Why the World needs Non-Proliferation Treaties?

Within the Modern Era of International Relations, the current world order is changing towards non-proliferation with nuclear powers such as: Iran agreeing to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA the Iran Nuclear deal) in 2015, the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty and the nuclear test ban treaty in 1963. However, some events suggest that the world is moving away from non-proliferation.

For example, the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty between Russia and the US, America pulled out in 2002, the Nuclear Arms race between India and Pakistan and the development of hypersonic ballistic missiles. Within this article, I will explain why the World needs non-proliferation and the implications of policies which have been removed or implemented into law.

The reason why the International community during and after the Cold war was starting to regulate Nuclear Weapons was because of the destructive nature of these type of weapons can do. For example, the 50-megaton nuke called the Tsar Bomba which the USSR had tested during the 1950s and 1960s when the Nuclear Arms race was at its height between the two cold war rivals (the US and the USSR). Nevertheless, during that period some actions were taken to prevent a nuclear conflict. Both President Kennedy and Khrushchev agreed to remove short and medium-range nuclear ballistic missiles from Turkey and Cuba and if they did not do this, it would have spark WW3.

Also, there was the signing of the INF during the late 1980s between Gorbachev (Leader of the USSR) and President Ronald Reagan (US president) had agreed on stopping the production of Medium Range Ballistic Missiles that are nuclear, but not only that it also was an obligation to dismantle those type of ballistic missiles which was a major step for nuclear disarmament.

However, these types of treaties have been either violated, not expanded or destroyed. Take for instance the accusations of both the US and Russia, violating the INF treaty by developing short to medium-range missiles that threaten other countries. This has resulted in the US pulling out of the INF at the beginning of 2019 which has increased the tensions between NATO and Russia. This further increases the likely hood of nuclear war between the two cold-war rivals within the twenty-first century.

Furthermore, the JCPOA (also known as the Iran nuclear deal) has been undermined by the Trump administration which this treaty is essential for IAEA as well as the international community to monitor their nuclear activities so that they do not get a nuclear weapon and stopping the middle east from starting a nuclear arms race. With the US pulling out of the agreement negotiated by Iran, Russia, China, France, Germany, the UK and the EU which took years of diplomacy to achieve this and agreed upon during 2015 by the Obama Administration.

Due to the Trump administrations actions, Iran has decided to reduce its commitments to the deal by increasing its enrichment of uranium mainly used for their nuclear energy purposes. Even though they are responding to what the US is doing, it is dangerous because it shows the first step of them moving away from non-proliferation.

Finally, with the other nuclear powers such as Pakistan, Israel, India and North Korea had not signed or agreed to the NPT (non-proliferation treaty), which the international community had created to stop further development of nuclear weapons. India and Pakistan had ignored the NPT (non-proliferation treaty), by developing missiles that have nuclear capabilities as well as during the late 1990s and early 2000s doing nuclear testing. Also, Israel has secretly developed nuclear weapons during the 1970s and 80s, which had sparked fears of an arms race in the middle east. And finally, North Korea had ignored all agreements when it comes to the 5 party talks, testing ballistic missiles, nukes and even hydrogen bombs. All these factors have shown that there is more needed to be done.

In conclusion, even though that there are treaties such as the NPT as well as the start treaty, they have either been ignored, abandoned as well as being violated by world powers such as the US or Russia. It is essential that the international community regulate these types of weapons to prevent another Cuban missile crisis scenario or something even worse during the new era of a new cold war between the US, China and Russia which one of the first signs is the development of hypersonic missiles that travels faster the speed of sound, this issue needs to be addressed as soon as possible .

Owen Walsh International Relations and Global Development

Aristides Mandinga