July 10, 2008
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968, signed by 189 countries (but not India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea) has been a dismal failure. Its objective is to limit the spread of nuclear weapons, but at the same time the nuclear powers agreed to reduce their stockpiles (which they have failed to do).
Negotiations to stop North Korea’s nuclear programme have been long and painful, without a guaranteed success. No progress has been made with Iran. Who next?
It is clearly time to think again.
Henry Kissinger, Sam Nunn, William Perry and George Schultz – a who’s who of the US national security establishment – are calling on the US to lead a global campaign to devalue and eventually rid the world of nuclear weapons. These two Democrats and two Republicans are not known utopians. However, one can imagine the interminable negotiations haggling over complex detail.
The atmosphere has to be changed by showing the idea is achievable. The trouble in negotiations is to agree which weapons should be destroyed. Russia and the US each have more than 20 000 nuclear weapons. They should simply agree that each will destroy 5 000 of its own choosing. They will be the least useful but this does not matter as it is a first ‘psychological’ step No negotiation is needed and the only issue is verification.Author : Stanley Crossick