Who Should be Allowed To Possess Nuclear Technology?

Posted by Frederick Jones
September 27, 2007

In 1968, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was created to prevent the further proliferation of nuclear weapons, as well as promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy and express the intention of NPT signatories to achieve disarmament. Nonetheless, questions exist as to why the international community approves of some nations possessing nuclear materials and not others.

"What should determine who should be allowed to possess nuclear technology and who should not?"

Comments

Comments

Brian
|
South Carolina, USA
September 29, 2007

Brian in South Carolina writes:
Every country should be able to possess nuclear technology, that does not support terrorism or has ties to terrorism. I hope some day nuclear bombs will not exist but since they do we must keep tight control over the technology.

Knox G.
|
Florida, USA
September 29, 2007

Knox in Florida writes:
I think only peaceful democratic nations with strict nuclear watch dogging should be allowed to have nuclear power...

Myriam
|
Canada
September 29, 2007

Myriam in Canada writes:
During the last cold war, in the sixties, the U.S government with NATO, was in an aggressive pursuit of nuclear weapons programs to neutralize, in the same time the Russian et French nuclear powers, influenced by De Gaulle nuclear ambitions in Europe, as an ally more of the Soviets than of the Americans. At that time, there was a fair confrontation between those countries in two different blocks. Today, the nuclear threats towards America and its allies, come from everywhere, in anarchist ways, from former third world countries becoming today economically super actives like China, India to Arab nations with Islamic theocracies, unable to control fairly the use of nuclear power. They will use without thinking... So, America and its allies have no choice to use any means to prevent these foolish nations to have or to use nuclear powers.

peter
|
South Africa
September 29, 2007

Peter in South Africa writes:
I believe that every country has the right to nuclear energy - nuclear weapons on the other hand is a consequence of this.

south Africa is the only country in the world to have destroyed its nuclear weapons as they are just too dangerous to mankind and in the end really don't serve any purpose.

the real question people should ask, is why do you need nuclear weapons - if you feel threatened - then you should ask yourself why ??? trying to control nuclear access is a pointless exercise - it is like trying to control drugs or something, people will still get their hands on it - rather change your ways and foreign policy and then maybe you wont have so many Anti-American people in the world.

peter
|
South Africa
September 29, 2007

Peter in South Africa writes:
i don't think that their can be a method of determining who is good and who is bad. you can have a country that for a long time has been stable etc....and all it takes is some bad guy to come to power and then you have a real problem in the region. (particularly if the other surrounding countries don't have the nuclear weapons.) like wise, organizations like the UN are not effective (as can be seen where the US went to war in Iraq against the wishes of the UN.)

so either every country has the technology or none. however every country in my view has the right to develop nuclear energy.

additionally, cultures will differ dramatically in their world views etc... what is good for one country is not good for another. some countries have elected officials, other are absolute kingdoms and other are mixed bunch of elections along tribal / hereditary lines etc... so any policy that is based on democracy needs definition as democracy USA style is but only a fraction of the earths population - a very foreign concept to most of the world.

i wonder what the outcome of a UN vote would be if the question was "should every country have the technology" ?? - and if any security council members would use a veto.

while on the issue of "democracy", has anyone ever wondered what china would be like with democracy?? - in my view it would be a war zone as i don't believe that you can control so many people if they all have rights. (sometimes to get things done - you need to dispense with democracy.)

Shaw
|
China
September 29, 2007

Shaw in Sino writes:
Who can explain the reason that the 6 soldiers died in a series of mysterious accidents?
Who can explain the reason that the 6 six nuclear missiles were hang on the B-52 bomber out of president's control?
Is this a responsible and Rational country?
What if the pilot Fire the bomb to America or even the other country like Sino, Russia?

Kyle
|
Missouri, USA
September 30, 2007

Kyle in Missouri writes:
It seems that SOME of you do not understand many of the aspects of Nuclear Weaponry.

