The denunciation by the United States of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the growing likelihood of an imminent termination of the 2010 New START Treaty are returning the nuclear issue, at least temporarily, to the focus of world politics. In the current military-political conditions, a war can break out in a few crisis days and end in a matter of hours of an exchange of nuclear strikes.
During these hours, hundreds of millions of people will be killed, and everything that humanity has created over the past thousand years will be destroyed. The direct consequences would be irreversible, while the secondary ones would most likely destroy the rest of the Earth’s population over a few years.
The US nuclear forces perform several critical functions under the US national security strategy. They include preventing an attack with or without the use of atomic weapons, guaranteeing the safety of allies and partners, achieving US public policy objectives if containment fails, and reacting to unforeseen situations in the future. For these purposes and because of these situations, nuclear weapons are allowed and can be used instead of conventional weapons.