John Mearsheimer got top billing this week on the Global Security Newswire. Elaine Grossman dug up the University of Chicago professor’s 1993 fringe theory on nuclear proliferation:
“As soon as it declared independence, Ukraine should have been quietly encouraged to fashion its own nuclear deterrent,” the University of Chicago scholar wrote in a 1993 Foreign Policy piece. “A nuclear Ukraine … is imperative to maintain peace between Ukraine and Russia. … Ukraine cannot defend itself against a nuclear-armed Russia with conventional weapons, and no state, including the United States, is going to extend to it a meaningful security guarantee.”
GSN then let Mearsheimer, who is no stranger to controversy, double down on his Strangelovian musing about nuclear weapons in Ukraine:
“I do think they should have kept their nukes,” he said on Sunday via email. “If Ukraine had a real nuclear deterrent, the Russians would not be threatening to invade it.”
The comments may not have raised eyebrows had they appeared in another publication. Yet they were printed under the Nuclear Threat Initiative banner. NTI is of course that vital “nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a mission to strengthen global security by reducing the risk of use and preventing the spread of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.”
Ironically, Soviet nuclear weapons were removed from Ukraine under the auspices of Senator Sam Nunn’s Cooperative Threat Reduction Program. Who is the co-Chairman and CEO of NTI? None other than, Mr. Nunn himself.