First-Mutually Assured Destruction. I have them(nukes)and you have them, I guarantee if you shoot and kill me, I will do the same to you. This has not changed even since the Cold War, we still have 2 man crews in capsules buried in the Great Plains ready to "Turn The Key" if ordered. Our fellow nuclear powers know this. It is called Deterrence. It has worked beautifully. We're all still here.

Second-The "Nuclear Genie" is out of the bottle. It will never be put back in. To think it will be is naive, unrealistic,and only complicates the discussion, leading to distraction of the real issues.

Third- The only "powers" that would use Nuclear weapons are extremists. I.E. Iran, Chavez, and the like. The U.S. would only use them in a "Must" type scenario. This logic holds true, or we would have used them already(as in Korea). I believe this applies for all Nuclear Capable nations at the present time.

Now, Mutually Assured Destruction in my opinion has worked only because our counterparts with nukes value life as much as we, and are fully aware of the consequences of using such weapons. No doubt that this is not the case in the Nations that are trying to get Nukes. They would use them, and somehow twist their version of reality to blame it on the US.

The United States of AMERICA is far from being a perfect nation. BUT we have helped more people on this planet than ALL OTHER NATIONS COMBINED. That somehow gets lost in the arguement doesn't it? If other leading nations would help out in the world, maybe it wouldn't seem like we are trying to "Dominate" the globe. So, with that in mind, Lets try something. Pull all US forces from everywhere in the world back to the mainland U.S. Korea, Germany, Saudi Arabia, everywhere. Watch the Global situation then. Then, when the US refuses to help you out, maybe this would all make sense to those that hate the US.

No one else NEEDS Nuclear Weapons. The world doesn't NEED anymore. That club is full.

IROnbox
|
China
September 30, 2007

IR in China writes:
That's right
The final mission is for the human's peace.

Wang
|
China
September 30, 2007

Wang in China writes:
I think that the countries, which possess a real aspiration to make her people and the human all around the world live more happily and peacefully, can have the right to develop her nuclear energy. But weapons, especially nuclear weapons, are in no situation righteous.

Robin
|
Romania
September 30, 2007

Robin in Romania writes:
@ -- Robert in Ohio

I agree with you Robert.

I believe an international organization such as IAEA should should handle this matter, not particular countries. Furthermore, there should be some strict, regulated punishment for any country that crosses the line. I say that they need to be regulated because some major incidents may occur, due to diplomacy. For instance, let's just say that some country breaks the international rules. US might agree on some harsh punishment. Russia might not. How about that?
This has happened before, on other matters.

Tracking such materials is difficult because not all governments feel they should be opened towards public and the UN, especially when they are exporting nuclear technology.

@ -- everyone who is critical of the U.S. for bombing Japan

I agree with Robert in Ohio. The bombs ended the war. Millions of people no longer died, especially in Japan. Russia was on its way to develop the bomb. Germany was rather close to chemical warfare. There are countless examples of such events and facts. Keep that in mind. Also, keep in mind that Germany, Italy and Japan started the war.

Steve
|
Maryland, USA
September 30, 2007

Steve in Maryland writes:
The rules for nuclear technology are clear in international law and custom. Sign the treaties, play by the rules, get along, prosper. Fail to sign the treaties, fail to play by the rules, and you get two clear outcomes: 1. sanctions and approbation from the international community, and 2. targeting from those countries that possess nuclear weapons. While I wish it weren't so, the nuclear genie is long out of the bottle and will not be re-stoppered. If a nation chooses to impoverish itself to join the nuclear club, whether for energy or defense, it must also choose to play by the nuclear club rules - no more denial, no more obfuscation and no more silly chatter about history - it's the varsity of foreign policy, plain and simple. If you have reactors, enrichment plants or nuclear weapons, you can't run around making inflammatory statements about history or other people without expecting to incur some level of global derision, rejection and risk. The nuclear powers have co-existed successfully for fifty-eight years because they take it seriously; deadly seriously.

