posted on Feb, 19 2006 @ 12:34 PM
Hi guys, this is my first post here. Actually my first post on a BBS ever. God I hope the gov't doesn't monitor users here...I mean, after all,
you guys are conspiracy theorists.
(Note to feds: I'm not one of them! I swear! I'm just bored! Check my records! End note.)
In most debates I notice two common threads regarding the global nuclear issue: a) that the West has nukes but doesn't want others to have them, and
b) that the US reduces its arsenal while simultaneously developing more advanced models.
Most people, especially non-Americans and non-Europeans, see point A as proof of American/European hypocrisy, elitism or intent on hegemony. IMO I
believe this issue lays at the heart of the foundation of the international system: large wealthy countries make the rules; neo-realism is the driving
force in diplomacy today. I.e. every country has an equal vote in the UN but the Big Five have veto power in the Security Council, etc. Large,
wealthy countries have the ability to effect stability in the system. There is more at stake for large countries than small ones.
The original recognized nuclear powers have proven themselves to be remarkably responsible stewards. Yes, there is the conspiracy that the US and
France helped develop the Israeli nuclear arsenal, and even deeper conspiracy buffs (you guys!) claim Israel helped the South Africans. But note that
Israel has never leveraged its nuclear capability and South Africa dismantled its program. Yes, there is the fringe rumor that Soviet nukes have
been misplaced or sold to terrorists, but come on, terrorists have substantial funding yet no Soviet suitacse has ever been detonated. The Indian
nuclear program appears airtight at the moment (despite claims by Pakistani hackers to have stolen Indian documentation).
However, it's confirmed that the Pakistani nuclear physicist Khan gave/sold warhead blueprints to Iran and possibly Libya, Sudan and, supposedly,
Saudi Arabia. Each of these countries, and Yemen, have all purchased North Korean ballistic missiles (were the Yemeni missles intercepted?). Each of
these countries are tarred with the suspicion of support or complaceny in organized terrorism. None of these countries has a modern system of checks
and balances on their militaries. Can large, wealthy countries trust them to be equally responsible stewards? Is one willing to place so immense
confidence in one's ideal that "we're all equal" to risk the loss of a city neighborhood to terrorists funded/supplied by a non-aligned state?
Neo-realism teaches that trust is scarce in the international arena; I don't think anyone trusts Iran. Iran confirmed to the IAEA that is has a
warhead blueprint from Khan, Iran hid a Unranium enrichment program for 18 years, Iran turned down an offer of safe reactors from Europe and Iran
declined to enrich unranium in Russia. Iran has done nothing to build trust within the system.
Whaoh this post is getting long. OK, I'll wrap up by saying that every country has upgraded its nuclear forces over the past decade. Back in the
early 90s, at the depth of the post-Soviet Russian depression, the Kremlin still spent billions on developing and deploying new Topol missiles. The
Chinese and French flauted the NPT by conducting live tests: the French tests were shocking because they were so huge and the Chinese tests were
shocking because they were so small (they managed to miniaturize their weapons to cruise-missile-size).
So the US is developing smaller, more event-oriented devices: ok well everyone else is doing it too. And this is beneficial because it gives
commanders flexibilty when, in the heated moment when one realizes only nuclear weapons will regain the balance of firepower, a commander doesn't
have to use 1KT when .3 can do the job. Its the difference between fallout covering 300 sq. mi. instead of 3000 sq. mi.