15 August 2020 10:34

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However, like land mines and chemical weapons, the Treaty will begin the process of stigmatizing these weapons of mass destruction in hopes that countries will begin to dismantle their nuclear weapons programs, realizing they are simply not welcome or needed in the world. Additionally ICAN and Pax Christi International launched a major study, "Don't Bank on the Bomb," detailing global investments in nuclear weapons companies, putting pressure on their financial institutions to end their support for the nuclear arms industry. It calls on the U.S. to: renounce the option of using nuclear weapons first; end the sole, unchecked authority of any president to launch a nuclear attack; take U.S. nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert; cancel the plan to replace its entire arsenal with enhanced weapons; and actively pursue a verifiable, enforceable, time-bound agreement among nuclear-armed states to eliminate their nuclear arsenal. Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 13, 2020 (SKNIS): In support of the Bill shortly entitled Anti-Proliferation (Financing of Weapons of Mass Destruction) Bill, 2020, Premier of Nevis and Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Mark Brantley, stated that the legislation is another manifestation of the nation's efforts to be a responsible member of the international community. Minister Brantley said that St. Kitts and Nevis made headlines around the world because of its agreement to ratify the Nuclear Ban Treaty.

The Foreign Minister said that this was significant because of the symbolism that "as a small nation in the Caribbean Sea and far removed from Japan, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we had use the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki to ratify this particular treaty." Minister Brantley stated that the two events triggered an alarming new development in the world, that is, nuclear weapons can destroy entire civilizations and has led to arms race with major powers around the world. He said that the Bill seeks to align the federation with international law and UN Security Council Resolutions "as we seek together, collectively, to prevent not only nuclear armament, but also to prevent the proliferation of all weapons of mass destruction." Secondary nuclear weapons states, including India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea are motivated by a mixture of considerations: regional rivalry, defensive security, and regional geopolitics. + despite global tensions no nuclear weapon has been used since 1945, suggesting that the management of nuclear weaponry has stood the test of time + nuclear disarmament is not realistic under these circumstances, and is viewed by the governments possessing nuclear weapons as more dangerous than management plus some measures of arms control + leading nuclear weapons states rely on nuclear weaponry for defensive security via deterrence, and for geopolitical leverage in some global crisis situations + the possession of nuclear weapons elevates the status of a country in world politics + regional hegemons and expansionist states rely on geopolitical leverage within geographical limits + beleaguered countries claim security imperatives to support their acquisition of nuclear weapons capabilities + international practices suggests that secondary states that do not possess nuclear weapons are more subject to military intervention than those that possess the weaponry (for example, Iraq, Libya versus North Korea) The most explicit overall rationale for nuclearism is set forth in the statement issued by the U.S., France, and the UK as to why they oppose the UN Treaty of Prohibition, stressing distrust of North Korea and others combined with confidence in the managerial capabilities of the NPT regime and collective security arrangement to continue to keep the world safe. In contrast, the emergent confrontation with China focuses on trade wars and friction between China's claims to a regional sphere of influence and growing technological superiority and the U.S. resolve to retain its globality an extensive reality as the first global security state in history with even cosmic pretensions manifest in extending geopolitical rivalry including war preparations to space. The BAS called attention to three developments: deteriorating efforts to seek stability via arms control, highlighted by the abandonment of agreements in the context of U.S./Russia relations, which is alleged to weaken nonproliferation barriers; failures to address adequately the challenges of climate change; disinformation technologies that have undermined trust in state/society relations.

