supported Nuclear Security Project—an effort to galvanize global action to reduce urgent nuclear dangers and build support for reducing reliance on nuclear weapons, ultimately ending them as a threat to the world. The Nuclear Threat Initiative coordinates the project, in cooperation with the Hoover Institution. Since the initial op-ed in 2007, momentum and growing political space created to address these issues has been extraordinary. Former officials from 13 countries have joined across party lines to publicly endorse the vision and steps agenda. The UN Security Council in September 2009 voted for a resolution "to create the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons," a vote which included China, Russia, the United States, France and Great Britain.

Deterrence in the Age of Nuclear Proliferation
March 7, 2011, The Wall Street Journal

Read the previous Op-Eds

A World Free of Nuclear Weapons
January 4, 2007, The Wall Street Journal

 Toward a Nuclear-Free World
January 15, 2008, The Wall Street Journal

 How to Protect Our Nuclear Deterrent
January 19, 2010, The Wall Street Journal