At some point I became convinced by the fact that nuclear weapons continue to pose an existential threat to life and civilisation. It’s a classic case of so what? Because I don’t have the resources to build a bunker and I don’t believe any power with nuclear weapons will ever give them up. So there’s literally almost nothing we can do that will change anything.
Anyway I’ve written periodically about these developments and make of this what you will but I reckon the frequency of articles, news and so on related to this is increasing. The respected magazine Foreign Affairs recently devoted a whole issue to this topic.
And then there’s this: Is nuclear disarmament set to self-destruct?
So one of the major international treaties on nuclear weapons is dead because it’s not about just the US & Russia.
The US concern about China points to this. Maybe the era of bilateral arms control, involving just Washington and Moscow, is coming to an end. China is now a significant nuclear player. Some 10 other countries beyond the US and Russia have fielded intermediate-range nuclear missiles.
And there seems to be a greater chance of proliferation rather denuclearization (North Korean are not giving up their nukes). On my list were North Korea, Japan, Iran and I forgot one other likely candidate – Saudi Arabia (Why Saudi Arabia Will Acquire Nuclear Weapons)
The administration’s assault on the JCPOA may provide the trigger for Saudi Arabia to try to obtain such weapons. If the U.S. “maximum pressure” campaign succeeds in negating completely the economic relief Iran was supposed to have received under the JCPOA, then Iranian leaders may yet throw up their hands in disgust and pronounce the agreement null and void. This would release Iran from all its nuclear restrictions under the agreement, which in turn might provide the perfect rationale for Riyadh, especially as long as MbS is in charge, to acquire the bomb.
All in all nuclear war is not imminent (thankfully) and probably remains more unlikely than likely. But I think it is more likely not less likely than at any time in the past 30 years. Not only that but the more nuclear countries there are the greater the risks.
So what I do need to think about more carefully is the effectiveness of campaigning against it which is so far not very and perhaps more practically, other than moving to New Zealand what should anyone do? I don’t know, do you?