„More than 15 years after the end of the Cold War, it is incomprehensible to many that the major nuclear-weapon states operate with their arsenals on hair-trigger alert — such that, in the case of a possible launch of a nuclear attack, their leaders could have only 30 minutes to decide whether to retaliate, risking the devastation of entire nations in a matter of minutes.“

—  Mohamed ElBaradei, Context: A good start would be if the nuclear-weapon states reduced the strategic role given to these weapons. More than 15 years after the end of the Cold War, it is incomprehensible to many that the major nuclear-weapon states operate with their arsenals on hair-trigger alert — such that, in the case of a possible launch of a nuclear attack, their leaders could have only 30 minutes to decide whether to retaliate, risking the devastation of entire nations in a matter of minutes.
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„The group believes that whatever deterrent value nuclear weapons had in the Cold War is now outweighed by the dangers of proliferation and nuclear terrorism.“

—  Valerie Plame American spy 1963
Context: Without doubt, terrorist groups are trying to buy, build or steal a bomb. Furthermore, there is enough highly-enriched uranium (HEU) in the world to build more than 100,000 weapons, and rogue individuals are selling technology on the black market. If terrorists get hold of HEU, they could not be prevented from smuggling it into a targeted city, building a bomb and exploding it. To my mind, the only realistic solution to this danger is to lock down all nuclear materials and eliminate all nuclear weapons in all countries: Global Zero. I am now dedicated to achieving this goal as a leader of the Global Zero movement. This movement was launched in December 2008 in Paris by an international group of 100 current and former heads-of-state, national security officials, military commanders and business, civic and faith leaders — and in just two years has grown to 300 leaders and 400,000 citizens worldwide. The group believes that whatever deterrent value nuclear weapons had in the Cold War is now outweighed by the dangers of proliferation and nuclear terrorism. Our international Global Zero Commission has developed a practical, step-by-step plan to eliminate all nuclear weapons through phased and verified reductions. To build on the progress made to date, we need a worldwide public movement to make Global Zero an urgent global imperative — and to bring all nuclear weapons countries to the table to negotiate multilateral nuclear arms reductions for the first time in history. "Reaching Global Zero" (8 March 2011) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/valerie-plame-wilson/nuclear-proliferation_b_832399.html

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„No-one in their senses wants nuclear weapons for their own sake, but equally, no responsible prime minister could take the colossal gamble of giving up our nuclear defences while our greatest potential enemy kept their's. Policies which would throw out all American nuclear bases… would wreck NATO and leave us totally isolated from our friends in the United States, and friends they are. No nation in history has ever shouldered a greater burden nor shouldered it more willingly nor more generously than the United States. This Party is pro-American. And we must constantly remind people what the defence policy of the [Labour] Party would mean. Their idea that by giving up our nuclear deterrent, we could somehow escape the result of a nuclear war elsewhere is nonsense, and it is a delusion to assume that conventional weapons are sufficient defence against nuclear attack. And do not let anyone slip into the habit of thinking that conventional war in Europe is some kind of comfortable option. With a huge array of modern weapons held by the Soviet Union, including chemical weapons in large quantities, it would be a cruel and terrible conflict. The truth is that possession of the nuclear deterrent has prevented not only nuclear war but also conventional war and to us, peace is precious beyond price. We are the true peace party.“

—  Margaret Thatcher British stateswoman and politician 1925 - 2013
Speech to Conservative Party Conference (12 October 1984) http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/105763

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„America and Russia have excessive numbers of nuclear weapons today because we treated nuclear weapons, at the end of World War II, like they were just bigger conventional weapons. If you have tanks, and the other side has more than you, you may be in trouble — or airplanes or ships or whatever. With nuclear weapons, it's not the same: they're too powerful, and at some point you just can't use any more, it's just not meaningful.“

—  Stansfield Turner former United States Navy admiral and former Director of Central Intelligence and President of the Naval War College 1923 - 2018
Context: America and Russia have excessive numbers of nuclear weapons today because we treated nuclear weapons, at the end of World War II, like they were just bigger conventional weapons. If you have tanks, and the other side has more than you, you may be in trouble — or airplanes or ships or whatever. With nuclear weapons, it's not the same: they're too powerful, and at some point you just can't use any more, it's just not meaningful. But what happened was, we had the lead of course, because we invented them. The Russians tried to catch up with us; we tried to stay ahead of the Russians; they tried to catch up with us, and we just had a never-ending race upward. By the mid-Sixties, we realized this, but because of the Cold War mentality, politicians couldn't stand up and say, "I'm willing to have less than the Soviet Union," and so the race continued, but we tried to mitigate it by instituting an arms control process, which at first tried to cap and then later to reduce these numbers. … there's just no way you can actually use them; they become so destructive. I estimate that a couple of hundred nuclear weapons, not just on the center of cities, but on economic positions in the country, will drive a country to the point it will never recover, it will never be the same again. It will survive, but it'll be a totally different country. You don't need thousands to do that. There are only a few hundred cities of any size in even Russia or the United States, like 200, and you just don't need thousands of weapons to demobilize a country. Interview (18 December 1997) http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/coldwar/interviews/episode-21/turner1.html for CNN : Cold War. Episode 21 : Spies (14 March 1999)

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„War is not the answer. Communism will never be defeated by the use of atomic bombs or nuclear weapons.“

—  Martin Luther King, Jr. American clergyman, activist, and leader in the American Civil Rights Movement 1929 - 1968
Context: War is not the answer. Communism will never be defeated by the use of atomic bombs or nuclear weapons. Let us not join those who shout war and, through their misguided passions, urge the United States to relinquish its participation in the United Nations. These are days which demand wise restraint and calm reasonableness. We must not engage in a negative anticommunism, but rather in a positive thrust for democracy, realizing that our greatest defense against communism is to take offensive action in behalf of justice. We must with positive action seek to remove those conditions of poverty, insecurity, and injustice, which are the fertile soil in which the seed of communism grows and develops.

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„The advent of the nuclear age posed an unprecedented question: not whether war would exact yet more lives but whether war would preclude human existence altogether.“

—  Bernard Lown American cardiologist developer of the DC defibrillator and the cardioverter, as well as a recipient of the Nobel Peace… 1921
Context: The hope of a benevolent civilization was shattered in the blood-soaked trenches of the First World War. The "war to end all wars" claimed sixteen million lives, and left embers which kindled an even more catastrophic conflagration. Over the sorry course of 5,000 years of endless conflicts, some limits had been set on human savagery. Moral safeguards proscribed killing unarmed civilians and health workers, poisoning drinking waters, spreading infection among children and the disabled, and burning defenseless cities. But the Second World War introduced total war, unprincipled in method, unlimited in violence, and indiscriminate in victims. The ovens of Auschwitz and the atomic incineration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki inscribed a still darker chapter in the chronicle of human brutality. The prolonged agony which left 50 million dead did not provide an enduring basis for an armistice to barbarism. On the contrary, arsenals soon burgeoned with genocidal weapons equivalent to many thousands of World War II's. The advent of the nuclear age posed an unprecedented question: not whether war would exact yet more lives but whether war would preclude human existence altogether.

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