A few days ago I wrote a simple blog post that illustrated why nuclear deterrence doesn't work and is ineffective at protecting security, surprisingly titled Why nuclear deterrence doesn't work. I thought it was fairly simple but I've received two tweets from friendly folks on Twitter backing up what I've said:
@rubenerd Nuclear weapons are scary, regardless of who possesses them. We agree and are equally concerned. Our appeal: http://ow.ly/iBWL -RL
IPPNW is the only international medical organization dedicated to preventing nuclear war and abolishing nuclear weapons. We recognize that the catastrophic health and environmental consequences of a nuclear war are at the extreme end of a continuum of armed violence that undermines health and security. IPPNW is committed to ending war and advancing understanding of the causes of armed conflict from a public health perspective.
Another person who was nice enough to comment was Rizwan Ladha, another Bay Stater who writes the painstakingly detailed and well thought out Reconsidering International Relations blog. In particular the last two paragraphs of his post from the 30th July made the same points I did, though somewhat more saliently!
Remember, the presence of nuclear weapons hasn’t deterred anything — wars have still happened. Just because no one’s pressed the big red panic button yet doesn’t mean it can’t happen tomorrow. At the end of the day, deterrence is a logically flawed policy that creates a zero-sum game situation. As one of the remnants of the Cold War that continue to influence our policymaking thought processes, deterrence, along with its close relative, Mutually Assured Destruction, need to go.
What we need to understand is that the real threat of even one nuclear explosion will not be completely eliminated until we stop deluding ourselves. As long as the existence and possession of nuclear weapons are justified under the concept of "deterrence," we cannot consider ourselves completely opposed to the spread of nuclear weapons. Non-proliferation is not an end in itself, but rather is a step towards the real end goal of disarmament.
I've been called a Nazi on Twitter and have been spammed for suggesting Israel needs to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty for it's own sake; so far haven't had any negative reactions to my opposition to North Korea, the United States, France et al from having them but I've stopped Twittering about it because I'm tired of dealing with rude, profanity laced comments. That's my entire point though: if one party has them it justifies others. Desiring them is masochism, plain and simple.
As I said in the previous post about this: welcome to the real world I guess. I need some cheering up… perhaps I'll make a grilled cheese sandwich!