The Road to Zero: Keeping Swords, Building Ploughshares

The Road to Zero: Keeping Swords, Building Ploughshares

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An Alternative to Arms Control

Every Washington wonk dreams that a new president will pick up his or her agenda. When it comes to advocates for nuclear arms control, that dream seems to be coming true. On the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal in January 2007, George Shultz, William Perry, Henry Kissinger and Sam Nunn voiced a clarion call for the "road to zero," urging other former high-level officials from countries around the world to join them in pushing for the global abolition of nuclear weapons. The following year, only months before the presidential election, George Perkovich and James Acton authored an Adelphi Paper for the International Institute for Strategic Studies hoping to prompt a serious debate on how the road to zero could actually be achieved.

Less than seven months later, on April 6, 2009, as Perkovich wrote in a piece for the Guardian, "President Barack Obama gave a landmark speech in Prague on Sunday committing the United States to the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons, and laying out realistic steps to that end."

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