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Does the US have the right to decide which countries can have nuclear weapons?

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posted on Feb, 3 2007 @ 08:53 PM
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Last night I was watching Fox News and they were talking about Senator Clinton, she said the US can't allow Iran to go on with their nuclear plans. And I believe this is the mindset amongst most Republicans and some Democrats.

So my question is,

Do you believe the US has the right to decide which countries can have nuclear weapons? YES or NO

Please elaborate on your answer

[edit on 2/3/2007 by mulder762002]




posted on Feb, 3 2007 @ 08:59 PM
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Well they can influence policies but the countries can pretty much decided for themselves unless they are oil producing countries with no so friendly governments to the US.


But Pakistan, India, China and NK didn't ask anybody approval for their NK weapons.

Brazil is also in the pursue of NK weapons they already use nuclear power.

But they are not oil producing ones.



posted on Feb, 3 2007 @ 09:15 PM
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Well if that country is going against certain agreements such as the NPT, someone has to step in and take the reigns. Who else can do it? No one at the moment besides the US. The US has the means to apply great economic and political pressure. The international community doesnt seem to give a rats ass about enforcing its own policies and agreements.



posted on Feb, 3 2007 @ 09:27 PM
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Since you mentioned Iran in particular, I can only say (regardless of how I personally feel) that Iran did sign the NPT and is NOT breaking any part of it.

Yes I believe Iran is a worry, but I firmly believe North Korea is more of a worry... we lost the chance to do anything there, as they have the means to light one off now (should have been ten years ago when they had to steal rice from the citizens to feed the military)

Back to the OP main question: I believe the US is hypocritical about the decisions on who "we" think should be alllowed membership in the Nuclear club.



posted on Feb, 3 2007 @ 10:09 PM
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I think that any nation which requires its 5 year olds to chant "Death to America !!!" before being allowed into their first day of pre-school should be prevented from developing nuclear weapons.

Seem reasonable?



posted on Feb, 4 2007 @ 02:04 PM
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No

And my reason why. Who gave the US the right to decide. Just because the US sees its self as the only superpower!!

If we believe in the UN, then all governments should empower global bodies with the ability to police international agreements. And I do see the NPT as a global agreement.

Of course, the US never stopped Israel, South Africa and India to name just a few from developing nuclear weapons. Does the US seem Iran as a soft target to bully



posted on Feb, 4 2007 @ 03:22 PM
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Who gave anyone the right to decide who can't murder? The law says that basically nobody can murder anybody else in most countries, but where did the authority to make such a law come from?

Laws against murder predate government by consent of the governed, so not from the majority of people (and for that matter, the people most governed by that law- murderers- probably wouldn't consent). Laws were born from the arbitrary exercise of force. Later it evolved into relatively fair and uniform application with due process and professional enforcement.

The prohibition on nuclear proliferation at present is an arbitrary rule defined in a very biased way by relatively few parties who were armed to the teeth and had the power to make it happen. Thats how law starts.

It remains in its infant state, without uniform objective application and enforcement. Certain powers choose certain exceptions and try to make them stick, while others oppose those exceptions. The Russia tries to arm Iran, America arms Israel, America tries to stop Iran from being armed, etc.
Such is politics, which will always organic to the processes of law.

There are basically three sides to be on here.
1. Nationalist (hawks): This camp believes in a nations right to pursue its interests at the expense of others.
The logical move if you believe in this is to leave things as they are and hope that nobody bites off more than they can chew. You'll probably be disappointed.

2.Pro-international law 1 (smart hawks/limited doves): This camp wants international law to grow and succeed.
The logical move if you believe in this is revamp the law to make it more comprehensive, addressing peaceful disarmament programs for states having nuclear weapons, creating a safe path to legal nuclear power through one and only one venue, and create a UN force with a mandate to police nuclear development, including the supervision of legal nuclear programs and the interdiction and destruction of illegal ones, over which no nation has veto power.

3. Pro-international law 2 (doves): This camp seems to recognize some international law but not all of it. They aren't interested in stopping proliferation if it involves violence, perhaps because they see it as a problem created by the great powers, but they are interested in stopping great powers, usually America, from pursuing anything through military means.
There really isn't a logical move for them to make. They are the only ones in this debate who aren't willing to kill people to get their way, which, if history is any indicator, suggests they probably won't get their way, even if they are later proven to have been right. I suppose they could light themselves on fire... it wouldn't solve anything but it would really improve Fox's ratings.


