Wednesday, March 07, 2007

New Atomic Age

I have attended an interesting conference this week on the future of non-proliferation and weapons control, hosted in Germany. I was there as a journalist of course but it was interesting both from a professional viewpoint as well as from the viewpoint as a student of this course.

The conference was designed as an opportunity for NGOs and academics to discuss non-proliferation with representatives from the German government as well as the United Nations. This was all within the context of the recent warnings that the world is standing before a new atomic age, if indeed a new arms race has not already begun and the eight-point plan put forward by Kissinger et al earlier in the year.

One of the interesting questions posed was the extent to which steps taken by the U.S. and Russia recently, not to mention the UK, to modernise their nuclear weapons arsenals were a blow to the NPT at a time when it is being used to rein in North Korea's military usage of the weapons. The steps by the nuclear nations are sending the wrong message, commentators * in Germany say, especially when one could engage Iran using the same means.

* i hope you appreciate the source!


Dan Ford said...

Herr Schmidt will appreciate the new radars/anti-missile system if Iran should lob a nuke at Germany.

Indeed, do the installations have any other conceivable purpose? ('In the neighborhood of Russia and China'! Wouldn't that put them in Manchuria?)

Sergio said...

Thanks Tom, but I wonder if it is really the modernisation of nuclear capabilities the catalyst of nuclear proliferation attempts by NK, Iran, etc.

I would actually see the violation of sovereignty, regime change/decapitation, etc as a much more likely cause.

If you can't defend yourself with conventional force, you either go sub-conventional (and that is quite messy) or build up a nuclear deterrent...perchance?