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Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Perils of Nuclear Disarmament

Foreign Policy has an article discussing why nuclear disarmament is dangerous for the United States. That being the case, Obama, of course, is pushing heavily for the United States to reduce or eliminate its nuclear arsenal.
Nuclear reductions and the heady dreams of abolition are driven in part by a belief that nukes are Cold War anachronisms. But it would be incorrect -- dangerous, in fact -- to assume that the conditions that have allowed the United States to de-emphasize its atomic arsenal will persist. Nuclear weapons are still the most potent military tools on Earth, and they will remain central to geopolitical competition. They have been relatively unimportant in the recent past not because humanity has somehow become more enlightened, but because we have been blessed with a temporary respite from great-power rivalry.

. . .

The writing is already on the wall. Russia, China, India, Pakistan, and North Korea are modernizing or expanding their nuclear arsenals, and Iran is vigorously pursuing its own nuclear capability. As Yale University political scientist Paul Bracken notes, we are entering a "second nuclear age" in which "the whole complexion of global power politics is changing because of the reemergence of nuclear weapons as a vital element of statecraft and power politics." Nostalgia for simpler times can be seductive, but the United States needs a nuclear force that can protect it from the challenges that lie ahead.

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