Liberation Day Countdown; the Index

Aaron Tovish
5 min readMay 23, 2024


[Scroll down to see Aaron Tovish’s CV.
Note that the logs are now order most recent to least recent.]

#10 Liberation Day minus 7700
— The fatal flaw in nuclear deterrence: at the threshold of catastrophic climate disruption mutually assured destruction becomes globally assured destruction.
— This creates an incentive to gobble up the limited, sub-threshold, city-incinerating “opportunities” early in a nuclear war;
— Takeaways: even small arsenal carry this threat (making larger ones essentially redundant); in crisis, this “incentive to gobble” is profoundly destabilzing; for cities this adds insult to injury, i.e. incineration and “contributing’ to catastrophic climate change.

#9 Liberation Day minus 7715
— They’re all bluffing; not just Putin… But that doesn’t make it OK!
— The charade of trying to make the bluff credible (1) increases the risk of inadvertent use; (2) frightens the general public; and (3) undermines trust. — Renouncing all options to initiate nuclear war can be done (viz China and India) and must be done, at least a decade before Liberation Day.

#8 Liberation Day minus 7737
— Converting A2000 to A2045; A is for Abolition. Proposal to establish a 2045 Working Group to prepare for the launch a score-years’ campaign.
— Getting the ball rolling toward The Great Renunciation at the NPT PrepCom. A plenery NGO presentation based on Irish FM Aikens 1958 initiative on “non-dissemination” (see Log#7).

#7. Liberation Day minus 7739
— OWNing the history of the Nuclear Age; two examples: (1) 80th anniversary of Irish initiative for non-dissemination (nonproliferation of the Bomb). Foreign Minister Aiken’s proposal is a good template for initiative on renouncing the initiation of nuclear warfare. (2) 87th anniversary of Trinty, using Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address (four score and seven years ago) as a template.
— Cities and taking on NATO’s first use options. First use threats are bluffs, but the existence of first use options means use by a madman cannot be ruled out. Cities and activists will need to coordinate transatlantically to address this threat. The conventional threat to cities must also be addressed in Mayors-Majors consultative sessions.

#6. Liberation Day minus 7742
— Letter to Biden and Xi. “win/win/win”
— Objective for NPT review process’s second Preparatory Committee meeting: an open-ended committee to draft language on risk reduction, negative security guarantee, and mutual non-threat and non-use of nuclear weapons for consideration by the third meeting as recommendation to the 2016 Review Conference.

#5. Liberation Day minus 7755
— Terminology: The Bomb, “illegal nuclear terror weapon”
— More on cities; “No urban warfare without welfare.”
— Liberation Celebration: triumph of collective will; putting the “spectacular diversity of human creatively on display”
— Introducing: “Score One for Humanity” 20-year campaign launch on 80th H/N anniversary; engaging performers; athletes; and youth
— Bombarded cities’ memorial concerts to raise campaign funds

#4. Liberation Day minus 7758
— The logistics of simultaneous disable: six concerns discussed.
— L-Day prerequisite: full accounting and sequestration (details soon)
— L-Day follow-up: device dismantlement and degrading/down-blending special nuclear materials (details later)

#3. Liberation Day minus 7771
— Introducing the three Liberation Days Celebration; remembering Nagasaki
— The Great Renunciation: “renouncing all options to initiate nuclear warfare” is a better way of putting it than “No first use.”
— China proposes no-first-use agreement among NWSs, as follow up to the G20’s “inadmissible” (with background on Bali/Delhi)

#2. Liberation Day minus 7777
— Trap #1: Timing History played a cruel trick on us by having chain reaction fission be discovered just as WWII started up.
— Trap #2: Disarmament The post-war afterglow made disarmament seem the right goal; three-quarters of a century later this goal is as elusive as ever and will remain so until use policies are restrained.

#1. Countdown to “Liberation Day” (minus 7,779)
— Declaration of August 6, 1945 as Liberation Day
— On L-Day, the simultaneous disablement of remaining nuclear “weapons”
— “Cities Are Not Targets!” necessary to counterbalance the slight uptick in the risk of conventional war in a NWFW
— Nuclear “weapons” are not legitimate weapons, threatening their use is terrorism; using them, barbarism — thus the G20 pronounced their use or threat of use “inadmissible”

Aaron Tovish, NGO activist-expert-lobbyist: Accomplishments

Currently: Co-founder of and Senior Adviser to NoFirstUse Global
Previously, primarily working with elected officials on nuclear threat issues:

1982–96, Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA): Research Director; Peace and Security Program Director; Deputy Secretary General

2003–2016, Mayors for Peace (MfP): Executive Adviser to the Mayor of Hiroshima; International Director of the 2020 Vision Campaign

Employment in expert community:

1980–81 Greenpeace International: Adviser to the President

1996–97 Federation of American Scientists (FAS), Editor “De-Alerting Alert”

1997–98 Swedish Foreign Policy Institute, Coordinator for NWS experts’ conference on de-alerting

Observer, participation as lobbyist in international meetings (partial list)

1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2005, 2010, and 2015 NPT Review Conference (plus many PrepComms)

1982–1996, 2004–2014 (most years) UNGA First Committee fall sessions

2002–2006, monitoring of the Conference on Disarmament (plus many prior and subsequent visits)


1984–1989 Six Nations Peace Initiative: conception (founder of Third Party Intervention); launch and participation in Planning Group (with PGA); expert input (with FAS); and implementation of testing moratorium verification (with the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Soviet Academy of Science)

1988–1991 Partial Test Ban Treaty Amendment: conception (while with Greenpeace); drafting (with PGA and Kennedy Administration PTBT negotiators); launch (with PGA and Mexican Nobel Laureate Garcia Robles); implementation (with PGA and Indonesia Foreign Minister Ali Alatas); verification protocol drafting (with VERTIC and Georgetown Law School)

1994, UNGA resolution on “Step-by-step Reduction of the Nuclear Threat”: original draft (with PGA); adoption (with Mexico, Australia, and others)

1993–95, Strengthening of the NPT Review Process: conception and promotion (with PGA); implemented by South Africa (via Canada)

2004–2014, ten-fold increase in the membership of Mayors for Peace, from less than 600 to over 6000 cities, representing well over one billion people.

2005, 2012 Open-Ended Working Group: conception (with MfP); initial unsuccessful promotion (via Mexico and Canada and others); revival (with MfP and Reaching Critical Will); implementation (via Austria, Mexico and Norway); participation (representing MfP); led to UN negotiation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

2010–2014, High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament; launch (at Hiroshima Mayors for Peace Conference), preliminary meetings of diplomats (with UN Department of Disarmament Affairs); subject of UNGA resolution, 2017 (Cuba, Indonesia, and Iran), held at UN Headquarters September 2018.

[Note that prior to 2018, I, too, pursued the “disarmament delusion” that progressive and systematic arms reduction (or even just cessation of the nuclear arms race) could be successfully pursued without reference to and restraint of nuclear use policies.]