On August 6 and 9 we will commemorate the 71st anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Those atomic bombings changed the world forever and ushered in the nuclear age.
These bombs killed hundreds of thousands of people instantly and caused massive human suffering for decades.
Today, most nuclear weapons are 10 to 20 times more powerful than the ones dropped on Japan.
We must ensure that nuclear weapons are never used again.
President Obama reportedly may declare a “No First Use” policy. This policy would state that under no circumstances would the United States be the first country to use nuclear weapons.
No First Use may be de facto U.S. policy, but it must be affirmed clearly. The policy removes the ambiguity and minimizes the risk of miscalculation in a crisis.
The United States is the only country to use nuclear weapons in war. And so it has a special responsibility to ensure that nuclear weapons are never again used.
The U.S. must lead the world in ending the threat from nuclear weapons. No First Use would be a powerful step toward preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. This policy can keep us on a track to a world without them.
Saint Paul, Minn.