The American Interest
Policy, Politics & Culture
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Dangerous Ideas A Nuclear Weapon Free World and Other Delusions

Some high-minded ideals really aren’t worth fighting for.

Published on July 1, 2014
A world free of nuclear weapons is a superficially attractive idea. But there is no necessary correlation between the attractiveness of an idea and its practicality or desirability—although it is a common human tendency to think that the fervency of our beliefs validates them. Unfortunately this delusion often leads not merely to harmless and amusing lunacy but to real peril. The belief in a Nuclear Weapon Free World (NWFW) is a particularly virulent example. This ideal, or even the more modest concept of Nuclear Weapon Free Zones (NWFZ), are not just impractical but also dangerous. And when superficially attractive...