No First Use

No First Use is a pledge or a policy by a nuclear power not to use nuclear weapons as a means of warfare unless first attacked by an adversary using nuclear weapons.

At any minute, the president of the United States can start a nuclear war with sole authority. There is no requirement for outside approval or a second opinion. If the United States were to use nuclear weapons first, a nuclear-armed adversary is exponentially more likely to retaliate with nuclear weapons. Keeping the threat of nuclear first use on the table is an outdated and dangerous policy. Supporting a No First Use stance is a step we can take toward forging a saner nuclear policy.

Learn more about No First Use

  • A Nuclear Policy for All

    The legitimacy of American democracy is rooted in political participation. Since the end of World War II, however, participation in national security policymaking by citizens, and even by most elected representatives, is no longer considered legitimate. This is especially true for decisions...

    April 3, 2019 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • Remembering the Hawaii False Alarm

    January 13 marks the one-year anniversary of the false Hawaii missile alert. That’s when nearly every radio, television and cell phone in Hawaii broadcast a mistaken official message that read, "Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill." Hawaiians...

    January 9, 2019 - By Will Lowry
  • California Aims to Reduce Risk of Nuclear War

    In part through the tireless work of several of our grantees, California just passed a state resolution urging Congress to support national legislation restricting the President's sole authority to launch a nuclear first strike. If you live in California, see how your California State Senator...

    August 29, 2018 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • Rep. Adam Smith Introduces No First Use Bill

    On November 15, 2017, Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, introduced legislation to make it the policy of the United States to not use nuclear weapons first. The No First Use ...

    November 15, 2017 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • Nearly 500,000 to Congress: Take Trump’s Finger Off the Nuclear Button

    On Wednesday May 3, at a press conference on Capitol Hill, members of Congress accepted nearly 500,000 petition signatures collected by global security organizations, anti-nuclear weapons advocates, and progressive advocacy organizations in support of legislation that would limit President Trump...

    May 4, 2017 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • Add Democracy to Nuclear Policy

    The 2016 US presidential campaign has, among other things, reminded the public that the president has the sole authority to launch a nuclear attack. While public discussion focused on the temperament, judgment and character of the person occupying the office of the presidency, it has also raised...

    November 15, 2016 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • Phase Out America’s ICBMs

    Russia and the United States have started rebuilding their Cold War nuclear arsenals, putting us on the threshold of a new and dangerous arms race. But we don’t have to replay this drama. The US plan to rebuild and maintain its nuclear force is needlessly oversized and expensive, expected to...

    November 15, 2016 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • Break with Cold War Thinking

    Dear 45th President, welcome to the White House. You now have an opportunity to make a lasting impact on national and international policy. But whatever your priorities may be — national security, education, immigration, the deficit or the environment — one issue can trump them all: nuclear...

    November 15, 2016 - By Ploughshares Fund
  • Beyond Clinton or Trump: Nuclear Weapons and Democracy

    In November, US citizens will head to the ballot box to elect a new president - yet among the American populace, the necessity of elections is increasingly up for debate. Data from the World Values Survey...

    September 27, 2016 - By Anonymous
  • Tell Obama to Declare

    As commander-in-chief, President Obama should declare that America will never use a nuclear weapon first. Use the form below to sign our petition asking him to make this declaration before he leaves office. With more than four months left in his presidency, he still has time. ...

    September 1, 2016 - By Ploughshares Fund