US Must Arm Against New Nuclear Powers

In the opinion-page article ``Can Military Strategies `Ban the Bomb'? '' April 29, the author raises a valid point about the possible consequences of enforcing ``counterproliferation,'' or preempting by military means the illegal acquisition and eventual use of threatening nuclear capability by aggressive nations.

But he refuses to acknowledge sufficiently that we live in a dangerous world. Risks to international security are spreading - not least of which is an expansionist North Korea. By the turn of the century at least a dozen new nuclear states with missile delivery systems will be on the global scene. Several of these states are threats to peace. Poignant examples, including Mussolini, Hitler, and their latter-day counterparts, show how foolish it is to let aggressors proceed freely with overtly threatening plans based on stated or otherwise obvious intentions.

A mindless fear of weapons can no longer substitute for asserting the right of nation-states to carry out actions - even of the preemptive kind - in the name of self-defense against dedicated aggressors or would-be aggressors. Albert L. Weeks, Sarasota, Fla.

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