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Letters to the Editor, Thursday, April 22, 2010

Re: "No need to limit our nuclear options" (Opinion, Jack Kelly, April 10): What is important to note is, President Barack Obama’s policy does not eradicate or eliminate the use of nuclear weapons. It only limits both.

Our threat of nuclear war is on a smaller scale and thus the need for fewer nuclear weapons — if there was a need for so many to begin with. Reducing our stockpiles and restricting their use only lessens the perceived threat of our having them by those who have or seek to develop them. It does not elevate it, but unfortunately does not alleviate it either. Reducing our stockpiles while asking the world to do the same is needed to avoid the hypocrisy we demonstrate. This is even more so when those countries that pursue them choose mainly to do so because we have them.

The U.S. cannot or should not retaliate with a nuclear strike against those most likely to use nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) weapons: multinational terrorist organizations. Common sense dictates this would do more harm than good and could never prevent or deter another attack. What America needs to prevent an NBC attack it has, is pursuing, or is in the process of identifying — including dismantling nuclear warheads.

America no longer relies on nuclear weapons to the degree it once did. The opposition to reducing our reliance on outdated nuclear weapons amounts to a reluctance to admit that the global scene is changing, our new security needs are developing, and more of what we don’t have is needed to combat this. It is almost the lazy way out.

Lessening our arsenal of nuclear weapons, in a sense, forces us in a new direction. It is a direction we have the lead in, both militarily and politically.

Sgt. Joshua EalyContingency Operating Base Basra, Iraq

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