« Obama Support Isn't All About Politics | Main | Juan Cole, The Dumbest Ph.D. in History »

No Nukes?

Last night, my colleague Charlie Quidnunc exposed an internal State Department message board that was discussing who should -- and should not -- be allowed to have nuclear weapons. I didn't "dip" my toe into the waters over there, but it strikes me as the whole question seems moot -- there are already rules in place that govern such things: the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Countries that do not have nuclear weapons have a simple choice: they can sign it or not. If they sign it, then the nuclear powers are then obligated to help them develop peaceful use of nuclear technology: power generation, medical applications, and the like. If they don't, then they can do whatever they like, but with zero help from the nuclear powers.

Oddly enough, the Dips actually mention the NPT, but don't actually discuss what it says and means -- especially when one considers that not every nation chose to sign it.

Back in the bad old days of the Cold War, I recall two countries that chose to say "thanks, but no thanks" and go it alone on nuclear matters: South Africa and Israel. And both nations were believed to have developed nuclear weapons without any overt assistance from other nations -- all perfectly legal and valid.

The real issue comes up when you have a nation that signs on to the treaty, then violates it. That's what North Korea did. That's what Iran and Iraq allegedly did.

It's also what India and Pakistan did, but that one situation didn't have a ready solution. Their mutual violations and barging into the "nuclear club" seems to have brought a slight dose of sanity to their conflicts, stabilizing things a bit, so the rest of the world informally agreed to look the other way and let it slide.

The notion that "any nation that wants nuclear weapons should be free to develop them" is just fine and dandy -- right up until you remember that inconvenient truth that those nations in question freely foreswore such things years ago, and didn't bother to withdraw from that agreement before breaking it.

And I find myself utterly fascinated by the fact that the very same people -- or the heirs thereof -- who were pushing for nuclear disarmament back in the 70's and 80's.

I guess "consistency" is too much like "integrity" to them.


TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/24428.

Comments (8)

We should be more gracious ... (Below threshold)
Jon:

We should be more gracious with our nukes.

We should share, and pass out our with a 'one for you, one for me' type of distribution. So at the end everyone has 'one' and we have one for each of the countries that have one.

They can shoot em at each other, but know that if they shoot one at us, our match is coming back down the pipe.

Soon we'll have the whole world to ourselves.

If a country signed the NPT... (Below threshold)
Matt:

If a country signed the NPT they should abide by it, or formally withdraw from it.

If nations are truly soveriegn then each nation has the right to develop weapons as they see fit. Right up to the point of them employing the weapons against some innoccent party. At that point they should expect massive retaliation from the international community.

Cuntries that have the ways and means to develop nuclear weapons will do so. Possessing nuclear weapons seems to be the best way to keep the west from invading your country. They seem to have a tendency to treat you more as an equal than as a colonial-half cousin.

Possessing nuclear weap... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

Possessing nuclear weapons seems to be the best way to keep the west from invading your country
What an ignorant thing to say. The best way to keep the west from invading your country is to not be a dictator-icehole who threatens your neighbors.
Which countries has the west invaded lately? Kuwait, East Timor, Afghanistan and Iraq. Where else?
Those jackass Aussies invaded East Timor, what arrogance and the US invading Kuwait, what jerks! Actually helping people be free.

I'll give you a free hint dude, if Afghanistan had nukes, we still would have invaded.
Having nukes is the best way to keep China and Russia from invading.

At that point they should expect massive retaliation from the international community.
Now that's funny. The only time the "International Community" responds to anything is if they get to condemn the Jews or if they're bought off by the US. The international community sat around for decades while Syria stamped its iron boot on Lebanon and where did they scream about occupation? The part of Jordan and the part of Egypt that Israel won in a war that Jordan and Egypt started.

Umm...Jay, India and Pakist... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Umm...Jay, India and Pakistan never signed the NPT.

It would also be nice if you could back up this statement,

And I find myself utterly fascinated by the fact that the very same people -- or the heirs thereof -- who were pushing for nuclear disarmament back in the 70's and 80's.

with say, at least one example. Or does saying "heirs thereof" give you license to make shit up?

Personally, I don't underst... (Below threshold)
epador:

Personally, I don't understand what all the fuss about new clear weapons is anyway. As long as they're not invisible, but you can see through them, what's the harm?

Next time some libeal activ... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

Next time some libeal activists show up and urge the area be made into a NUCULAR WEAPONS FREE ZONE instead how about making the area into a ANTINUCULAR ACTIVISTS FREE ZONE espcialy if their wearing sandals and riding sissy pink bicycles

Jay, I agree, I have been a... (Below threshold)

Jay, I agree, I have been amazed over the past few years by the, "who are we to decide," group. We aren't, they were when they signed the agreement!

As far as I am concerned, those who have violated the agreement are more then welcome to do so - with the understanding that we will then take back or eliminate, by force if necessary, all of the material, information, knowledge and gains they have made based on the international assistance they received. Including the scientists and educators and every memory of the systems produced using that knowledge.

If the people and scientists understood this would be the end result then perhaps they would be a little more honorable in using their skills.

(Sorry if this seems fragmented, having a bad day today.)

"If nations are truly so... (Below threshold)

"If nations are truly soveriegn then each nation has the right to develop weapons as they see fit."

A wise corollary of the Bush Doctrine is that sovereignty rests on democratic legitimacy. North Korea is not a sovereign nation. Syria is not. Saddam's Iraq was not.

The concept of sovereignty has been abused to allow gangster regimes to thumb their noses at the world. It's time to just stop that sort of nonsense.




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy