Political scientists, scientists, politicians, generals, and journalists have devoted an extraordinary amount of time trying to figure out ways to keep WMD
from being distributed to people who would use them against the US or allies. The history of the secrecy and distribution of WMD has become large and complex in a short amount of time. Highlights in this history include:
Chemical Warfare has existed in an advanced form for less than 100 years. Nuclear weapons have only existed for 60 years. Advanced biological warfare is also relatively young. And some accidents and large exposures have already occurred:
It is only common sense that as the timeline grows, more deadly technology will be unleashed either on accident or on purpose. The trouble is that one use of WMD can cost thousands, millions, or potentially billions of lives. It is common belief that the technology achievements of the human race will only increase. With the spread of education and technology, we cannot hope to keep these secrets of science and engineering bottled up forever. We must devise a solution to deal with the WMD problem that does not rely on keeping information secret.
When George W. Bush tells countries like Iran and North Korea that they may not develop WMD, yet the US may use WMD whenever it sees fit ("keeping all options on the table"
), he is by definition applying a double standard to these countries. And he is relying on fear of the US military to enforce these policies. This does not seem effective to me because invading a country for practicing its sovereign right to defend itself is not a legitimate reason. This is probably why most of the world was against the latest invasion of Iraq.
As sovereign nations, a country may do whatever they please and cannot (in theory) be dictated to. Suggesting that certain countries may possess WMDs and that others may not implies that the citizens of one nation are better than the citizens of another, and that citizens of one nation have more rights than another. The rights of citizens are to be determined by that country, not another country.
The Solution: A Comprehensive Nuclear Treaty
Lead both by example and with negative reinforcement. All of the nuclear powers must reduce their nuclear weapons to a relatively small number. All nuclear weapons and missiles which are capable of being fired at a moment's notice must be dismantled. The nations with nuclear weapons can keep a small number around in case of emergency. It's feasible that one day they may be needed to deal with a rogue nation or an engineering problem such a colliding asteroid or some scenario which we cannot yet imagine.
All nuclear powers (energy use included) agree that in order to use nuclear energy or store nuclear weapons, they must give full access to an international oversight organization, such as the IAEA
, which will make sure that members do not abuse their nuclear privileges and that they abide by the rules of the treaty.
Nations who try to develop nuclear programs outside of the bounds of this treaty will be economically and possibly militarily punished by ALL countries involved. Given that this means world's biggest powers
: the USA, Russia, China, the EU, India, Pakistan - there would be strong incentive to comply.
This solution may be a bit idealistic, but it's not THAT idealistic. If the any country doesn't need to worry about foreign nations' nuclear weapons, then they don't need nuclear weapons at a moment's notice, USA included. This is just common sense.
Not only will we reduce the amount of nuclear weapons which could be accidentally used, stolen, or purposely used, but we would also reduce the incentive for non-nuclear nations to claim that they need nuclear weapons. With all of the world powers included, this would be a powerful and binding treaty.
Less nuclear weapons are better for every human being. Accidents will happen, and stupid and/or malicious people will always exist. This agreement, if it bound everyone, would benefit all humankind forever.
Any feedback left in the comments would be higly appreciated.