The insanity of nuclear deterrence

The insanity of nuclear deterrence


By Robert Green


Robert Green
Commander, The British Royal Navy, Retired.

When nuclear-armed nations face off, the threat of mutually assured destruction is expected to keep the worst from happening. But is this a rational strategy? Or is it one that is doomed to failure?

In this eye-opening and powerful talk, Commander Robert Green shares his experience piloting nuclear-armed aircraft – and his shift to becoming a staunch opponent of nuclear deterrence. Commander Robert Green served for twenty years in the British Royal Navy. As a bombardier-navigator, he flew in Buccaneer nuclear strike aircraft and anti-submarine helicopters equipped with nuclear depth-bombs.

His final appointment was as Staff Officer (Intelligence) to the Commander-in-Chief Fleet during the 1982 Falklands War.

He chaired the UK affiliate of the World Court Project, which led to the International Court of Justice judgment in 1996 that the threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be illegal.

Co-Director of the Disarmament & Security Centre in Christchurch since 1998, he is the author of Security Without Nuclear Deterrence.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at


Jan Oberg comments

This is one of the best, most eloquent and succinct arguments brought forward for a very long time. A man of great knowledge as he knows the system from the inside. Robert Green is obviously also a very moral man. You wonder why his knowledge and testimony has not circulated widely in the Western free press.

You may also wonder why it is un-ethical nuclearists such as Trump, May and Macron who are elected through – allegedly – Western democratic systems to lead, or destroy, our world – instead of personalities such as Robert Green.

If you want to know why the deterrence theory is both absurd and dangerous, this 19 min investment is the best you can make.

Please share widely.


One Response to "The insanity of nuclear deterrence"

  1. Gillian Rosemary Bailey   January 12, 2018 at 8:10 pm

    Some years ago I attended a brilliant talk by Robert Green at a large gathering in the New Zealand Parliament Buildings. I urge people to listen to this TED talk and what has led Green to becoming a staunch opponent of nuclear deterrence.


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