Addendum to ICAN Report on World Nuclear Arms’ Spending

nuclear warhead

Only a day ago CounterCurrents.Org brought in a very informative article on world nuke spending to a tune of almost 73$ billion. While the entire humanity is facing a far worse survival crisis currently, one has to seriously ask how obscene such one spending is and for whose benefit. It is simply put, a bizarre veritable shame on civilised humanity, when our world is still struggling to find a viable vaccine and the nuclear powers are spending so much money on nuclear arms to illusorily protect themselves against enemies that are not, when a real enemy has already entered our bodies worldwide borderless and without visa into White House as well! While still on a spiritual health retreat, this ICAN report spurred me to add few missing lines that are complimentary and supplementary to the CCO story.

There are certain important factors one has to consider in this connection.

a) The rational logic of these 9 nuclear powers is that once you have got into this evil machine game of potential destruction of your hypothetical enemy, under the so-called Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), aka Balance of Terror/Destruction, you cannot get out of it, and perforce stick to vertical proliferation. In India when Man Mohan Singh took over as PM from a BJP government after the 1998 tests, when a Congress spokesman was asked about India’s nuclear armament policy he replied somewhat, “The previous government did us in and Pakistan has nukes now and we cannot get out (meaning unilaterally)”.

b) While the NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) prohibits only horizontal proliferation, meaning no new countries are allowed to explode and make nuclear weapons excepting the P-5 members [who also hold the only 5 Permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (UNSC)}, the 5 permanent members are solely allowed vertical proliferation. They can make any number of new weapons, a discrimination India violently protested due to the unethicality/immorality of this position. So India, Pakistan and Israel opted out of the NPT not signing it and like the 5 permanent members can make any number of nukes. North Korea signed the NPT but got out of it illegally to explode and is now the 9th member of this evil club. What is a mystery to this writer still, is that the NPT that was originally framed by Acheson & Lilienthal, had the full hand script of Dr. Robert Oppenheimer who headed the Manhattan Project and exploded world’s first nuclear bomb in the desert of Nevada, had after the war turned fully pacifist, joining Einstein. It would be puzzling if Oppenheimer wrote this discriminatory text after having turnrd pacifist.

c) All these 8 nuclear powers (5 permanent UNSC plus 3 non-permanent nuclear powers) cannot explode a nuclear arsenal as the 5 permanent members have signed the CTBT (Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty) India, Pakistan & Israel have not signed it but agreed not to explode if the other permanent Five do not. Unlike the NPT the CTBT prohibits both the horizontal and vertical proliferation, one reason why France and China exploded few bombs before they signed the CTBT.

Expenditure rise annually

While the geopolitics of each country may determine sovereign national policy to increase or decrease the nuke production, as is evident in the case of Pakistan which has more nukes than India now, thanks to a belligerent nukes’ production based on the free “yellow cake” (uranium) available aplenty in Baluchistan, an area Baluchis claim Pakistan had robbed them from, a claim India strongly supports. Pakistan military erroneously believes by having more nukes than India in its armoury, India will be deterred from attacking Pakistan, hence a more secure Pakistan. In fact it achieves just the opposite by doing that. By fabricating more nukes it makes a nuclear war only more probable in South Asia, only adding to its insecurity. Even nuclear superpowers have climbed down in cutting down their nukes, despite a horrendously foolish U.S. policy of late under successive Republican governments to turn their backs on disarmament treaties with Russia, America’s principal nuclear enemy with China added to the Russian camp now (Both Russia & China are together now if the U.S. attacks any one of them).

No. The reason for a per annum expenditure rise is a “forced” one per se.  It lies in the “need” to “maintain” current nukes and “increase the “blast power” and “speed” via “smart new nukes”.  Through this practice the U.S. has primarily made and continues to make a mockery of vital disarmament treaties. This is especially the reality in case of U.S. China and Russia. It comes under the so-called “Stockpile Stewardship Programme” in the U.S. Elsewhere they see it as technology update, depending obviously on what the U.S. does. There are suspicions that in the Second Iraq War when U.S. used “carpet bombing” killing over 200,00 civilians, some smart nukes could have been employed, because all nuclear inspectors of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had left Iraq before war, clearing Iraq of any “Weapons of Mass Destruction” (WMD). Once used in small quantities there is little chance of detecting smart nuke use, as radiation decay sets in 2 to 3 weeks. Since the U.S. Army was controlling the Iraqi territory in post-war period till a new Iraqi government was put in place, there was no chance and question of IAEA re-entering Iraq to check because prior to war they had cleared Iraq and CTBT not having entered into force had no chance of checking U.S. non-compliance of CTBT either.

World Security Deficit

Many analysts forget the on-the-ground reality that the nuclear powers cannot disown their nukes without a world security system in place, where the securities of the major nations, esp. of the nuclear powers are firmly secured through a reliable treaty. Here the question pops up, what do we mean by security? Economic, political, now health, clear environment, non-polluted atmosphere, reduction of Ozone Hole, reduction of world temperature rise. food security, materials security, security of animals and plants, ecological security, agricultural security for all nations to ensure food supply etc.?  Obviously, not all can be guaranteed in one stroke.

A viable world security needs a workable instrument to monitor and enforce, a pan-continental instrument that works unlike the current U.N. . How are you going to plan to make it work? So onerous this task seems, the current pandemic has taught us to think that it is time we get started somewhere together as one human race, to secure our world, before it is too late. It required two world wars to start a United Nations meeting in San Francisco in 1945. We need not wait for another; the war is already on at several fronts and corona virus is the latest branch of this war tree. So it is time to start discussing a world security to be devised, and saving the world an expenditure of trillions of dollars for a runaway train of destructive military industries sapping our vital energies. Or, do we want more viruses to teach us a harder lesson to change our mind?

George Chakko, former U.N. correspondent at the Vienna International Center, now retiree in Vienna, Austria.



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