Nuclear Arms: A Year of Living Dangerously
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Nuclear Arms: A Year of Living Dangerously


Ramesh Thakur, a former United Nations assistant secretary-general, is a professor emeritus at the Australian National University and co-convenor of the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (APLN). Read the full article here.

“U.S. President Donald Trump’s disdain for international institutions and rules established him as the disrupter in chief of the global nuclear order. U.S. nuclear policies reflect and fuel the fraying regimes, provoking countermeasures by adversaries, sowing doubts in allies and stiffening support among the non-nuclear states for banning the bomb. Expanding U.S. and Russian nuclear weapon developments and deployments lead to the normalization of the discourse of nuclear weapon use. They also embolden calls for nuclear-weapon acquisition by some others.

In February, Trump’s Nuclear Posture Review outlined an expansive vision of the role of nuclear weapons. Its fourfold effect will be to enlarge the U.S. nuclear arsenal, introduce new weapons, lower the threshold for their use and broaden the circumstances in which the threat of nuclear weapons can be made as tools of diplomatic coercion. Yet in an opinion poll published last January, 60 percent of Americans do not trust Trump to handle his nuclear command authority responsibly. With the departure of U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, the Cabinet lost its last adult. Trump has become a bull who carries his own china shop everywhere.”


First published in The Japan Times.


Image: Nath Paresh.