The Nuclear Cookie Jar

Back in June 2010, I had a post entitled “Is Our Hand in the Nuclear Cookie Jar?” which made an analogy between our missile defense plans and a toddler having her hand in the cookie jar while asserting that she wasn’t taking a cookie. Unfortunately, we continue to risk creating a Russian-American crisis by maintaining that Russia has nothing to fear from our plans, but refusing to put that in writing and taking other actions that make it look like our hand is in the nuclear cookie jar. (See that earlier post for one scenario on how a crisis could unfold.)

Most recently, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov complained, “Our partners [the United States and NATO] duck a simple and reasonable question. If the global missile shield is not to be aimed at Russia, then why cannot we have clear and legally binding guarantees? … Their evasiveness leaves the impression that our partners are insincere.” No one should play with nuclear cookies, so let’s stop doing it.

Martin Hellman

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About Martin Hellman

I am a professor at Stanford University, best known for my invention of public key cryptography -- the technology that protects the secure part of the Internet, such as electronic banking. But, since 1982, my primary interest has been how fallible human beings can survive possessing nuclear weapons, where even one mistake could be catastrophic. My latest project is a book, co-written with my wife Dorothie, with the audacious subtitle "Creating True Love at Home & Peace on the Planet." It's on Amazon and a free PDF can be downloaded from its website:
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