Daniel Falcone: Can you talk about anti-war organizations and peace groups around the world at the local, state, national, and global level that are working hard to ensure that a cataclysmic event is avoided? I would stress the troublesome reality that the U.S. global decline in legitimacy and capability has left the government without confidence in exerting global influence except by relying on its military might, making threats, imposing sanctions, while flaunting international law and the UN and repudiating the most important recent instances of global cooperation with respect to climate change and Iran's nuclear program. This has led to public complacency about nuclear dangers, making the work of the global anti-war movement more difficult at the very time that it has never been more necessary. Civil society energies have been devoted in recent year to promoting the UN Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), seeking the 50 ratifications needed to bring the agreement into force among the parties. In view of the refusal of NATO countries to take part in even the negotiations of such an international agreement, and the issuance of a defiant statement of opposition by the U.S., UK, and France after the TPNW text was released, it has become evident that there is a fundamental cleavage in world politics between the nine nuclear weapons states, and especially the NATO nuclear powers, and most of the rest of the world.

The NATO view implicitly affirms the permanence of nuclearism, resting its claims for stability and order on preventing further nuclear proliferation via the geopolitical implementation of the NPT regime to control non-nuclear states from acquiring nuclear weapons. There are continuous developments that call for civil society initiatives, ranging from exerting pressure to seek verified nuclear disarmament, to oppose resumption of testing and the development of smaller nuclear weapons designed for possible battlefield use, to warn against costly and destabilizing nuclear arms races, and to explore the connections between nuclearism and militarism. It is also notable that the United States has never officially apologized for these unlawful attacks on cities with no military significance in the closing days of World War II, nor even expressed public regret for the unprecedented suffering imposed on the Japanese civilian population of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Japanese people as a whole. Barack Obama was the first sitting American president to visit the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park in 2016, but refrained from offering an apology, and directed his remarks to the future, working to rid the world of nuclear weapons. As many have observed, the principal motivation for dropping the two atomic bombs, grotesquely named 'Little Boy' and 'Fat Man' was not, as publicly proclaimed in justification, primarily to bend the will of the Japanese leadership toward an immediate acceptance of the demands of 'unconditional surrender.' Historians increasingly degree that the overriding purpose was to send Moscow and Joseph Stalin a chilling message: don't push the West too hard in negotiating European political arrangements after the defeat of Germany and don't challenge the United States in relation to the spoils of war in the Pacific or your future might come to resemble that of these two devastated Japanese cities. In retrospect the bombs were the opening salvo in an all-encompassing geopolitical rivalry that would endure for more than four decades under the rubric of the 'Cold War.' It is questionable whether the Cold War would have been the sequel to World War II if the atomic bomb had never been used, and instead unilaterally placed by the United States under strict and responsible international control as codified in a lawmaking disarmament treaty. Despite the clear treaty obligation in Article VI of the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) to seek nuclear disbarment in good faith negotiations, a legal obligation unanimously affirmed in 1996 by the International Court of Justice in its Advisory Opinion on the legality of nuclear weaponry, the United States and Russia retain large arsenals of nuclear weapons, backed by deployments and doctrines mandating use under certain conditions. There is not much doubt that had the Germans or Japanese developed an atom bomb and used it against Allied cities, and nevertheless lost the war, those responsible would have been prosecuted as war criminals, and nuclear weapons criminalized, with a likely effect that this weaponry might never have been developed. Iran, threatened by hostile political actors possessing nuclear weapons, is geopolitically prohibited from acquiring such weaponry and face aggression and occupation if seen as moving close to the nuclear threshold as prefigured by the experience of Iraq since 2003. The geopolitical regime of counter-proliferation ignores this sovereign right of states to determine their own security, including by the acquisition of nuclear weapons. The Japanese city of Nagasaki held a somber ceremony on Sunday to mark the 75th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing that killed 70,000 people in the waning days of World War II. In 1972, they signed the first of what would become a series of arms control treaties that, though far from perfect, have helped temper the risk of nuclear war for the past 50 years. If New START is allowed to run out, the world's two major nuclear powers will be operating without an arms control agreement for the first time in a half-century. The calculus of arms control has shifted in recent decades as more countries have acquired nuclear capabilities. Perhaps the biggest challenge to future arms control is the emergence of China as a major nuclear power. The U.S. can — and should — lead the way into a new era of nuclear arms control