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00000174-b11b-ddc3-a1fc-bfdbb1d30001HearSA is an online audio archive of public programming intended to foster discussion and enhance awareness of informative local presentations and events. The archive includes lectures, panel discussions, book readings, and more. HearSA is presented by Texas Public Radio in association with its local partners. It is important to recognize that the opinions presented in these programs are those of the author or presenter, not Texas Public Radio or any of its stations, and are not necessarily endorsed by TPR.If your organization hosts lectures, book readings, panel discussions, or presentations and is interested in participating, email HearSA curator, Nathan Cone at ncone [at] tpr dot org

Using Nuclear Weapons In Current Conflicts 'Morally Outrageous'

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The Cato Institute has never been shy about putting it's opinions into the marketplace.  The libertarian think-tank recently endorsed the Hagel nomination as one of cautious pragmatism to the surprise of people who thought they were staunch allies of the Defense Department and big budgets.

Benjamin Friedman explained at the World Affairs Council of  San Antonio that the Cato Institute and its constituents have always been opposed to large bureaucratic budgets and have been pro-peace for decades.  

His lecture, entitled Overkill: The Case for Reevaluating U.S. Nuclear Strategy, outlined the beginnings of our current strategy as one still rooted in cold-war thinking and, considering our current enemies and wars, one that is patently absurd.

"The wars we fight in the United States historically are against weak states without nukes. These fights, whether or not you think they are a good idea, have limited or remote bearing on our physical safety, and without a more proximate threat to us here, the idea of us using nuclear weapons is morally outrageous."

In this presentation, Friedman advocates a large reduction in nuclear arms to reflect the actual need and focuses it in the hands of a single branch of the military.  He says this would free the strategy of bureaucratic recalcitrance and makes sense.