The article Taking disarmament seriously, as with many arms control advocacy pieces, presumes what it sets out to prove.
That doesn’t work for me. I can’t take disarmament arguments seriously without serious arguments. Arms controllers tend to be full of “we gotta” while ignoring the “and here’s how we’re gonna” part.
So in the “we gotta” regard, the article attempts to build a sense of crisis regarding nuclear war while attributing the lack of nuclear war to luck, which, sans evidence, is a hard thing to do. The “we gotta” also always assumes the efficacy of arms control treaties.
The author’s claim of “a decade of sleepwalking” flies in the face of the Moscow Treaty which reduced U.S. strategic nuclear weapons to less that 2000 and was ratified by the Senate 95-0. It also ignores the fact the START verification regime was still in force until December 2009…but whatever, right?
The fact we haven’t had a nuclear war does not prove that nuclear weapons keep nuclear war from happening. The flip side, an absence of nuclear weapons–were such a thing possible–would similarly not prove that a conventional World War III would have occurred without them.
Still, history is the best we can do since we can’t go back in the time machine and do a double-blind, randomized test with a control group.