I subscribe to the second camp. I believe that nuclear proliferation has to be stopped but I do not believe that unilateral action will stop it. We played this game already- where one side runs around the world setting fires and the other side runs around trying to put them out unilaterally.
The US needs to show some responsible leadership and get a serious discussion started among all nations who have any interest in peace on how we are going to make international law stick.



posted on Feb, 4 2007 @ 05:15 PM
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For one simple fact. If it threatens us then it has to die. For Iran, North Korea, India, Pakistan, etc to have Nukes is not a good thing. They are the kind of people to say screw it and blow up the whole world.

We as the most powerful military nation on Earth,(Yes I am including China), we have a responsibility to make sure we still exist if at all possible. When a few responsible countries have the power its an orderly stand off. When every jack@$$ has one then its total chaos, like the show 24.



posted on Feb, 4 2007 @ 11:11 PM
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With all due respect to the noted scholars at Fox University's Jack Bauer School of Government, I don't believe that the US trying to unilaterally solve this problem will get us anywhere. If we find ourselves continually pouring everything we've got into military adventures and new defense boondoggles, we'll go the way of the Soviet Union.

A whole city can pool its resources behind a police organization that can protect it. With the sole exception of Bruce Wayne, there aren't any private citizens who have the time and the funds to go toe to toe with every single criminal in the city.

Same for the world: A unified front of responsible powers working through the UN can deal with every tinpot dictator who wants the bomb, but one nation cannot do so indefinately.

Even if might does make right, the US hasn't got the might to do this indefinately. We need to hammer out a fair and practical way that we and our allies can do it together, and this, unfortunately for certain powerful interests currently well-listened-to by the US Government, is going to mean pursuing the stated objective smartly, not making side trips everytime we see a chance to tear a country down and make a fortune rebuilding it.

Great, we can take on China. Good for us. The only problem is that it's not China trying to get nuclear weapons right now. It's an endless procession of 3rd world regimes that will burn their countries to the ground just to hurt us, and every one of them has the potential to be another Iraq. Unless you've got 5 active divisions, 200 Billion annually, and a tin star in your pockets that you can loan your country, the cavalier "The world is our playground and our favorite game is 'Army'." attitude just isn't going to work.

On the other hand, if we bring a broad base of support with us, we can stare the Russians and Chinese down on these matters economically and there won't be anyone providing support to these regimes. Wouldn't that be more pleasant than going to war with Pakistan, Iran, North Korea, Jordan, and whoever else might be thinking about joining the club?



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 08:23 AM
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I will chime in on this one:
I believe the US does not have the right to tell other countries what weapons it may or may not have. We do have a responsibility to what is in our arsenal, but others, no. I believe that should be left up to the UN as it was designed to prevent major wars from happening and needs a bit more backing and teeth to be effective in its work. If we were to tell another nation it can not have a particular style of weapon, then you are looking at the begining stages of that nation being a colony.


Just my thoughts.



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 08:59 AM
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Originally posted by sdcigarpig
I will chime in on this one:
I believe the US does not have the right to tell other countries what weapons it may or may not have. We do have a responsibility to what is in our arsenal, but others, no. I believe that should be left up to the UN as it was designed to prevent major wars from happening and needs a bit more backing and teeth to be effective in its work. If we were to tell another nation it can not have a particular style of weapon, then you are looking at the begining stages of that nation being a colony.

Just my thoughts.


The problem here is that the UN is currently unequipped to address the threat of nuclear weapons. This is not the fault of the US or anyone else, but is a structural problem in the UN that member-nations refuse to address.

If the US were totally benevolent, there would be no problem. If everyone liked us, then we would be able to enforce these things with international support. But that is not the case. Our credibility is hurting right now.

But even so, what happens when the wrong state gets nuclear weapons, and the UN can't deal with it? Of course, who is to decide when a state is a "wrong state"? Maybe the state claiming to be right is the wrong state.

The problem here is that people refuse to embrace objective metrics for these things, and base their judgments on whim and political opinion.



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 03:44 PM
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I believe sovereignty is a bit of a hollow defense when used as the root of a nation's right to do whatever it wants, ie: build nuclear weapons.

Yes, outside control does infringe sovereignty, but is that a bad thing in all cases?
What about my sovereignty when I really, really, really want to chug a 5th of vodka and go drag racing? Where did I sign on the dotted line and give the government a say over me?

