The Immorality Of Nuclear Deterrence Essay Research — страница 3

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of the state to perform its basic functions ought to be rejected. That is only reasonable.Also and unsurprisingly, there is little ambiguity in the Catholic Church s position regarding nuclear deterrence posture. The National Conference of Catholic Bishops, writing during the cold war, define nuclear deterrence and the risk of the use of nuclear weapons as the greatest violation of the ideas of non-violence and non-lethality they see as critical to a Catholic worldview. Any notion that deterrence is legitimate for reasons of retaliation is quickly dispelled by the Conference, because there is little hope of ever using nuclear weapons in a selective or restrictive manner (Challenge of Peace 143). The Conference goes on to say that there is also little chance that such a nuclear

exchange would be limited, due to the massive amounts of testimony by government officials (Challenge of Peace 144). The fact that the Conference wrote during the cold war is irrelevant, and all of their arguments still apply today because the east-west institutional restraints made that kind of deterrence more stable. In the post cold war world, there are no such restraints on nations such as Iraq, Iran, or Libya, and there are always third parties involved in crises that have a nuclear capacity. Deterrence being stable during the cold war does not mean that it will hold stable given that other nations have nuclear weapons (Dunn 39). The Catholic Church answers the idea that a limited nuclear conflict could occur quite succinctly. She believes, as above, that this option would

simply not occur. There are numerous reasons the Bishops cite for this, including that lack of information regarding an enemy, insufficient time and the massive pressures and stresses in a crisis, misperception, and a breakdown in rigorous counter-force targeting all mean that a nuclear war would not be a limited event. Indeed, if one must rely on the use of a nuclear arsenal for defense, there is no barrier to massive use of those weapons, and no reason why one would refrain should a situation arise that would make the leader feel it necessary to launch (Challenge of Peace 158). In addition to the impossibility of limited nuclear conflict, the Conference explains why the idea of counter-force targeting is woefully insufficient to justify status quo nuclear doctrine. The U.S.

Bishops point out that military targets are often widespread, meaning that numerous nuclear weapons would have to be used to achieve any military objective. In addition, the Bishops cite the fact that the radioactive fallout from so many blasts would kill indiscriminately, anyway. Radiation does not draw a distinction between military personnel and the civilian population (Challenge of Peace 145). Furthermore, counter-force targeting is often joined with a declaratory policy which conveys the notion that nuclear war is subject to precise rational and moral limits. This is mutually exclusive with the Catholic just war doctrine. Counter-force also raises the risk of conflict, again proving the immorality of nuclear doctrine, because it would threaten the viability of other nations

retaliatory forces, making deterrence unstable in a crisis and war more likely (Challenge of Peace 184). Counter force targeting, even, isn t just counter force. The United States recognized forty thousand military sites throughout the Soviet Union including sixty in Moscow alone (Peacetalk 14). There are numerous reasons why the church is so adamantly opposed to MAD doctrine, all of which are at the heart of the teaching of just war theory. The Catholic Church simply does not condone such a loss of life that a nuclear retaliation doctrine allows. Any act of war aimed indiscriminately at the destruction of entire cities or of extensive areas along with their population is a crime against God and man itself. It merits unequivocal and unhesitating condemnation (Challenge of Peace

147). One does not need to go very far to realize that nuclear weapons, because of their sheer destructive capability, are weapons whose use, or threats of use, fit the above description. It is important to describe the applicable portions of the just war teaching here. The primary pillars being, for deterrence, that of indiscrimination and of disproportionality. Nuclear weapons, the use thereof or the threat of that use, are entirely indiscriminate. This is shown by the counter force-counter value distinction above. These weapons do not only attack opposing military forces; they attack everyone in a nation. This is unacceptable. Indiscrimination means killing of innocents, means hostage holding, means the risk of massive destruction, and means revenge. The Catholic Church