In 1996, the International Court of Justice issued an opinion that the use of nuclear weapons is Òscarcely
reconcilableÓ with international humanitarian law and concluded that nations have an obligation to pursue
good-faith  negotiations  leading  to  disarmament.  The  2010  Nuclear  Non-Proliferation  Treaty  Review
Conference reaffirmed the need for all states to comply with international humanitarian law, which governs
the use of nuclear as well as conventional weapons. When the rules of war are applied to nuclear weapons, it
becomes clear that these weapons cannot comply with international law. The effects of nuclear weapons are
inherently uncontrollable and do not meet international criteria for discrimination between military and
civilian targets, for proportionality, and for necessity. Arguments made by the United States as to why
some uses of nuclear weapons could be lawful do not stand up to scrutiny. Nuclear weapon states should
make immediate changes to any missions, deployments, and targeting policies and practices that facilitate the
use of nuclear weapons. Not only does international law preclude the use of nuclear weapons, but it also
precludes threats to use nuclear weapons.

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