To the Editor:

Re “New and Unnecessary” (editorial, Oct. 13):

A big decision about nuclear weapons facing the next president will be “to build or not to build,” but there’s more to this story.

The new president will need to decide whether to keep thousands of American nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert, ready to be fired at a moment’s notice, or to eliminate this potentially catastrophic cold war posture.

He must decide whether to retain the option of environmentally devastating nuclear testing, or to encourage the Senate to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. He must decide whether to perpetuate the system of nuclear haves and have-nots, or to commence good-faith negotiations to achieve the phased, verifiable and irreversible elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide.

The next president must, for the sake of humanity’s future, make a world free of nuclear weapons an urgent priority and assure the United States’ leadership to realize this goal.

Rick Wayman
Director of Programs
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
Santa Barbara, Calif.

This letter to the editor was originally published in the New York Times

Rick Wayman is Director of Programs at the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (