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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 27, June 1998

President Clinton's Former Arms Control Ambassador Urges NFU

On 24 June, Ambassador Thomas Graham, until July 1997 President Clinton's Special Representative for Arms Control, Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, told the Kyodo news agency that he favoured an important change in US nuclear doctrine: the declaration of a policy of 'no-first-use' (NFU) of nuclear weapons: "It is my personal view that the United states should make a decision to issue a policy statement that its policy in the future is to not be the first to use nuclear weapons under any circumstances..." Referring to the US-Japan nuclear relationship, Graham added: "It's very important to reduce the political value of nuclear weapons... It would be very useful if Japan would say publicly that under no conditions would Japan build nuclear weapons and if the United States adopted a no-first-use policy..." Such a policy shift, in Graham's view, "Would not cause Japan to lose faith in the US nuclear umbrella."

Editor's note: see Disarmament Diplomacy, No. 19 (October 1997), for an article by Ambassador Graham and John Rhinelander outlining options for future US nuclear arms control policy.

Report: US should adopt 'no-first-use' policy - ex-official, Kyodo, 24 June.

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

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