Now, I don't think that's exactly what sdcigarpig is suggesting, since he mentioned that the UN can handle it.

I believe (correct me if I'm mistaken) that we can generally agree on the necessity and the benefits of enforcing laws and foresaking the absolute freedom of the state of nature.

In that case it presumably becomes a question of fairness in the law. The law must be consistent and objective. No one nation can always do that.

That's the problem both with unilateralism and the UN as it currently exists. No one nation should have veto-power over the application of law, nor should any one nation be able to interpret and execute the law according to its own interests.

The UN does need to be reformed.

You can't just give the US a pass and call unilateralism the best practical answer because "there's a structural problem in the UN that member-nations refuse to address".

How much of that problem is rooted in a lack of leadership? What is the US doing to relieve itself of the world police role that our citizens complain about? Where is our initiative to spell out the law on proliferation in clear black and white text and create mechanisms for strong response that are neither in the sole hands of one nation nor vulnerable to dishonest obstruction? If we put forward a fair proposal that deals with just the problem, without attempting to concentrate any unjust power, and we were willing to hound our neighbors and sniff out the votes we need to implement such a program through the UN with whatever concessions or promises might be necessary, we'd get it.

I believe that inertia, and a disturbing level of comfort with the weaknesses of the present system are the primary reason we haven't solved the proliferation problem yet.



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 04:12 PM
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I agree with vagabond, there is a fundamental flaw in the structure of the UN that needs to be resolved, but until that happens, yes, I believe the US should have the right to determine which countries can and cannot posess nuclear weapons.



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 07:16 PM
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Even if that was granted though, Xphiles, what good is a right that we can't afford to keep exercising?

The problem goes beyond the fact that we probably shouldn't do it; God knows that I can be depressingly realistic about things when taking the highroad isn't an option, but in this particular case, morality and realism line up nicely.

We can't keep running into every country that has or might have a weapons program with guns blazing. The situation in Iraq will not likely be the exception in such countries.

We can't afford to wait "until that happens". We have to cause it to happen. Sitting down, setting an agenda, and listening to our friends until we've come up with a unified position and a plan for dealing with this problem couldn't possibly cost us as much as unilateralism. We could slip every single . of state in the world 2 billion dollars under the table to make this happen and still come out a.! (i'm not seriously suggesting that we do that, just pointing out how ridiculously inefficient the military option is).

Working together with our allies in a serious, concerted manner, we can get Russia off of Iran's side and force a verifiably peaceful road to nuclear power onto them, and the worst that will happen is we have to throw the Russians a bone to protect their government from fallout due to anti-American sentiments, and maybe the Iranians will do something to bump the price of oil.

The alternative? We invade Iran, spend more than the Russians ever would have asked for, the price of oil still goes up when the war starts, and we bury another couple of thousand good men and women, and eventually oil prices go down artificially because the military spending to protect the oil we procure there will constitute a government subsidy- little better than corporate welfare for the oil industry.

If this were an immiment problem specific to America- if they already had the bomb and we could see that they were setting them up in Cuba to destroy us, then I'd be ready to unleash a couple of megatons worth of Bush Diplomacy on them if negotiations failed.

But that's not the situation. We haven't got all the time in the world, but we have some, and as long as we use that time wisely and productively, not merely as a "stall and hope it works out" period (which is what it has unfortunately come to mean in common use thanks to certain disingenuous politicians), diplomacy is a serious, viable answer which will serve us better than war.



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 08:10 PM
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Vagabond, awesome posts.

So what is in your vision for this restructuring of the UN that you speak of? Are you are suggesting all countries be given equal leverage, and the demise of the 5-country veto? Aren't there inherent problems with that?

Or are you suggesting a widening of veto power to include other nations that have come a ways and should be considered for such?

Also, isn't one big problem with a move towards international nuclear law that it is still only as good as the ability of the US to enforce it? If the US weren't involved, what are the chances any other country is going provide the military backbone on its own to enforce disarming or non-proliferation?

Most countries, no make that nearly all countries, except the US, and it's after-the-US-gets-involved allies, have not taken it upon themselves to do much to stop it. China sure did lots to help with the NK situation, eh? Japan moaned and complained, even talked about repealing their defense policy to be able to counter NK's nuclear threat. But did they really DO anything about it?

We may just be STUCK with unilateralism, Vaga, whether we like it or not. Or at least until China or Russia steps up to the plate and really puts their foot down instead of just yappin. Come on China, go MAKE your little brat in NK lose the nukes.

