As it seeks to modernize its nuclear arsenal, the United States faces a big choice, one which Barack Obama should ponder before his upcoming Hiroshima speech. Should we spend a trillion dollars to replace each of our thousands of nuclear warheads with a more sophisticated substitute attached to a more lethal delivery system?
With no treaty in effect, nations could resume testing nukes at any time. This would cause a major arms race. The risk of nuclear terrorism or accidental launch make nuclear disarmament a very crucial goal for all nations. Japan wants to work with the United States on ending nuclear testing and building a world with no nukes.
What really happened in the days leading up to the decision to destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki may never be known. Enough is known, however, to underscore a critical lesson for the future: Human beings in general, and political leaders in particular, are all too commonly prone to making decisions that put near-term political concerns above truly fundamental humanitarian concerns.