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The Forum > Article Comments > 'Mutually assured destruction' would be inevitable > Comments

'Mutually assured destruction' would be inevitable : Comments

By Stephen Cheleda, published 4/11/2008

The use of nuclear weapons by the major powers as a mode of warfare would spell the end of us all.

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The suggested reform of the UN Charter sounds like one step towards a safer and saner world. Then perhaps the recommendations of The International Court of Justice that all states “pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament” - might be taken seriously.

But there are so many other steps that need to be taken, too.
The current financial crisis does indeed lead to thinking about where countries could curb vast wasteful expenditures. Of course, those dodgy financial "products" have now been shown up. Some individuals got rich, through devising them. Similarly some individuals get rich through weapons manufacturing. Inexplicably, nuclear weapons manufacture is counted as part of the GNP - even though, like pollution, it does not contribute to the well-being of the poeple.

The media plays its part, - selling fear, without really spelling out the facts - so that the public can regard their country's nuclear weapons as "security", when in fact such weapons are more likely to be a target. Meanwhile, Australians buy the hypocrisy that uranium export has nothing to do with nuclear weapons.
Christina Macpherson
Posted by ChristinaMac, Tuesday, 4 November 2008 10:55:47 AM
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I'm all in favour of nuclear disarmament if the major revisions, that the author suggests, can be achieved.

The preconditions though are rather ambitious:

- "...[Devising] a security system, based on effective, enforceable international law" A UN world police force to enforce international law has been suggested since at least 1944. Usual enemies like the US, Russia and China have resisted this since they see this as surrendering their sovereignty - surrendering their military advantages.

- transforming the world trade system "...that guarantees trading patterns and adequate development of all nations, without the “threat” or false security of nuclear weapons." Easy enough...

- "...complex negotiations to radically revise the Charter of the United Nations, which is the bedrock of international law."

The original UN Charter was made possible because the major victors of World War Two, particularly the US, wanted it. The major victors made themselves the Big Five permanent Security Council members to get the best deal for their own countries.

The Big Five will not alter the UN system to dissolve the political/military status that Security Council membership gives them. Why would they?

The only change I see occurring is not the set of revolutionary changes the author wishes for. What may happen is that other rising nations will exert pressure to become Security Council members. They, in order of likelihood, are: India, Japan and Germany.

This will not lead to nuclear disarmament but at least will strengthen UN inclusiveness in proportion to population and GDP.


- enforceable international law
Posted by plantagenet, Tuesday, 4 November 2008 1:07:42 PM
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