It appears to me that the current pandemic should help us see that the exorbitant level of spending on nuclear arms and other armaments is not in keeping with the times. It wasn’t nuclear or conventional weapons or submarines or fighter jets that brought the world to a standstill. How then can we protect our people while using resources wisely, so as to prepare ourselves for whatever may come next? One area that needs serious examination is the elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide, weapons that not only are costly but dangerous, for instance should they fall into the hands of terrorists.
On November 23rd of 2019, Pope Francis visited Nagasaki in Japan. Reflecting on the atomic bombing that took place on August 6, 1945, he said,
"Peace and international stability are incompatible with attempts to build upon the fear of mutual destruction, or the threat of total annihilation.
"In a world where millions of children and families live in inhumane conditions, the money that is squandered and the fortunes made through the manufacture, upgrading, maintenance and sale of ever more destructive weapons are an affront crying out to heaven. Convinced as I am that a world without nuclear weapons is possible and necessary, I ask political leaders not to forget that these weapons cannot protect us from current threats to national and international security.”
Throughout the latter part of the 20th century into the 21st, there have been serious efforts to achieve this goal. For instance, START, (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) initiated by President Ronald Reagan and signed by President George H.W. Bush in 1991 and his Russian counterpart, President Mikhail Gorbachev. A new START initiative was signed by Presidents Barak Obama and Dmitri Medvedev in 2010.
Previously, four senior statesmen with years of government and political experience, George Shultz, Bill Perry, Henry Kissinger and Sam Nunn (nicknamed the ‘Four Horsemen’) wrote a series of articles on this question in the Wall St. Journal beginning in 2007. “They highlighted the need to move seriously towards the elimination of nuclear weapons and advocated for a ‘Joint Enterprise’ that would identify the conditions required to achieve this goal and suggest efforts to create these conditions.” (From the article, “The Trump Administration and Nuclear Weapons,” published by IISS) One may research this question on the Internet to see other attempts to curb and finally eliminate these weapons so that they will never be used again.
Basically, Pope Francis gets to the heart of this question: "Peace and international stability are incompatible with attempts to build upon the fear of mutual destruction, or the threat of total annihilation."
In summary, the pandemic has shown that all our money spent on arms can’t stop something like this. May the peoples of our world become increasingly aware of how much time and talent and money are poured into developing and maintaining nuclear weapons. With this information, and guided by God’s Holy Spirit, perhaps more people will advocate for their elimination so that resources may by creatively used to alleviate poverty and hunger as well as to control viruses that can and most likely will afflict the human race going forward.