Zero, The Case for Nuclear Weapons Abolition – Book Review

The Case for Nuclear Weapons Abolitionzero

In his remarkably readable and informative book on why abolishing nuclear weapons is an imperative for a safe and secure world, David Krieger points out there is a growing consensus among the peoples of the world that ZERO nuclear weapons is the only option. David Krieger, a founder of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation in Santa Barbara, California and President of the Foundation since 1982, has devoted his life to educating, inspiring and urging world leaders and ordinary citizens to act with a sense of urgency in a quest to abolish nuclear weapons.

The United States’ nuclear strategy was built on the notion of mutually assured destruction: if any nation attacked the United States, we would respond by totally and complete destruction of the attacking nation. To pursue such a strategy the United States built an enormous nuclear arsenal with various response capabilities. To be able to withstand a first strike and retaliate, the US plan was to deploy our nuclear arsenal in the air, at sea and from land based missiles scattered across the country. With such an overwhelming ability to destroy any adversary, we were coaxed into believing no one would dare attack us. Such a false sense of security left other nations deciding they too must arm themselves with nuclear weapons, thus further perpetuating the false notion of security. In spite of the fact that the US and Russia have actually reduced their nuclear weapons, other nations continue to seek, or are believed to be seeking, a nuclear capability.

In his book ZERO, The Case for Nuclear Weapons Abolition, David Krieger’s piece by piece analysis of the arguments in support of our continued reliance on nuclear deterrence convincingly demonstrates that it is a doomed and failed long range strategy for world peace and security. He grapples with such questions as: Do we really want to have the fate of the world and future generations entrusted to an ever changing cadre of world leaders who often govern under intense pressure (politically and emotionally) and stress?; Under such circumstances can these leaders be trusted to act prudently for the well being of all humankind?; If nuclear deterrence is so effective, why has the United States spent billions of dollars on missile defense systems?; Have those systems and nuclear arsenal stopped the attacks of 9/11? On the USS Cole? On our embassies in Africa and elsewhere?

With the fall of the Soviet Union, perhaps we have become complacent about the danger posed by nuclear weapons. ZERO awakens us to the dangers, costs, and absurdity of our reliance on these weapons for our security. . .because in reality with them, we are less secure. Krieger astutely observes that as long as the nine nations of the world’s “nuclear club” rely on the false notion of nuclear deterrence, we can expect nuclear war to loom over the future of the world.

hiroshima_afterbombRemembering the Hibakusha (the name given a person who survived the atomic bombs dropped on Japan), ZERO draws on the all too real, personal and intimate horrors nuclear war inflicts on all, individually and collectively, by relating the story of Miyoko Matsubara, a Hibakusha. Miyoko, 13 years old when the US dropped its atomic bombs on her country, describes how after the explosions her friend, Takiko, “simply disappeared from my sight.” Miyoko learned English so she could tell her story not to heap on us a sense of guilt and shame, but simply and quietly to give us a deeper understanding of the impact of weapons of mass destruction. She challenges us to become more aware of the world and a future we must avoid. Krieger’s book accepts that challenge by attempting to raise our consciousness and calling us to act in reducing nuclear weapons so there will not be a future of Hibakusha and others simply disappearing from our sight.

In the words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu::

“This book makes a clear and persuasive case for why we must move
urgently and globally to zero nuclear weapons. It should be required
reading for all citizens of Earth.”

No matter your level of understanding on this all-important issue, ZERO is a concise and thoughtful book which will better your understanding of the development, history and proliferation of nuclear weapons and why nuclear disarmament is necessary for a secure world. It is an essential addition to your list of must reads.

Barry Ladendorf
Veterans For Peace (San Diego)
Hugh Thompson Chapter 091

1 Comment

  1. Admin says:


    Tuesday August 6th 2013, Noon-1pm

    At the Hiroshima Cherry Tree in Tavistock Square, London WC1


    Bruce Kent – CND Vice-President

    Natalie Bennett – Leader of the Green Party

    Nobu Ono – JAN UK

    Linda Perks – UNISON London Regional Secretary

    Peter Tatchell – Peter Tatchell Foundation

    Val Brown – London Guantanamo Campaign


    Raised Voices,

    Red & Green Choir,

    JAN UK

    Jim Radford.


    Celia Mitchell

    The cherry tree was planted in Tavistock Square in 1967, by the then Mayor of Camden, Cllr. Millie Miller, in remembrance of the victims, past and present, of the atomic bombs dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6th and 9th August 1945. Participants are invited to bring flowers to lay beneath the tree during the ceremony.

    People are also invited to picnic in the Square after the Ceremony.

    Organised by London Region CND

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