Antiproliferation efforts have succeeded frequently. In the 1980s South Africa built six nuclear bombs, then dismantled them and joined the nonproliferation treaty. Thirteen other nations have terminated active nuclear weapons programs. Even the cantankerous Libyan leader Mu‘ammar Muhammad al-Gadhafi announced in 2003 that his country would end its program. A high-profile cut in the U.S. arsenal could recapture some of the moral high ground that antiproliferation efforts thrive on, without eroding the nation’s ability to assuredly destroy any country that would attack it.
This article was originally published with the title Build Diplomacy, Not Bombs.