Nuclear Proliferation

Should opponents of the United States be given carte blanche to arm themselves with nuclear weapons to protect themselves from the United States nuclear weapons capability?

This is an interesting question. But if you explore the implications of the answers to this question, you need to explore the repercussions.

If all opponents of the United States MUST be allowed nuclear weapons, then why should all the allies of the United States be denied them?

As the situation now exists, if opponents can not resolve their differences without resorting to nuclear warfare, they can yield to combat without destroying the earth.

If every tin pot dictator has access to nuclear weapons to resolve his disputes, we are going to be in for a world of shit.

Those who already possess nuclear weapons have proven themselves to be mature enough not to resort to them to settle disputes. They have not been mature enough to resolve these disputes without warfare, but they have resisted the motivation to push the nuclear button.

If more and more nations become "nuclear capable" we are going to find nuclear weapons coming into the hands of those who are less mature. Those who will not blink that, when it comes to their use of these weapons, it could result in the destruction of mankind as a species.

As it stands now, those who insist on warfare can settle their differences through only the horrors of "conventional" warfare without destroying mankind while they are at it. The horrors they visit upon their corner of the earth might be unacceptable, however they do not wipe out all of mankind while they settle their differences.

Once every tin pot dictator possesses his own nuclear arsenal, this is not going to be the case. Google Idi Amin to see an example of what horrors such dictators might insist upon while they hold the whole world hostage.

Nuclear non-proliferation is one goal mankind must hold sacred if mankind as a species is to continue to exist.

Some might argue that mankind deserves to be wiped out. That mankind, as a species, really is that evil. I will point to the wonderful examples of where mankind exists as a fount of possibility. And I will ask this question. If mankind is wiped out, then what are the alternatives?

There is enough endangerment to our species with "any" being armed with nuclear weapons. Perhaps mankind can continue to exist while only a "few" are thus armed. We can not turn back the hands of time and disarm everyone. However we CAN try to limit this capability to only the "few" and continue to insist that not everyone deserves the right to destroy the world if he/she thinks it is necessary.


Blogger Michael said...

Nuclear non-proliferation is one goal mankind must hold sacred if mankind as a species is to continue to exist.

Absolutely. I salute you.

The best way to achieve this goal is through the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

Unfortunately, the nation that has undermined the effectiveness and authority of the NNPT (indeed, the only one that really could) is the United States. The US is designing new nukes, designing (and has made and probably utilised) tactical nukes, unilaterally breached the ICBM treaty and rewarded the new nuclear nations with its blessings (India and Pakistan).

Yes, neither were signatories but making India and Pakistan strategic partners tells the rest of the world that making and possessing nukes is "okay" as long as you superficially agree with some convenient US foreign policy goal at the time.

Even UK (now the hypocrite) has decided that it will develop new nukes to upgrade its current arsenal.

"Mature" and "less mature" are rather loaded terms. As a non-American, I can tell you that the majority in the Western world does not consider the US a particularly "mature" nation to be holding onto nukes, especially with its penchant for militarism. Only one nation has ever used nukes in war. Apart from that occurence, the US has come pretty close to launching nukes on at least several other occurences.

Michael Tam

6/27/2006 03:43:00 AM  
Blogger Little David said...

After Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the US resisted the effort to use nuclear weapons in the Korean War even though, at that point, the US still enjoyed overwhelming nuclear superiority.

The US set the standard then that nuclear weapons should not be used, even by the nuclear armed.

The new "reliable" nuclear warhead the US is developing could actually lead to the US possessing fewer nuclear warheads. With this "reliable" warhead the US would not need to have as many warheads in order to ensure deterence.

I do not think you will ever see the US agreeing to completely disarm from nuclear weapons. Is some reduction possible, even desirable? Yes, but complete disarming probably is not going to happen.

6/27/2006 07:01:00 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

I do not expect the US to entirely shed its arsenal. That is unrealistic. Nevertheless, one of the pillars of the NNPT was that the existing nuke capable nations would not pursue new nuclear weapons technologies and gradually disarm.

The US has "disarmed" in part only by attrition (i.e., old old nukes become defunct and decommissioned), however, it has actively developed new nuclear weapons, including the tactical nukes such as the "bunker busters". Even if it slips through a loophole in the NNPT by means of a definition, it certainly against the spirit of the NNPT.

At present, the US has enough nukes to wipe out this planet many times over and no one else has anti-ballistic missile technology (though again, with the US leading the way in breaching the anti-militarisation of space treaty, we can expect China and Russia to follow suit). Developing new nukes does not seem to be a particularly necessary "defence" goal.

Michael Tam

6/28/2006 02:21:00 AM  

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