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Naked Unto Our Enemies

- Abstract

The crisis over North Korea’s development of a nuclear arsenal has—or should have—brought us face to face with two hard truths. First, the nonproliferation agreements we have been relying on cannot work against precisely the kind of rogue state these agreements were designed to keep from acquiring nuclear weapons. Second, because we continue to eschew missile defense—indeed, right now we have nothing deployed on land, sea, or in space that could shoot down even one missile fired at us—we are at the mercy of the worst elements of mankind.

To see how we got ourselves to this point, why all the old arguments against missile defense have become meaningless, and why we are finally being forced to think about nuclear weapons realistically for the first time, we must start by looking back to the dawn of the nuclear age.

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