Nuclear weapons have very little strategic use. The use of any nuclear weapons would kill mostly civilians and therefore should be considered a terrorist weapon. Any use would be a humanitarian and environmental disaster and there could be no humanitarian response. “Nuclear weapons are the only devices ever created that have the capacity to destroy all complex life forms on Earth. It would take less than 0.1% of the explosive yield of the current global nuclear arsenal to bring about devastating agricultural collapse and widespread famine. The smoke and dust from fewer than 100 Hiroshima-sized nuclear explosions would cause an abrupt drop in global temperatures and rainfall.” http://www.icanw.org/why-a-ban/arguments-for-a-ban/
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) addressed the Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, 27 April to 22 May 2015. “The evidence before us today shows:
- that nuclear weapons are unique in their destructive power and in the scale of human suffering they cause and that their use, even on a limited scale, would have catastrophic consequences for human health and the environment;
- that the effects on human health can last for decades and impact the children of survivors through genetic damage to their parents;
- that the humanitarian consequences of a nuclear-weapon detonation would not be limited to the country where it occurs but would impact other States and their populations;
- that, in most countries and at the international level, there is no effective or feasible means of assisting a substantial portion of survivors in the immediate aftermath of a nuclear detonation, while adequately protecting those delivering assistance; and finally
- that the risk of accidental nuclear-weapon detonation remains a very real danger.”
“And until the last nuclear weapon is eliminated, more must be done to diminish the immediate risks of intentional or accidental nuclear detonations. We urge nuclear-armed States to reduce the number of warheads on high alert and to be more transparent about action taken to prevent accidental detonations. A greater effort must also be made by nuclear-armed States and their allies to reduce the role and significance of nuclear weapons in their military plans, doctrines and policies. Many of these steps derive from long-standing political commitments and the 2010 NPT action plan and should be followed through as a matter of urgency.” https://www.icrc.org/en/document/nuclear-weapons-conference
One of the greatest threats of nuclear weapons is an accidental launch of nuclear missiles, and now we know that there were several mistakes that might have resulted in nuclear disaster. Another major threat is that terrorists might steal or purchase a weapon and set it off. The only way to avoid that is to get rid of all nuclear materials.
“Five separate but related tasks would have to be pursued to achieve complete nuclear disarmament:
- Negotiate deep cuts in US and Russian arsenals.
- Reach agreements to cease production of new weapons and weapongrade fissile materials.
- Erect stronger safeguards against the diversion of civilian nuclear materials to weapon uses.
- Develop, test, and exercise means of verifying the dismantlement of nuclear weapons, warheads, and production facilities.
- Negotiate a disarmament treaty.”
The Secretary-General of the UN said at the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit, that the “Best Way to Eliminate Nuclear Threat Anywhere is by Eliminating Nuclear Weapons Everywhere.” He also had five steps for eliminating nuclear weapons.
“First, consolidating the global nuclear security architecture through universal adherence to international instruments and a rigorous review mechanism. The United Nations is the universal forum for preventing terrorists from using or acquiring nuclear weapons. This fall, I will convene a high-level event to help strengthen the legal framework on preventing nuclear terrorism. Ongoing support for the implementation of Security Council resolution 1540 (2004) is also essential. So, too, is ensuring sufficient resources for the IAEA to fulfill its central role.”
“Second, curbing terrorism financing. I warmly welcome the participation of INTERPOL at this summit, given the significance of customs and law enforcement. The Security Council is placing greater emphasis on targeted financial sanctions — and it is working. The Nuclear Security Summit process should strengthen its efforts, as well.”
“Third, asserting more stringent control over fissile materials. There has been some progress, but let us be clear: the world needs a verifiable and legally-binding fissile material cut-off treaty.”
“The current stalemate in the Conference on Disarmament is unacceptable. I call again on the members of the CD to immediately commence negotiations on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons. The relevance of the CD is at stake. If the stalemate is not resolved during the 2012 CD session, the international community must explore alternative avenues.”
“Fourth, strengthening the nexus between nuclear security and nuclear safety, as recognized in the Seoul Communiqué, and as we have discussed at length during luncheon time. I have proposed that the First Preparatory Committee of the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference devote specific time to consider nuclear safety and security issues associated with nuclear energy. Building stronger partnerships with the nuclear industry, academia and civil society is also important.”
“Fifth, taking forward the Nuclear Security Summit process. I welcome this Summit’s reaffirmation of our shared goals of nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and I call for the full implementation of commitments undertaken. The entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty is long overdue. I welcome Indonesia’s recent ratification and urge others who have not done so to follow suit without further delay. The best way to eliminate the nuclear threat anywhere is by eliminating nuclear weapons everywhere.” https://www.un.org/press/en/2012/sgsm14195.doc.htm
Nuclear weapons have been used as a deterrent to prevent other nations from invading or attacking. When George W. Bush called Iraq, Iran and North Korea, the “Axis of Evil” and then promptly invaded Iraq, North Korea developed nuclear weapons to ward off a similar invasion, and then Iran started development of nuclear weapons for the same reason. Having treaties and international bodies like the UN to prevent the threat of invasion would eliminate the need of nuclear weapons as a deterrent. But the treaties themselves pose a threat of nuclear conflict.
“The greatest threat to world security is from the potential of regional wars to escalate.(123) The violence from these could disrupt international commerce, unleash massive flows of refugees, create resource shortages, engulf surrounding states and wreck havoc on all the efforts to provide the basic human needs of the world’s population. Ethnic and religious conflicts, border disputes, nationalist struggles and resource disputes need to be contained and abated. International arms sales, the strengthening of peacekeeping institutions, the promoting of social and economic development and regenerating the environment-all the programs outlined in this report need to be implemented for peace to have a sustainable chance.” http://www.unesco.org/education/tlsf/mods/theme_a/interact/www.worldgame.org/wwwproject/what17.shtml