Proliferation is a traditional issue of International Security and has always been at the heart of strategic analysis. In the last few weeks, the International Community has been worried about the situation in Pakistan. General Musharaff proclaimed a state of emergency and convened general elections. His opponents, both democratic and Islamic, organized their campaigns, and the most famous among them, Benazir Bhutto, was killed in Islamabad. Thus, Musharaff had to cope with the Islamist networks that already control part of Pakistanis territory alone.
The situation is very dangerous for the International Community because Pakistan has been an unofficial nuclear power since 1998, and one of the strongest non NATO allies. In case of an Islamist victory, there is the risk of seeing Al Qaeda ending up with the nuclear bomb.
Thus it is relevant to think about the actual protection against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Is it really effective? In 1963, the five nuclear powers, that happened to be the five permanent members of the Security Council, agreed on the Treaty of Non Proliferation of nuclear weapons (NPT). The Treaty rests on the theory that only a rational state can own the nuclear bomb. Indeed, they assess that each country that will develop a military nuclear program after 1966 will be regarded as criminal under international law. In exchange, they proposed to help all the countries that are willing to develop a civilian nuclear program. Is this protection system sufficient today?
The failure of the Non Proliferation Treaty System:
I assume that the system is a failure because it is illegitimate. In addition, the Treaty has not been designed to face all the changes that took place in International Relations after the end of the Cold War.
An unfair treaty:First of all, the legitimacy of the treaty is patently unfair. Why do some States have the right to develop military nuclear defense while others do not?
Tags: Nuclear Weapon Proliferation, NPT,military nuclear defense
[...] Suspicion of trafficking nuclear materials could be added at this list but it opens the way to a less restrictive interpretation. States could argue that they can stop every ship that they consider as a threat to their security. Even if a new Treaty provided that the ship can be stopped only with an authorization of the Security Council, I assume this principle would not be more effective than the NPT system. In fact, there is the risk that one country may use its veto power. [...]
[...] Some militarily powerful States are now tempted by the use of force as a mean to regulate the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. This is what led the United States to initiate a war in Iraq in 2003. B. The post Cold War world : the powerlessness of the UN This issue was raise by the former American defense Secretary, McNamara. He assessed that nuclear arms were developed during the cold war. The USSR obtained them in 1949, and then launched a program of intercontinental ballistic missiles, which is needed to launch nuclear bombs. [...]
[...] Aware of these risks, President Bush made a suggestion to update the legal frame that controls proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Is the Proliferation Security Initiative a good legal tool to protect people of the world from the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction? B. Is the proliferation Security Initiative a good idea? This Proliferation Security Initiative, suggested in 2003 by President Bush, contains three major points. First of all, the criminalization of private traffic in nuclear weapons that leads to proliferation, then an Action of Nuclear powers to supply nuclear fuel to countries with civilian nuclear programs, and finally the possibility to stop ships on the high seas if there is a suspicion of them carrying nuclear materials. [...]
[...] This is the case of Japan or Germany which possess the technology to produce weapons of mass destruction. This ability to produce a bomb quickly is a relevant aspect of dissuasion: it is not necessarily aimed to be a threat to International Security. But what if a non rational country, such as Iran, was able to do so? It would be a threat that a new Treaty should try to protect the world from. Secondly, the NPT of 1963 has not been enough to solve the problems arising from the “privatization of proliferation”, which, according to Mac Milan, took place in 1990s. [...]
[...] The fact remains that the International Community answered to the threat of Iraq by developing a mass destruction weapons program through war, and not International Law. Thus, there is the necessity of a new regulation. What if Iraq did possess mass destruction weapons in 2003? Would the use of force have been a successful way to avoid a nuclear conflict? Such situations will take place again in the next few years or decades, because more and more States such as Iran, are willing to develop their own nuclear military power. [...]
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