Joannes
|
Brazil
October 1, 2007

Joannes in Brazil writes:
To hear the persons it is a thing completely different of to do what all they want that you (govern) do. Being the USA, everybody, around the world, they want to give ideas. But, in politic, ideas and action can live each one in your world. What will you do with all opinions? Thank you and sorry my terrible English!

Daniel
|
District Of Columbia, USA
October 1, 2007

Hey there.

Daniel S.
October 2, 2007

Dipnote Blogger Frederick Jones writes:
@ Ali in Singapore -- Ali, we understand that some people have had problems with the size, and color, of the font on the site. We are working now to figure out what works best. You may have noticed that we've already increased the font size for the comments. You will probably see more changes in the near future.

Fletcher
|
Minnesota, USA
October 1, 2007

Fletcher in Minnesota writes:
@ Robert in Arizona --

You seem to be suggesting that the only countries should be allowed to have nuclear weapons are countries which will not use them.

If a weapon has no potential for use, why should anyone have it? (I'm not necessarily agreeing or disagreeing with your views, just raising the point that obviously follows from your views)

@ Robert in Ohio --

The bombing of Japan, while regrettable in many ways, almost certainly saved huge numbers of lives in the long run. It preempted the need for an invasion of mainland Japan, as many know, which would have been extremely costly on both sides. What I think is overlooked, however, is that with the advent of nuclear weaponry in America and the research being conducted elsewhere, it's incredibly unlikely that the world would have abandoned the idea had we not bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That assumed, it seems to me far more likely that a full-scale nuclear war would have erupted sometime in the 1950's or 1960's, had there not been such clear examples of the human costs of using those types of weapons. As it was, enough people seemed eager to use them in those decades, and I doubt cooler heads would have prevailed were there not such examples. Any nuclear conflict occurring in the 1950's or 1960's would have proven much more costly than the end of our war with Japan.

The recent increase in nuclear states is disturbing primarily because these new nuclear states may be more willing to use these weapons than the US and the USSR ever were. The only upside to proliferation, awful as it may be, is that we'll all be reminded of how terrible nuclear weapons are the next time someone decides to drop one on a city, and afterward hopefully we'll find cooler heads prevailing on this issue once again.

JENNSY
|
China
October 1, 2007

Jennsy in China writes:
Two choices:
NO one can have it; Everyone can have it.
So, if you want to forbid others have it, first, drop yours.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
October 2, 2007

Eric in New Mexico writes:
"What should determine who should be allowed to possess nuclear technology and who should not?"
To those concerned,
I'd venture a guess as this may be determined by why they want it.
What motivates them, what intent to implement its usage, the character and trustworthiness of (call it willful transparency if you wish) of a nation’s leadership, their relations within the family of nations, the people's support and voice in the matter, the reciprocal trust of the international community and its attendant agencies all must be taken into account.
I speak of the peaceful aspect to nuclear power in the above.
Whereas it concerns proliferation of nuclear arms, materials, tech. expertise, equipment, and related financial backing:
There can be no excuse for the international community, or a partnership of nations even, to fail to act decisively in defense of people's right to live in peace, even if it involves military action and/or regime replacement therapy for a dysfunctional and willfully dangerous mindset that would place global peace and security at risk as well as the populations they are putting in harm's way.
Why on this blue Earth do We, the People (humanity in this case), put up with terrorism and the states that sponsor them let alone allow anyone to build a nuclear power plant in an earthquake prone area between two tectonic plates? (I hope Mr. Putin gets this, because 800 mil to build is chump change to the cost of another Chernobyl.)
Never mind the fact that the fuel may be "returned to sender" with a bang.
Oh, "we have rights." we're told by those that also say they would see nations "wiped off the map".
I say to Aminidejad "You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law", and I'm sure folks in the U.S. government can see the point I'm trying to drive home and park in the UN's garage.
Folks, we have a test case on our hands.