The idea of phased, complete world nuclear disarmament is one that only the most optimistic can dream about, as long as the extremely deep rooted problems such as Iran-Israel remain. Noble ideas, but good luck.



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 08:58 PM
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Originally posted by TrueAmerican
So what is in your vision for this restructuring of the UN that you speak of?


The UN needs a standing force, always composed of several nationalities balanced geographically and politically, which is staffed on a rotating basis by different sets of nations in proportion to their military spending. (I can anticipate several questions about this concept and have a few ideas i could go into detail on if you like)

This force would have a mandate to intervene whenever certain conditions were met, according to the report of the appropriate UN body (IAEA for nukes, although other situations, such as genocides, would also be addressed by this force). There would be no discretion apart from the facts. If the rules are not followed, the force strikes according to a preapproved contingency plan, period.

To facilitate this of course, we'd still have to streamline nuclear technology exchange rules in order for the IAEA to be dependable. This would mean setting up a standard framework for the proliferation of nuclear technology, where all transfers of equipment and payment went through the IAEA.
If a purchase of centrifuges that didn't go through the IAEA is discovered, the standing force is automatically authorized to launch strikes against the contraband and the facility that furnished it.

The goal is that there is no more argument over the US being heavy handed or Russia undermining the rules. We all get together and set clear, easy to follow rules before the game begins, and from then on if you break the rules, the offending materials are promptly destroyed as previously agreed.


Also, isn't one big problem with a move towards international nuclear law that it is still only as good as the ability of the US to enforce it?

With a standing force established, nations would be required to set aside a certain percentage of their resources for short tours of duty under UN service, meaning that those who normally won't mobilize will have to. For one period it might be a large US force working with several smaller nations. The next it might be China with several small nations, or later a combined EU force with several smaller nations.

If things came to the level of Desert Storm you'd still need to raise forces, but for situations where you just need a division or so that can act as a separating force or detatch smaller units for security operations and a few aircraft capable of making surgical strikes, this would save us a lot of .aches.
(I anticipate someone suggesting that this arrangement could result in overzealous attacks, so of course the Security Council should be able to waive the rule by majority vote or with one veto AND a concurring opinion by the World Court)


If the US weren't involved, what are the chances any other country is going provide the military backbone on its own to enforce disarming or non-proliferation?

The possibly always exists that nations will order their forces not to fulfill their obligation, but why join the program to begin with if they were going to do that? It might be wise for the agreement to include sanctions on nations which


We may just be STUCK with unilateralism, Vaga, whether we like it or not. Or at least until China or Russia steps up to the plate and really puts their foot down instead of just yappin. Come on China, go MAKE your little brat in NK lose the nukes.


That's the beauty of the plan. I'm under no illusion that everyone will just sign the kind of deal that I'm proposing. We'd have to wrangle quite a bit over it. It would involve using soft power to force Russia and China to ackowledge certain rules. They are setting fires for us to run around putting out, just like the cold war, and it's exhausting us. The Soviet Union fell first, but we can't keep it up forever either and they know it. So what we need to draw the line and say "we've got a new plan to fix this problem, and you're going to sit down and offer your input to make it work, but at the end of the day you are going to sign it and follow it with us because we aren't going to trading with you while you're part of a problem that is slowly killing us.



The idea of phased, complete world nuclear disarmament is one that only the most optimistic can dream about, as long as the extremely deep rooted problems such as Iran-Israel remain. Noble ideas, but good luck.


It would take a pretty strong catalyst. It won't happen in the form of everyone just putting the nukes away. We'll have to render them obsolete and get out a. of the next offensive technology to prevent that one from being developed. For example, if there was a UN controlled space-based defense system that was used to automatically down any ICBM launched, or any nuclear-capable bomber or cruise missile that entered a nation without proper authority, then the countries with nuclear aresenals too small to saturate the system would be disarmable. Then there'd be some real potential for a slow draw down, because things simply aren't as bad between the biggest nuclear powers as they were when those weapons were needed.

All you've got to do then is enforce a ban on the deployment of whatever the next system is- which wouldn't be incredibly difficult if the next wave is space-based, which seems fairly likely.

I'm under no illusion that it will happen tomorrow and I'm under no illusion that any nation should be expected to expose its back to an old enemy on blind faith, but I don't think it hurts us to keep talking about it and keep running the scenarios in hopes that there is a way where all parties can "trust but verify" and back out of the nuclear age gracefully.



