Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Nuclear Genie - Can it be contained?

The international community lead by United States has been trying incessantly to contain nuclear proliferation and keep it within the 5 veto countries. But slowly and steadily several other countries have been acquiring nuclear capability. Is the nuclear genie out of the bottle and can't be controlled? Is it that, the spread of nuclear capability can at best be slowed and can't be totally contained?

Initially there were 5 nuclear countries and they were joined by India, Pakistan & Israel. Now, North Korea has announced that they have joined the nuclear club. Besides these countries, there few other countries like Japan, Brazil, South Africa & Iran that have varying capability in the nuclear front. While Brazil & South Africa & Japan have voluntarily restrained themselves, Iran has been talking nuclear for a while now.

In 1963, Nuclear 'haves' created Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and wanted the world to sign up. India, Pakistan & Israel never joined NPT eventually became nuclear. North Korea didn't care much for the treaty to start with and has gone nuclear now. Slowly but steadily NPT has been eroded and it is now at a point where the NPT diplomacy needs serious reconsideration.

In this 'flat world' is it possible to contain the nuclear spread ? What is the locus-standi of the nuclear haves to demand others to desist from having? (It is interesting to see that even India has joined the bandwagon to condemn North Korea). What is the 'leverage' nuclear haves have over the have nots? Obviously diplomacy hasn't worked nor have the empty threats and economic sanctions.

While President Bush has issued threats like axis of evil speech to economic sanctions, they have heard no effort on North Korea and likely have no impact on Iran either. It is likely that Iran will take the cue from North Korea and become nuclear in the not too distant future.

Can Nuclear Proliferation be really controlled? What's your take on North Korea and Iran (very soon) going nuclear? How will the world be if there are 20 nuclear countries instead of 9 today? Would it be any less safer than today? Barring empty threats, will any country really use nuclear weapons?