So I decided to ask a question that has only begun to be answered, no disrespect intended:
-------
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/ask/69001.htm
Eric from Santa Fe, New Mexico writes:
Dear Under Secretary Joseph,

General Omar Bradley once said, "Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants, we know more about war than we do about peace, more about killing than about living."

Mine is a philosophical question:

At what point does the international community determine that the ethical infant’s diapers need changing, as the smell of ill intent has become all too overwhelming and noxious to Humanity? Or will ethical infants like the leaders of Iran and North Korea be allowed to remain in power to "dump" on civilization at a time of their choosing?

I've noted that the diplomatic attempts at "behavior change" have only resulted in temper-tantrums, at the expense of global peace and security. But as my granddad worked with Oppenhiemer on the Manhattan project, and these issues are thus quite personal to me, I'd like to personally thank everyone involved globally seeking solutions to these problems, as well as the building of consensus among nations to address these issues in concrete terms.

Under Secretary Joseph:

As in Omar Bradley's time, the United States continues to offer the world ethical leadership, dedicated to partnerships that lead to lasting international peace and security, as well as to the development of democratic governments and the rule of law. The Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism will build on Secretary Rice’s vision of transformational diplomacy by building consensus among partner nations regarding our most serious international security threat, and galvanize them to take concrete and sustained steps to defeat it.
-------
Here's an outside "box 1663" perspective:
It took America just about 27 months, from 1942-45 to build an industry from scratch, based on designs from scratch, building a city from scratch to build a bomb from scratch, with only theories to go on, in the middle of the largest and most costly war in history. Yet we did this and ended that war that had cost 50 million lives up to that point with the weapon that no one knew would even work at the time it was being produced. In secret.

Now Iran has had at least 18 years, lots of help from other nations, black market smugglers, and their scientists have had proven designs to work with, and in all probability now has in its possession, a handful of nuclear devices smuggled in after being bought on the black market.

The question this thread was based upon was a question of parameters, not philosophy.
But without philosophy how can one define these parameters? Or find perspective?
I find the narrow parameters used today to define a right of a nation to nuclear technology are not adequate to today's world, for what should be self evident reasons.

xan
|
Romania
October 2, 2007

Xan in Romania writes:
The problem isn't who should be allowed to possess nuclear technology, but who should be the judge of that? The answer is obvious, not USA.

On r.
|
Virginia, USA
October 2, 2007

@ Marlene in California -- You are the most ignorant person on the face of earth and your posting earned you the title of "the biggest scum in society".

Because of irrational people like you, most Americans are hated all over the world. You are a disgrace to our country!

Ariana
|
Virginia, USA
October 2, 2007

Ariana in Virginia writes:
Democracy is respect!
We preach "democracy" but our actions demonstrate DESPOTISM. How can we believe in freedom of expression and freedom of speech when we negate other countries of this right? We are not superior, our ways are not "better", democracy is not the icon of government, Muslim, Christianity, Judaism, are not "the truth" -- It is all on the eye of the beholder!
This means, mind your own business because you cannot force others to act and live in accordance with your own views.

On R.
|
Virginia, USA
October 2, 2007

CR in Virginia writes:

@ Troy -- The only reason our troops are being killed in Iraq is because we decided to invade their country. It is THEIR country and they should have the right to run it as they please. We are the only ones that should NOT be there and if we do not want our troops killed all we need to do is GET OUT!

@ Paulo -- You highlighted the most coherent truth when you said, "In democracy there are not imposition of the values or concepts but respect for the divergences".

So, let us just allow other countries decide what is best for them.

Muhammad Y.
|
Pakistan
October 2, 2007

Muhammad in Pakistan writes:
Reagrding nuclear issue, no country should have it...because always it will be for destruction not for construction.

Pages

.

Latest Stories

December 17, 2014

Working for Peace in Somalia

For over 20 years, landmines and unexploded ordnance, such as abandoned bombs, artillery shells, and other munitions have plagued communities… more

Pages