Weapons Treaties and the Summit

Thomas Powers’ otherwise excellent and honest article (Opinion, Dec. 13) is seriously flawed with its unsupported claim that nuclear weapons “cannot be said to have made us safe.” If nuclear weapons have not made us safe for the past 40 years, what has?

Powers support the argument that treaties prevent weapons systems, but weapons systems are not the same as war. This confusion is common along the so-called anti-war crowd.

In contrast to Powers’ claim, most of the technical professionals in our field (defense) have a strong belief in the deterrent value of nuclear weapons. Our “moments of despair” come not from fear of the weapons, but from the fear that Power’s wishful thinking could become the national defense policy.

While the symbolic value of the new treaty is positive, the treaty is only, to use Powers’ words, “nice to have” while the weapons remain essential.



San Diego