Nuclear Forces for the Short- Term Stopgap
The long-term solution to the problem of nuclear weapons is world government, but it is doubtful that world government can be achieved quickly or easily. Ethnic, religious, and cultural differences are great, and too fast a pace might result not in world government but in worldwide civil war. Civil wars are often as bloody as wars between states and sometimes even more bloody, and a worldwide civil war might be the bloodiest of all. Can something be done in the interim before a world government can be established that would facilitate movement toward world government and at the same time reduce the chances of nuclear war?
One possibility is an international treaty signed by all states providing for the destruction of all national nuclear stockpiles; the establishment of an international inspection procedure to see that no nuclear weapons are produced secretly; and the establishment of an international force equipped with, say, fifty nuclear weapons to be used only by order of the U.N. Security Council against any country found to be violating the treaty by building nuclear weapons. This U.N. nuclear force would be used only as a last resort, after diplomatic and political efforts had failed, and then only if circumstances were such that a conventional force would not be able to accomplish the task of disarming the rogue country. As a practical matter, the U.N. force would probably serve solely as a deterrent and an earnest of U.N. intentions.
In the meantime, the United States must maintain a second-strike force capable of absorbing a surprise attack and striking back with devastating force against the country or combination of countries that launched the attack. What should be the composition of this deterrent force?