Thursday, March 05, 2015

Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty

Greetings from the Great Hall of the Australian National University in Canberra, where Ms Rose Gottemoeller, US Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security is speaking on "Stemming the Nuclear Tide: The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty at 45". She has written on and been cited about "Nuclear Nonproliferation". Ms  Gottemoeller pointed out that it is the 40th anniversary of the "Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons". Under current agreements Russia and the US will cut the the number of nuclear weapons to 1,550 by 2018. Ms  Gottemoeller credited Australia for putting in place the framework which allowed chemical weapons to be removed from Syria.

While reductions in numbers of nuclear weapons is a good thing, it occurs to me that those held by major powers are probably the least dangerous as they are unlikely to be used. A few weapons in the hands of small unstable states are far more likely to be used.

Also nations need to consider the control of new weapons which could make the risk of nuclear war more likely. In particular cyber-warfare has the potential to destabilize current international procedures to reduce tension. In addition the conventional arms race with submarines and amphibious warfare ships has the potential to increase the risk of war.

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