posted on Jun, 30 2006 @ 02:28 PM
For some time, coverage on US nuclear and non-nuclear capacity-building has raised concerns in the international community.
Late last year, the nuclear earth-penetrating bomb project failed to get funding support from the US Congress and was subsequently suspended; on May
29th this year, the "New York Times" reported that the US Defense Department intended to equip some of its ballistic missiles with conventional
warheads; the article published by the "Los Angeles Times" on June 13th also revealed that the United States will resume the new nuclear weapons
development program named "Reliable replacement warhead program". The nuclear earth-penetrating bombs and conventional warheads can be of service to
the war on terrorism, however, the proceeding new nuclear weapon development program demonstrated that the nuclear and non-nuclear capacity-building
of the US has gone beyond its demand of "anti-terrorism" activities, and will seriously damage the efforts of the international community in
prevention of nuclear proliferation.
The new nuclear weapon development program would probably lead to a new round of the arms race. Once the "Reliable replacement warhead program"
succeeds, experiments will have to be carried out for testing before the warheads are generally loaded. Once the United States conducts nuclear tests,
other countries will have no obligation to continue keeping their commitments on the moratorium of nuclear testing. Russian President Vladimir Putin
said in March that the current international situation and developing prospects have forced Russia to re-examine the basic elements of nuclear
deterrence as a national security issue. In fact, Russia is redoubling its efforts to modernize its nuclear arsenals.
The new nuclear weapon development plan shows that the United States has no intention of downgrading the status of nuclear weapons in its national
military strategy. On the contrary, its development of nuclear earth-penetrating bombs and other new nuclear weapons have manifested it that nuclear
weapons are playing an increasingly significant role in the US security strategy. Analysts have pointed out that once new nuclear weapons are endowed
with military missions other than nuclear deterrence, the threshold of using nuclear weapons will be lowered. The United States will find it more
difficult to persuade other countries to exercise restraint in developing their nuclear weapons capabilities. Once this momentum goes on, the efforts
of different countries in stopping the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction will be undermined. The nuclear arms control and nuclear
disarmament will be delayed indefinitely.
The new nuclear weapons development program has also highlighted the conflicts between nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation. According to
the "Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)", non-nuclear states shall undertake the obligations of nuclear non-proliferation. For
the nuclear states, they shall make commitments to stop the nuclear arms race as early as possible and carry out comprehensive nuclear disarmament
under strict and effective international supervision. At the review meeting of the NPT in 2000, the non-nuclear states brought up "13 steps" for
nuclear disarmament, demanding unconditional signing and ratifying the "Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty". Before the Treaty is put into force,
these non-nuclear states demanded, nuclear-testing should be suspended and negotiations on "Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty" (FMCT) should be
expedited. They also asked for an irreversible nuclear disarmament and a reduction in the arms control by the nuclear states and urged them to make a
commitment to exterminate nuclear arsenals, uphold and strengthen the "The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABMT)", and downgrade the status of
nuclear weapons in their security policies. Non-nuclear states also urged the nuclear powers, especially super nuclear powers, to undertake their
obligations of nuclear disarmament and take it as a premise for these non-nuclear states to fulfill their own commitments for nuclear
non-proliferation. However, the United States simply stressed the nuclear nonproliferation obligations of other countries without being ready to
assume their own obligations: as a matter of fact, the US rejected the "Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty". When President Bush became president
he had been actively preparing for the resumption of nuclear testing; the US repealed the "Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty" in order to develop and
deploy its missile defense system¡Now the United States would resume its new nuclear program.
The US has always considered itself being justified to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons to non-nuclear states. With the situation of
nuclear non-proliferation becoming more and more severe, people are mostly worried about the ¡°marriage¡± of nuclear proliferation and terrorism,
which will definitely turn out to be a nightmare to all the countries. Although this is not the only way to resolve such threats, nuclear
non-proliferation is undoubtedly one of the important methods. Certain super military power, while urging non-nuclear countries to take
non-proliferation obligations, simply to launch a new nuclear weapon development plan which will destroy the nuclear nonproliferation security
environment. Its behavior of enjoying the rights while rejecting the obligations will only aggravate the conflicts between nuclear and non-nuclear
countries and damage the world tranquility.