Wednesday, May 04, 2005
Had To Dust Off The Brain Cells For This Effort...
Dave at Garfield Ridge linked to a semi-readable article from Fred Kaplan at Slate regarding the failures of the Non-Proliferatoin Treaty. Since I haven't used my editorial brain cells since finishing my Masters in National Security Studies, I figured now was the time to give it a shot. That, and the fact that Kaplan's article had more holes in it than Swiss Cheese, so it was an easy piece to take a shot at. Here it goes...
Fred Kaplan's assessment of the nearly irrelevant Non-Proliferation Treaty has some merit to it, yet all but one of his recommendations to solve the current 'crisis' are far from realistic.
His assessment of the treaty's loopholes is dead on.
1)It lets countries get to the brink of nuclear weapons and then quit the treaty and build the weapons
2)It provides no penalties for quitting or violating the treaty
3)It doesn't really require the big five to cut back on their nuclear weapons.
Kaplan's biggest failure is to not find a realistic solution to the NPT's failures. Blaming Bush's plan to modernize the U.S. stockpiles is not a solution, and only dirties Kaplan's overall assessment with the mud of politics. Anyone with a basic understanding of our current stockpiles knows that our 'City Killers' are no longer a deterrent in today's world. Developing smaller, bunker-busting devices will only force countries like Iran and North Korea above ground.
Developing an international rapid-reaction multi-national force to stop smaller countries or organizations in violation of the NTP is a foreseeable option. Stopping any modernization of weaponry by the nations who already have stockpiles is not realistic.
Again, deterrence is a major key. Either through economic aid and multi-national collective defensive treaties, or threat of economic or military action, most countries will see that having nuclear weapons is counterproductive.
The biggest factor in strengthening the NPT is one that Kaplan most likely refuses to acknowledge; Democracy. How many Democracies who have nuclear weapons are we threatened by? (France doesn't count) What is Bush's greatest legacy so far... the democratization of the Middle East. As history shows, Democracies don't threaten other Democracies (again, ignore France). The NPT is reinvigorated with every new Democracy that is formed, and Bush, like Reagan, knows that the democratization of the world will invalidate whatever threats exist to the free world.
Fred Kaplan made some valid points in his assessment of the failures of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, but failing to open his eyes to our nation's current attempts to stop proliferation through democratization and deterrence exemplifies the narrow thinking in today's NPT debate. Even Kofi Anan is falling prey to the same unrealistic, beatnik mentality of ‘No Nukes’. At the United Nation’s NPT review conference he reiterated the gloomy nightmare of mushroom clouds and nuclear winter if we didn’t rid the world of nuclear weapons soon.
Total nuclear disarmament is a dream. So is offering carrots to North Korea and Iran to stop their programs. If we stopped the Soviet Union from initiating nuclear Armageddon, we can certainly contain the threat Iran poses to the rest of the world through deterrence and democratization.
If not, a good 'ass-whooping' smack down never started a nuclear war either. (We can always test that hypothesis with France)
posted by El Capitan at 7:44 AM