This letter to the editor was published by the Los Angeles Times on December 4, 2014.

LA TimesTo the Editor: The U.S. can lead in modernizing its nuclear arsenal, resuming nuclear testing and, in general, continuing to demonstrate the perceived military usefulness of nuclear weapons. Or, the U.S. can lead in pursuing negotiations in good faith to end the nuclear arms race and achieve complete nuclear disarmament. (“New nuclear weapons needed, many experts say, pointing to aged arsenal,” Nov. 29)

The first path will cost $1 trillion over the next three decades, encourage nuclear proliferation and keep the nuclear arms race alive through the 21st century. The second path will demonstrate U.S. global leadership, allow precious resources to be used for meeting basic needs and fulfill U.S. legal obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

We have a choice about what kind of country we wish to be and what kind of world we will pass on to our children and grandchildren.