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 09:04 PM
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Yes.

However, several conditions have to exist to make it a just war.
1. If they are pursuing nuclear weapons against the will of the international community. We can only strike if we feel we could illiminate the threat with far fewer casualties than would be inflicted by a nuclear bomb.(far fewer being 1/10 expected casualties)
2. If their government is tied to terrorist groups; such as Hammas, Hezbollah, and Al Qaida however intelligence agencies need to make this connection clear and open.
3. If they have the intent to cause mass destruction to Americans and allies which is most apparent with attempts at "jihads."

The reason why it only takes these 3 factors to strike today is because warfare has changed and continues to change with new technology. People don't often realize the implications of weapons on the battlefield and how much of an advantage they actually are. Some examples of weapons that have modernized warefare throughout the years include the sling-shot, bow and arrow, sword, brick walls, gun, and finally the nuclear bomb. Each weapon not only changed the tactics of the two sides but it also changed the morality of the two sides. Like life war is in motion as is the fight on both sides to cope with the morality of it. Today, due to the killing power of the nuclear bomb the rules of warefare have changed. In cases like Iran, where spacemonkey's(Ahmadilololonenejad) rule the hen house countries like Israel and the US who feel threatened by Iran's previous threats could take action to prevent them from obtaining a nuclear bomb if they feel that they can set that capability back and avoid massive collateral damage.



posted on Feb, 6 2007 @ 12:21 AM
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Originally posted by mulder762002
Last night I was watching Fox News and they were talking about Senator Clinton, she said the US can't allow Iran to go on with their nuclear plans. And I believe this is the mindset amongst most Republicans and some Democrats.

So my question is,

Do you believe the US has the right to decide which countries can have nuclear weapons? YES or NO

No. It is not up to the US. Its up to the individual countries and their international commitments. THe US is entirely correct in pointing out that Iran doesn't have a RIGHT to nuclear weapons, it gave up that right in order to get international help in the form of nuclear power technology, equipment, planning and expertise.


So no, its not up to the US. And yes, the US is correct, Iran gave up its right to Nuke weapons.



Arkangel4time
I believe the US is hypocritical about the decisions on who "we" think should be alllowed membership in the Nuclear club.

The US doesn't think that countries that consider America to be the 'great satan' should have nukes. What is hypocritical about that? We dont' want people that are likely to use nukes against us to have them.


Royal76
For one simple fact. If it threatens us then it has to die.

Our rights as a 'sovereign actor' on the international level don't supersede the rights of other sovereign actors. We have the right to destroy who ever we see fit, but we don't have the right to decide what rights other countries have. Iran is a sovereign country, it decides what rights it has, just like any sovereign country.


XphilesPhan
yes, I believe the US should have the right to determine which countries can and cannot posess nuclear weapons.

Thats just absurd, on what grounds does the US become grantor of sovereign rights?


Low Orbit
However, several conditions have to exist to make it a just war.

Just War has lead to the biggest disasters in history. We need less just wars, and more pragmatic, real political wars.

We can only strike if we feel we could illiminate the threat with far fewer casualties than would be inflicted by a nuclear bomb.(far fewer being 1/10 expected casualties)

If we want to kill everyone in iran in order to prevent a single american from being killed, we have that right. It'd be maddness to do that perhaps, but why shoudl it matter if the american casualties from an iranian attack are excessively high or not?

If their government is tied to terrorist groups;

I don't think a single nation in the world questions this, wrt iran.

If they have the intent to cause mass destruction

We can't actually know what their intent is though. They may merely intend to have the nukes ready for when/if the Mahdi and Jesus return, and will then promptly hand it over to them. We can't know what their intent is.

cases like Iran, where spacemonkey's(Ahmadilololonenejad) rule the hen house

In the islamic republic, the presidency is a formal office without much power, especially with regards to foreign policy. Of course, we could say that the clerics that do have absolute power are also whackadoos.



posted on Feb, 6 2007 @ 07:40 AM
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Treaties are like roses and young girls. They last while they last.

So, if Iran were to pull out of the NPT, would their actions then be acceptable?

These are the restrictions that limit their "right" to nuclear weapons, no?



[edit on 6-2-2007 by phoenixhasrisin]



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 02:40 PM
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Originally posted by phoenixhasrisin
So, if Iran were to pull out of the NPT, would their actions then be acceptable?

No.


These are the restrictions that limit their "right" to nuclear weapons, no?

Yes.



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