This paper provides a survey of the positive functions of the nuclear arms race for segments of society and society as a whole. The analysis of the positive functions does not serve as a justification for the status quo, but is undertaken to point out the numerous constraints mitigating against change. Massive social forces operate in such a manner as to continue and expand the arms race, indicating large scale social changes are required to stop it. A series of policy alternatives are enumerated as functional alternatives which would have fewer negative consequences while preserving our national security.