Embattled UN Secretary General Koffi Annan is calling on the world to renew the the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Now it's more than well possible that Annan is simply trying to distract people from the oil-for-food scandal, but let's assume he isn't for a moment here.
My favorite quote from Annan was this: "If we are truly committed to a nuclear weapon free world, we must move beyond rhetorical flourish and political posturing, and start to think seriously how to get there."
Well that's my problem. I really don't believe that a "nuclear weapon free world" is an achievable goal. It's like putting the genie back in the bottle after it's been opened.
Consider this... If you told a nation, small or large, rich or poor, that they could develop a doomsday weapon. A weapon that can be relatively easily constructed. A weapon that can inflict unimaginable damage on their opponents. A weapon, that once you have it, it doesn't matter how small you are, the power you yield will even bend the knee of the most powerfull of nations... Would they think twice before developping it?
Nuclear weapons are like guns - they are the greatest equalizer. This treaty is nothing but a fantasy treaty. It hasn't prevented India or Pakistan from taking that route, and I seriously would be surprised that more won't come.
It's a noble goal for sure. But I can't see how it will succeed. And besides the real problem isn't with people having nuclear weapons, it's with people using nuclear weapons. The only real thing assuring our survival as a species is that the nations that have nuclear weapons aren't stupid enough to use them. I kind of see nuclear weapons as being the ultimate test of humanity's ability to survive. Either we learn to control ourselves in the face of such daunting power, or we're all kaputs.
One way to change the equation would be for a country to develop ABM technology... But I guess I shouldn't say that because the thought police in this country might come crashing through the door.
The first real test came over the US and Russia. I have little doubt that there will be future conflicts in the times ahead. No matter what Fantasies Koffi Annan might have.