“Peaceniks” is not the word that comes to mind as you contemplate this array of smartly dressed current and former presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers, generals and ambassadors, their neat if thinning coiffures reflected in the gilded mirrors of an ornate hall in one of Paris's grand hotels. Yet, they have come together to advance a goal as ambitious as any pony-tailed peacenik ever had: the total elimination of all nuclear weapons by 2030. Global zero.
The obstacles along the road to zero are enormous. They include the country in which we sit. France's approach recalls the name of one of its nuclear submarines: L'Inflexible . As the head of the French foreign service told this audience, nuclear deterrence had served his country well for half a century.