Now, after thirty years of an apparent easing of nuclear tensions since the end of the cold war, fear of nuclear war is real and pressing. – Professor Paul Rogers
In his latest article for Opendemocracy.net, A Quick Guide to Nuclear Weapons, Paul Rogers provides a much-needed primer in four parts:
- A quick history of nuclear weapons
- Today’s nuclear arsenals
- The good news (and there is some!) and
- The bad news and what to do about it.
Let’s start (for once) with the good news:
- Only nine UN member states have nuclear weapons while 184 do not.
- Many states are members of nuclear-weapons-free zones covering large parts of the world.
- 50 states have already signed up to the recently negotiated UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, with many more expected to do so.
The bad news:
- The nine nuclear-armed states are intent on both keeping and modernising their nuclear arsenals.
- Tensions between NATO and Russia and between the USA and North Korea are rising.
- Third, and worst of all, there is now increasing discussion of “small scale” use of nuclear weapons
That is why the issue is so important — and why there is a need for much more discussion about and opposition to the belief that having the ability to kill tens of millions of people makes for a sane “defence” policy. – Paul Rogers
For the full article, click: A Quick Guide to Nuclear Weapons (Paul Rogers, Opendemocracy.net, 8 February 2018).
For another historical and current perspective see: Trump is leading us into nuclear war, says Daniel Ellsberg (interview of Daniel Ellsberg on his new book, The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner, by Anna Maria Tremonti on CBC’s The Current, 1 February 2018). This is a superb, lengthy and engaging interview with the man most of us know only in connection with the Pentagon Papers.
Photo credit: Wikimedia and Jillian Hawley (collage of flags of 9 nuclear armed states)
 Out of 193 UN member states, there are 9 with nuclear weapons. The article correctly lists all 9 but incorrectly states the total to be eight!