Thursday, April 19, 2012

(opinion) why the NPT doesn't work

“If we were to wake up tomorrow and learn that Canada or Belgium had secretly developed a nuclear weapon we would not be happy about it, but neither would it ruin our day. The reason is simple: all proliferation is not equal”[1].

[1] R.Haas, 2009, A Different Regime Change in Iran

While double standards are rife in international politics, they appear frequently when nuclear proliferation is considered.The media runs itself into a frenzy regarding the unproductive nuclear proliferation efforts of Iran and North Korea yet in the light of India's successful test of long range missiles , little criticism has been dispensed towards a nation hell bent on being regarded a major player on the world stage.

With its successful testing of long range missiles, it joins Israel, China, Britain, the United States, Russia and France in nuclear capability, enhancing its status as a nuclear power and its chances of becoming a member of the UN Security Council.

However, its successful test will inevitably cause concern among their neighbors, particularly nuclear states Pakistan and China.Pakistan has had frosty relations with India since independence and they stand to get worse as tensions between both nations are set to fuel Pakistan's attempts to achieve a balance of power with regards to nuclear capability.

China, however, have a relatively healthy relationship with India as both are part of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) and have good trade relations with each other. Their good relations aside, India and China find themselves in direct competition made worse by the latest news of  India's growth in nuclear capability with India now being able to strike cites in China.

This serves as another blow to a already battered non proliferation treaty (NPT) as two nations, within days of each other have tested missiles, one being a signer of the NPT, . India also dealt a blow to the end goal of the NPT, nuclear disarmament. China in light of recent developments are unlikely reduce nuclear stockpiles as well as Pakistan with defense spending set to go up in response. 

Much talk has been lent on the potential threat of Iran becoming a nuclear state despite Iran having  no nuclear capability to speak of  with the media neglecting the nuclear proliferation of nations who have already reached nuclear capability clearly poses as much of a threat as some, including India, are neighbors to an  unstable regime or find themselves in a volatile region.   

In sum, India may have helped their ambitions to accede the UN Security Council and bolster its position as a regional hegemon, it has caused stability with its neighbors as one has had a long stated rivalry and is known for its instability and another it finds itself in direction competition and actually threaten with recent developments. India's case has also revealed a prevailing double standard which makes mockery of the NPT as the threat of proliferation is not measured in capability but in the potentiality of disaster which allows for infinite possibilities and faulty decision-making.       

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