President Barack Obama and US political and policy leaders across the political spectrum have in recent years spoken about the need to eliminate nuclear weapons because of the dangers they pose. In 1970, the United States agreed by Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty ("NPT") to negotiate nuclear disarmament in good faith. The International Court of Justice ("ICJ") in 1996 found that this is an obligation not just to begin but also to "bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control." International humanitarian law ("IHL") prohibits the use of weapons whose effects are uncontrollable, indiscriminate, disproportionate, or unnecessary, and further prohibits a state from threatening to use nuclear weapons that would be unlawful to use.
Charles J. Moxley Jr.,
Obama's Nuclear Posture Review: An Ambitious Program for Nuclear Arms Control but a Retreat from the Objective of Nuclear Disarmament,
34 Fordham Int'l L.J. 734
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ilj/vol34/iss4/3