Resources for Teachers and Students
Prepare: Lee Butler, a retired general, was at one
time in charge of the strategic nuclear arsenal of the United
States Air Force and Navy. His comprehensive biography,
as well as a bibliography of much of his work, is available
on the Nuclearfiles.org
Lee Butler's Architects
of Peace essay, titled "The Responsibility to End
the Nuclear Madness," is excerpted from Waging Peace
Worldwide, A Journal of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.
Explore: Study the Los Angeles Times article "A
Cold War Warrior Looks to Ban the Bomb After a Career in
Brinksmanship" (by Robert Scheer, May 23, 1999).
Pay particular attention to Butler's thoughts about the
use of ballistic missiles as delivery systems for nuclear
weapons in the current era, and to his thoughts about the
possibility of accidental nuclear war.
Write: Compose a three-to-five page paper either
supporting or refuting the following statement from "The
Responsibility to End the Nuclear Madness:" "It
matters not that we continuously fall short of the mark.
What matters is that we continue to strive. What is at stake
here is our capacity to move ever higher to the bar of civilized
behavior." Butler seems to be making a case that the
imperative to disarm has greater ethical weight than the
imperative of nuclear deterrence. Is this assertion defensible,
given the current world situation? Make certain, as part
of your argument, to incorporate some of the research you
conducted as part of the "Explore" section.
Extend: Using the internet and library resources,
attempt to find data regarding the following questions:
What is the number of nations today thought to have the
capability to engage in nuclear warfare? Are there currently
any nuclear arms disarmament initiatives, such as the Strategic
Arms Limitation Talks, being considered within the international
community? Has there been a worldwide reduction of nuclear
weapons in the past year, or are we currently going through
a period of buildup?
Additional Resource: More than a dozen of Lee Butler's
articles and speeches can be found in the archives of WagingPeace.org,
the website of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF).
(By the way: numerous people featured in the Architects
of Peace project, including the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond
Tutu, Jean-Michael Cousteau, Ted Turner and Queen Noor of
Jordan, participate on the NAPF advisory council.)
Biography of Lee