President Barack Obama made nuclear disarmament a central part of his defense policy, signing the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia in 2010.
In October, however, the Russian government said it would not renew the 1991 Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program when it expires this year.
Two guests will join The Daily Circuit Wednesday, Jan. 23 to discuss and debate which countries need nuclear weapons and why.
Ward Wilson, senior fellow at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, believes that nuclear weapons are unnecessary.
Wilson wrote in The New York Times:
Nuclear weapons were born out of fear, nurtured in fear and sustained by fear. They are dinosaurs -- an evolutionary dead end. The trend in warfare today is toward smaller, smarter, more effective precision-guided weapons. Nuclear weapons -- extremely dangerous and not very useful -- are the wave of the past.
Paul Bracken, Professor of Management & Professor of Political Science at Yale University, sees nuclear weapons differently. He wrote in Project Syndicate:
These individual developments are troubling. But they cannot be understood in isolation from the larger multipolar system of major powers that is forming. To a great extent, this is a nuclear multipolar system: possessing nuclear weapons contributes to a country's global status as a major power.
READ MORE ABOUT NUCLEAR NECESSITY
Rethinking the Unthinkable (NY Times review of Bracken's and Wilson's books)