Shortly after WW2, five nations had gone “nuclear” in their weaponry. The United States, the Soviet Union, China, Great Britain and France. A UN
sub-group, the IAEA - International Atomic Energy Agency - was established in 1957, to monitor and deter the spread of nuclear weapons. The Nuclear
By 1985 the US and USSR held 20,000-30,000 atom bombs each. Other estimates put France and the UK at between 100 to 500 each. China was estimated to
have between 500 and 1,000 atom bombs. In 1985, The total of nuclear weapons held by the FIVE nuclear powers was usually given as 65,000.
After signing the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in 1985, United States and (after 1991) the Russian Federation have each reduced its nuclear weapons
to about 6,000 with more reductions to come, working towards zero. For security reasons, the U.S. has set aside 2,000 nuclear weapons to remain
OUTSIDE the overall reduction scheme. I assume Russia has done the same.
It is generally accepted there are now fewer than 20,000* nuclear weapons in the world today. I think you would have to say the NPT and IAEA and SART
were hugely successful! For example, by 2001, the IAEA declared Iraq had neither nuclear weapons nor any significant nuclear program. IAEA’s NO
nuclear WMDs report was VERIFIED by US. Forces in Iraq after the 2003 invasion.
Nuclear research began early in life of the new state of Israel. By 1967, at Dimona, a location in the Negev Desert, Israel began the production of
bomb grade uranium. Highly enriched uranium. HEU. Estimates say Israel now has between 50 and 300 nuclear bombs. This is in violation of the
non-proliferation conventions overseen by the IAEA. The NPT. In 1973, at the inception of the Yom Kippur War by Egypt, Israel warned it would destroy
the High Dam at Aswan, should Egyptian forces advance far enough to threaten the very existence of Israel.
It is widely suspected Israel and South Africa tested a nuclear device high in the stratosphere in what is called the “Vela Incident” of 1979.
South Africa has admitted it once possessed six nuclear weapons, but now says it has dismantled all the nuclear weapons and is in full conformity with
Kashmir, said to be one of the more beautiful places on Earth, located between India and Pakistan as part of the 1947 partition, remains a disputed
territory, claimed by both Muslim Pakistan and Hindu India. ASIDE: Surveys indicate most inhabitants of Kashmir prefer to be independent of both
countries. However, no one is working for a plebiscite, which would be in conformity with the founding principles of the United Nations and the 4
Freedoms of the Atlantic Charter. Hmm? Kashmir independence seems to be a great place and a good cause for the US of A to be championing! Say Hello,
Geo W! Where’s you legacy?
India, which has long aspired to be a GREAT power, but which has proved unable to stop the on-going conflict with Pakistan on terms favorable to
India, decided it needed to develop nuclear weapons to ratchet-up its ability to threaten Pakistan. In clear violation of the United Nations NPT, and
despite widespread denunciation by its neighbors, India tested a nuclear device in 1974. It is interesting to note that India has never claimed to
have a nuclear BOMB bur rather speaks only of nuclear “devices.”
Pakistan - our best and maybe our ONLY ally in that region of the Muslim world - itself very much NON democratic by any Western standards - felt under
much pressure - as in Latino ‘machismo’ - to possess nuclear weapons as a counter-force to India. It was 1998 before Pakistan tested its nuclear
device. It is probable Pakistan possessed such devices long before 1998 but deferred making it public because of U.S. pressures and quid-quo-pro
PAYMENTS. Rising anti-US political pressures inside Pakistan probably forced Gen. Musharraf’s military regime to “go public” in 1998 for
North Korea’s Kim Jung Il, son of Kim Il Sung, a founder of the PRK - People’s Republic of Korea - alternately threatens to make bombs or more
bombs, then offers to end all that nuclear war making stuff if the world, primarily the United States, will furnish NK with an alternate and secure
energy producing capacity by which he means nuclear power plants.
Bill Clinton’s former Ambassador says NK had enough weapons grade uranium - HEU - for 2 bombs in 2000, but is more likely to have enough for 6 to10
bombs in 2006. It is not certain that NK has already made or is technically capable of making any “deliverable” nuclear bombs at this time. That
war making capability is of MAXIMUM concern to South Korea - ROK - Japan, China and Russia, in that order.
PROFOUND: I think ALL of those powers want to TEACH the United States the DIFFERENCE in being a PACIFIC power (which it is) and in being an ASIAN
power (which it is not). A lesson I hoped the U.S. had finally learned and learned well in Vietnam; I guess not.
From the old USSR days, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan were the sites of nuclear weapons and long range missiles. All three countries - post 1991 -
have consented to the removal and destruction of ALL those weapons. There is some argument whether this process is being adequately funded by the U.S.
Some people are concerned the “nukes” are vulnerable to illegal sale to terrorists groups. The Geo W administration has extended the time for the
completion of the removal program from Clinton’s target of 2007 to 2015. Not a good move. Penny wise, pound foolish.
The following countries had nuclear programs in the past, or have nuclear power plants which are capable of producing - as a by-product - fissionable
bomb materials but have stopped weapons programs or signed the NPT and have consented to inspections by the IAEA. Argentina, Australia, Brazil,
Canada, Egypt, Germany, Italy, Japan, Libya, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Sweden, South Africa, Switzerland, South Korea, Taiwan which
still calls itself the Republic of China which ought to tell us something. Lastly, Tito’s old Yugoslavia, which received 50 kg of bomb grade uranium
- HEU - for its nuclear plants from the USSR. It takes 2-5 kg of U235 to make a bomb. Not much. It is believed that stockpile was removed back to
Russian by NATO, which is offered by some observers as the raison d’etre for the NATO intervention in the final throes of breaking-up Yugoslavia.
Which leaves IRAN not mentioned here.
CONCLUSION. I believe it was a mistake for the U.S. to embrace India after it had resisted all the pressures of world opinion begun BEFORE the 1974
test. I believe India was ready to join the NPT if Pakistan would do so. Instead, the trade-off Geo W got from India - an enlarged US - India trade
relationship - is not worth what the world gave up. India had to come to the US, not the other way around. Only the U.S. has what India needs. Modern
technology. Adequate venture capital. And a country that still admires India for being the largest democratic country in the world. A counterpoise to
India is in desperate competition with China. India has chosen to go high tech, whereas China choose to go into high quality mass production. It is a
lot easier to train machine operators than it is to train nuclear physicists. If you believe education is the currency of the future, then India will
take longer to “get there” but it stands to last longer [than China] when it arrives.
*Numbers from “List of Countries with Nuclear Weapons.” See at en.wikipedia.org...
[edit on 3/5/2006 by donwhite]