The Times – 16 March 2015 (published a shortened version of this original text)
The fatal flaw in the plea of 25 British faith leaders to "rid the world of nuclear weapons" (letter, March 13) is their failure to address the immense destructiveness of conventional warfare between hostile states freed from the nuclear stalemate. During the Cold War, it was dreadful enough that proxy wars took place in peripheral regions, on a limited scale. Yet, despite such confrontations, peace was maintained on the central front – the continent of Europe – where the nuclear balance of terror applied.
Certainly, Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty does call for world nuclear disarmament; but it demands general and complete (conventional) disarmament too. Imposing the one without the other – and in advance of a worldwide system of stable government – is a sure-fire recipe for World War Three.
Dr JULIAN LEWIS MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA