Martin Tegnander / PRIO
Martin Tegnander / PRIO

PRIO researcher Gregory M. Reichberg has contributed to a new report which deals with the morality of nuclear deterrence.

The report, "Nuclear Deterrence: A Reassessment", is part of a working paper issued by the Caritas in Veritate Foundation, which works in close association with the Holy See's diplomatic representation in Geneva.

In addition to Reichberg's report, the paper reproduces the most important Catholic church texts on the morality of nuclear deterrence.

Follow this link for the full working paper.

You can read an abstract of Reichberg's text below.

"Over the last two years there hasbeen an increased focus on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weaponsuse. This, in turn, has led to renewed calls for a ban on nuclearweapons. Throughout such discussions, the question of deterrence, themain stated reason why states possess nuclear weapons, has remained largely inthe background. By way of contrast, and to fill a notable lacuna in thecontemporary literature, this paper seeks to reassess the question of nucleardeterrence in light of the recent humanitarian discourse on nuclear weaponsuse. Seeking to undercut the assumption (prevalent in much of the ethicalliterature in this field) that nuclear deterrence can be judgedindependently of nuclear weapons use , this paper aims to show why thisseparation cannot be sustained. In line with recent Catholic Church teaching,the paper concludes that the system of nuclear deterrence lacks a proper moralfoundation. Finding a way out of the grave risks associated with nuclearweapons, by redoubling our efforts toward the goal of general nucleardisarmament, consequently remains a top priority of our time."