Congress Should Pass Bill Establishing Policy that US Will Not Use Nuclear Weapons First

Statement by Lisbeth Gronlund, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Nov 15, 2017

WASHINGTON (November 15, 2017)—Ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) introduced a bill today that would establish a policy that the United States will not use nuclear weapons first.

Below is a statement by Lisbeth Gronlund, senior scientist and co-director of the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“I strongly support this effort to change U.S. nuclear weapons policy. The United States should take all steps possible to prevent a nuclear war—by increasing the threshold for deliberate use and reducing the risk of accidental use.

“Under current policy, the United States would consider using nuclear weapons first against Russia, China and North Korea. Deliberately starting a nuclear war with any of these countries would be disastrous. The United States would increase its own security and that of the rest of the world by eliminating the option of using nuclear weapons first and declaring that the only purpose of its nuclear weapons is to deter—and, if necessary, respond to—nuclear attacks on itself and its allies.”