Getting to Zero: The Path to Nuclear Disarmament

Getting to Zero: The Path to Nuclear Disarmament

Getting to Zero: The Path to Nuclear Disarmament

Getting to Zero: The Path to Nuclear Disarmament


Getting to Zero takes on the much-debated goal of nuclear zero- exploring the serious policy questions raised by nuclear disarmament and suggesting practical steps for the nuclear weapon states to take to achieve it.

It documents the successes and failures of six decades of attempts to control nuclear weapons proliferation and, within this context, asks the urgent questions that world leaders, politicians, NGOs, and scholars must address in the years ahead.


If one decided to get rid of all nuclear weapons in the world, the first question would be how to go about it. But a second, equally important but less frequently asked question, would be: what else would you then have to do to ensure the safety and security of citizens and the peace and stability of the global community? Ridding the world of nuclear weapons is desirable only if a safer world is actually brought into being. How can we do that?

In this project we took as given that complete nuclear disarmament will happen and focused our attention on what that will imply. We agreed to take as our guiding principle that any proposals for policy should advance the cause of going to zero. Thus, the chapters in the book do not debate whether going to zero is feasible or a good idea. Instead, they address in some detail what nuclear zero will mean for existing institutions, issues, and practices. What has to change for nuclear states to embrace nuclear disarmament as a pressing goal, not a far-distant vision to be disregarded in making policy today? How can countries chafing against, or even outside, the nonproliferation regime be persuaded to abandon their nuclear ambitions? The chapters seek to offer the beginnings of a roadmap to a world in which nuclear weapons will no longer be the currency of power, but instead a historical memory.

This book emerged from a series of conversations and exchanges that took place under the aegis of a generous Carnegie Corporation grant for “Dialogue among Americans, Russians, and Europeans,” or DARE. A group of experts and policy-makers from all three geographic areas were recruited to meet periodically over the past decade to assess issues of transformational significance and to explore the potential for trilateral cooperation. Of particular importance for . . .

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