The recent announcement of a nuclear deal between the governments of Iran and other major nations, including the United States, naturally draws our attention to the history of international nuclear arms control and disarmament agreements.
Reports emerged in the American media Thursday that President Obama may propose a resolution to the UN Security Council calling for the lifting of international sanctions on Iran, if an agreement is reached by the "P5+1" negotiating team over the country's nuclear program.
The U.S. and all nations really have an interest in reducing and ultimately eliminating nuclear weapons. They are expensive armaments which drain resources from society. The more you spend on weapons the less you can apply to other objectives.
Faced with the disastrous indifference of national governments to the fate of the earth, the people of the world would do well to study The Path to Zero, an extended conversation on the nuclear dilemma by two of its most brilliant analysts.
Reliable information on China's nuclear arsenal is very difficult to find. Perhaps this is why many U.S. analysts and reporters seize upon any information that seems to provide some insight into China's program. In the rush to publish something new, they often lose important details and caveats.
The real nuclear threat to the United States does not lie in the fact that it does not (or will not) possess enough nuclear weapons to deter a nuclear attack. Rather, it is that there is no guarantee that nuclear deterrence works.
The campaign to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear arms brings to mind a doctor who focuses on the symptoms while overlooking the disease. If Tehran is indeed building the bomb, it quest is a particular manifestation of a larger problem: nuclear proliferation.
Even if New START is ratified before the Democrats' Senate majority significantly shrinks, it will not help advance nonproliferation advocates' long-term goals unless a lost consensus on arms control fundamentals is rebuilt first.