El Baradei: World must abandon nuclear weapons

Unless the world abandons the supposition that nuclear weapons guarantee security, it risks a return to the "mutual assured destruction" policy that kept the world on the brink of ruin during the Cold War, the United Nations' top nuclear controller said Thursday. Even worse, Mohamed ElBaradei said, continued development of nuclear weapons puts the world at risk of realizing the condition foreseen by former President John F. Kennedy in the early 1960s of 20 to 30 nuclear powers. "Efforts to control the spread of such weapons will only be delaying the inevitable - a world in which each country or group has laid claim to its own nuclear weapon. Mutually assured destruction will once again be the absurd hallmark of civilization at its technological peak," ElBaradei told the graduating class of Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies.