Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Nuclear Zero: An unrealistic fantasy

Ever since the recession of the Cold War and the peace made between the two great nuclear powers, there was an increased hope that nuclear disarmament would somehow mean a world without nuclear weapons. The notion of a world without nuclear weapons is a utopian fantasy that will never have a basis in reality as it currently exists throughout the world. Although the United States and Russia have signed nuclear arms reduction treaties that attempt to secure loose nukes, strategic interests dictate that they will always retain enough weapons to retain a first strike capability should they be attacked by a state or Islamic radicals. Even if there was not a realistic and quite visible threat to the current regime of nuclear powers that justified the possession of nuclear weapons, its’ unlikely that the great nuclear powers would be able to magically create a world without nukes given their ability to prevent, so rouge states from acquiring them.

Preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons throughout the world is a popular rhetorical device in speeches that will score political points and human sympathy, but has little to show in reality other than those words. American politicians ranted for years against North Korean nuclear ambitions, all the while, our friends in Pakistan where all too willing to sell nuclear secrets to North Korea, Iran, and had at least a discussion with Libya during the 1980’s. Right now as leaders condemn potential Iranian nuclear ambitions, while Iran claims it’s nuclear program is for energy. Through keeping the veil of nuclear energy up and with the assistance of their United Nations friends Russia and China who have vested economic interests in Iran, the United States is hard pressed to pursue any meaningful action against Iran’s nuclear programs, including inspections.

The case of Israel provides the smoking gun for why there will not be a nuclear free world anytime soon. It is widely assumed that Israel has nuclear weapons and quite possibly a nuclear bomb under the rationale that they are surrounded by hostile neighbors some of whom have made speeches calling for the destruction of Israel. States like Iran, see a nuclear armed Israel as a security threat, much in the same way that the United States viewed the Soviet Union a threat during the Cold War era. Using the framework of a national security threat, Iran and other so called “rouge” states can paint Western nuclear powers as hypocrites because Western states have nuclear weapons for security, we want the same things. As long as this divide exists between the nuclear and the non nuclear, a nuke free world will be nothing more than a sleepy dream.

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