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Letters Harm of idle nuclear weapons

On nuclear weapons, McCartney paints a biased picture.

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 01 November 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j4965
  1. Gee Yen Shin, consultant virologist
  1. Public Health England, London, UK
  1. geeyen.shin{at}

McCartney makes the controversial claim that “even if the nuclear weapons are never used, they do harm.”1

The whole point of a strategic nuclear deterrent is to deter any enemy from considering a nuclear first strike, a strategy predicated on the concept of mutually assured destruction. The fact that no nuclear weapons have been used in anger since the end of …

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