Neutron bomb and conventional Weapons of mass destruction

Robinson, J. P. Perry
March 1978
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists;Mar1978, Vol. 34 Issue 3, p42
The article discusses the implications of the narrowing gap between the destructive power of nuclear and conventional weapons for the United States' approach to armament. The dwindling practical significance of the so-called nuclear threshold bolsters the case for intergovernmental negotiation using qualitative conventional arms limitation as framework. Such a framework, however, has proved inadequate in regard to the criteria of illegality in weapons, and to the concepts of military necessity and proportionality. The use of the laws of war as framework, on the other hand, often suffers from the exclusion of humanitarian emotiveness. The author recommends combining the subtle treatment of security politics and humanitarian concepts into these approaches.


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