The problem is not nuclear weapons per se, but who has them.
Victor Davis Hanson
National Review Online, April 28, 2010
The Obama administration has celebrated its recent efforts to sign a nuclear-weapons accord with Russia and the hosting of a nuclear non-proliferation summit in Washington — all silhouetted against grandiose promises to seek the end of all nuclear weapons on the planet. But from all this, what real progress exactly have we made toward ensuring a world safer from the specter of nuclear annihilation? Aside from the wording of proposed treaties and proclamations, what are the larger philosophical assumptions behind the new utopian approach to non-proliferation?
First, nuclear weapons per se — regrettable though they may be — are not exactly the problem. None of us is terrified that a democratic Britain, France, Israel, or India possesses them. While we might prefer that major autocracies like China and Russia were not nuclear, we do not at present fret about a first strike from either, given that both are invested in, and profit from, the global system of trade and commerce — and, in their more aggressive moments, are subject to classical laws of deterrence.