Nuclear Dangers and How to Dispel Them
Now, after thirty years of an apparent easing of nuclear tensions since the end of the cold war, fear of nuclear war is real and pressing. – Professor Paul Rogers
In his latest article for Opendemocracy.net, A Quick Guide to Nuclear Weapons, Paul Rogers provides a much-needed primer in four parts:
- A quick history of nuclear weapons
- Today’s nuclear arsenals
- The good news (and there is some!) and
- The bad news and what to do about it.
Let’s start (for once) with the good news:
- Only nine UN member states have nuclear weapons while 184 do not.
- Many states are members of nuclear-weapons-free zones covering large parts of the world.
- 50 states have already signed up to the recently negotiated UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, with many more expected to do so.
The bad news:
- The nine nuclear-armed states are intent on both keeping and modernising their nuclear arsenals.
- Tensions between NATO and Russia and between the USA and North Korea are rising.
- Third, and worst of all, there is now increasing discussion of “small scale” use of nuclear weapons
That is why the issue is so important — and why there is a need for much more discussion about and opposition to the belief that having the ability to kill tens of millions of people makes for a sane “defence” policy. – Paul Rogers
For the full article, click: A Quick Guide to Nuclear Weapons (Paul Rogers, Opendemocracy.net, 8 February 2018).
For another historical and current perspective see: Trump is leading us into nuclear war, says Daniel Ellsberg (interview of Daniel Ellsberg on his new book, The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner, by Anna Maria Tremonti on CBC’s The Current, 1 February 2018). This is a superb, lengthy and engaging interview with the man most of us know only in connection with the Pentagon Papers.
Photo credit: Wikimedia and Jillian Hawley (collage of flags of 9 nuclear armed states)
 Out of 193 UN member states, there are 9 with nuclear weapons. The article correctly lists all 9 but incorrectly states the total to be eight!