Nuclear Zero and Beyond Minimum deterrence and the nuclear ‘vantage point’ 146 Virtual deterrence 148 Missile defences: from obstacle to solution 150 Return to Reykjavik 152 ‘The knowledge’ as deterrent 154 The non-military foundations of security 158
Some analysts still believe that disarmament is a form of surrender. They fear that the elimination of nuclear weapons would expose nations to aggression and intimidation. Henry Kissinger once wrote that a policy of no first use of nuclear
weapons ‘would leave us psychologically naked’.1 Kissinger has changed his mind and now sees disarmament as part of the fabric of international security. Progressive denuclearisation is fully compatible with an enlightened political realism. Nations that give up the bomb or weapons programmes – as Ukraine, South Africa and Brazil have done – gain in security and global standing. Those that seek this capability – such as North Korea and Iran – are international pariahs. The United States and Russia have slashed nuclear arsenals once considered untouchable and are arguably more secure as a result. Arms reduction and disarmament are means of increasing security, not reducing it.