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Talking away from Armageddon

In light of the United States' recent withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the accelerating nuclear and conventional arms race, Lawrence J. Korb argues for renewed communication with Russia to avoid a potentially catastrophic confrontation.

The collapse of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty on August 2, coupled with the August 8 explosion in Russia stemming from the apparent testing of a new type of nuclear-powered cruise missile and the flight testing of a ground-launched cruise missile off the coast of California on August 20 are only the latest manifestations that point to an accelerating nuclear and conventional arms race that, all told, could cost trillions of dollars over the next thirty years. With international agreements governing nuclear weapons under the gravest threat in decades, the imminent danger these weapons pose should receive the attention it deserves. This is especially true in light of new missiles under development that can travel at more than five times the speed of sound, space weapons, and largely undetectable cyber technologies. With a few wrong decisions, the world could be on the road to destruction within minutes.

The above excerpt was originally published in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Click here to view the full article.

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Lawrence J. Korb

Senior Fellow