The Sum of All Hopes

A Just Foreign Policy Aug 19, 2021

Making the Case for Nuclear Zero in a Changing World

The permanence of the vision of a world with zero nuclear weapons has crumbled
before our eyes over the last five years. The statements of leaders from President
Obama to George Shultz committing to "global zero" are a distant memory. The
Trump administration took several high-stakes actions that are directly responsible for a resurgence in nuclear weapons proliferation:

  • It withdrew from the INF, also known as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty
  • It withdrew from the Iran Deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)
  • It declined to extend the New START Treaty with Russia
  • It directed the military-industrial complex to build and expand its nuclear policies, including new bombers, "modernization", and investment in new tactical nuclear weapons.

As a result, "threshold states" - countries that have not officially come out of the closet as possessing nuclear weapons capabilities - have all made moves towards
nuclearization. These threshold states are a who's-who of the world's trouble spots:
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Israel, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.

The overall tenor of the diplomatic community when you bring up arms control?
"Outlook not so good."

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