The independent resource on global security


Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN 0-85066-260-5
151 pp.

The debate on no-first-use of nuclear weapons has been conducted on a number of fronts. First use of nuclear weapons has come under challenge from many different directions: from church synods, from international lawyers, in debates at the United Nations, and from strategic thinkers.

This book takes stock for and against no-first-use and examines the political, military and arms control implications of such a commitment.


Part I. No-first-use of nuclear weapons - an overview

No-first-use of nuclear weapons - an overview

Frank Blackaby, Jozef Goldblat and Sverre Lodgaard


Part II. No-first-use - main arguments for and against

Nuclear weapons and the Atlantic Alliance

McGeorge Bundy, George F. Kennan, Robert S. McNamara and Gerard Smith

Nuclear weapons and the preservation of peace

Karl Kaiser, Georg Leber, Alois Mertes and Franz-Jozef Schulze


Part III. Discussion papers

1. The necessity, preconditions and consequences of a no-first-use policy

Horst Afheldt

2. The no-first-use debate and the theory of thresholds

Lawrence Freedman

3. Alternatives to the first use of nuclear weapons

Daniel Frei

4. No-first-use of nuclear weapons

Shalheveth Freier

5. The atom serves but one master

Pierre M. Gallois

6. No-first-use - a first step in eliminating nuclear weapons

Alfonso García Robles

7. Views on a commitment to no-first-use of nuclear weapons

Cai Mengsun

8. On the question of non-resort to the first use of nuclear weapons

Mikhail A. Milshtein

9. Should the United States commit itself to not being the first to use nuclear weapons?

Paul C. Warnke


Appendix I. Declarations on security assurances to non-nuclear weapon states made by the five nuclear weapon states

Appendix II. Additional Protocol II to the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America (Treaty of Tlatelolco)

Appendix III. References to the no-first-use of nuclear weapons made in the general debate of UNSSOD II

Appendix IV. UN Resolutions adopted in 1983


Frank Blackaby was Director of SIPRI between 1981–86.