nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

USA and Russia are not keeping to privisions of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)

The original treaty [Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) ]is quite clear. Article VI reads as follows (emphasis mine):

“Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”

The “nuclear club” countries, however, have lately reneged on their end of the “let’s move toward disarmament” plan. The most recent news in the U.S., of course, is that both of our major political partieshave supported a massive, trillion-dollar “modernization” program that would significantly enhance rather than reduce existing stockpiles……..

North Korea Isn’t the Only Rogue Nuclear State  Nuclear weapons are about to be made illegal worldwide, but good luck hearing about it at home, Rolling Stone, By , 6 July 17As if the last few years weren’t bad enough, we now have a real nuclear crisis.

North Korea’s loony regime of Kim Jong-un conducted a successful missile launch test – landing about 60 miles south of the Russian city of Vladivostok, according to some reports – marking a frightening nuclear escalation that has heightened tensions across the planet.

That this first serious confrontation in ages is happening now is ironic, given that a little-reported showdown about the use of nuclear power will soon take place in the U.N.

A draft of a U.N. treaty to ban all nuclear weapons is about to be voted on. It has the support of 132 nations and is very likely to pass, at which point the United States will soon once again be in technical violation of a major international agreement, as it long has been with regard to the International Treaty banning land mines.

While practically the ban may not accomplish much, it matters a little when we violate treaties, at least intellectually speaking. North Korea’s violation of similar international agreements is at the crux of the international consensus against allowing the country to have a nuclear program in the first place.

This is what Steve Snyder, the senior fellow on U.S.-North Korea relations for the Council of Foreign Relations, wrote last year about why North Korea must never be allowed to have nukes:

“The United States cannot accept North Korea as a nuclear weapons state for normative reasons; North Korea had signed onto the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as a non-nuclear state and then abandoned the treaty in order to pursue nuclear capabilities. Tolerating North Korea’s nuclear status would be equivalent to setting a precedent for other NPT signatories to violate the treaty.”

The problem with this argument is that from the point of view of many non-nuclear countries, the United States itself, along with other nuclear club countries (particularly Russia), has been in continuing violation of the original nuclear non-proliferation treaty, as drafted in 1968.

The treaty has been mostly very successful. Since 1970, when it went into effect, only four more countries – Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea – are known to have developed nuclear weapons, and only one, North Korea, was at any time a signatory.

Israel, India and Pakistan were three of just four U.N. member states to originally refuse to sign the treaty. North Korea, meanwhile, pulled out of the treaty in 2003, almost exactly a year after it was put in the crosshairs by George W. Bush in the infamous “Axis of Evil” speech. It had long been suspected of pursuing a secret development program.

One of the reasons the NPT was long seen as successful is that over the decades, it did inspire the main actors – particularly the United States and Russia – to move toward disarmament. Through a variety of programs, nuclear stockpiles have been drastically diminished, down to about 14,900 warheads worldwide, or two-thirds less than their high point in the mid-Eighties.

Russia and the United States didn’t just reduce their stockpiles out of goodwill. They did so in part because moving toward global disarmament was a major component of the original bargain of the non-proliferation treaty.

The original treaty is quite clear. Article VI reads as follows (emphasis mine):

“Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”

The “nuclear club” countries, however, have lately reneged on their end of the “let’s move toward disarmament” plan. The most recent news in the U.S., of course, is that both of our major political partieshave supported a massive, trillion-dollar “modernization” program that would significantly enhance rather than reduce existing stockpiles……..

A lack of dialogue on the nuclear front between Russia and America is an extremely negative development, given that our two countries have nearly blown up the planet by accident multiple times, in underreported incidents.

The most serious of these was probably 1983, when a Soviet satellite mistakenly detected the launch of five American minuteman missiles headed toward Russia. Only the high-stress judgment of a 44-year-old Soviet lieutenant colonel named Stanislav Petrov prevented a massive counter-launch and the probable deaths of millions.

“I had a funny feeling in my gut,” Petrov said years later, explaining his determination that the signal was faulty. “When people go to war, they don’t do it with five missiles.”…….

Nut-jobs like Kim Jong-un, and Trump for that matter, are the exact reason why 132 countries are right, and the only truly safe number of nuclear weapons is zero. Surely only dumber leaders await us in the future, and we should do our best to leave them with as small an arsenal as possible. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/taibbi-north-korea-isnt-the-only-rogue-nuclear-state-w491060

Advertisements

July 7, 2017 - Posted by | politics international, Russia, USA, weapons and war

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: