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Stable Nuclear Zero : The Vision and Its Implications for Disarmament Policy (Hardcover)
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This edited volume examines whether a nuclear-weapon-free world ('global nuclear zero') is desirable and, if so, feasible.
The NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968) is a roadmap to nuclear zero, but it is a rudimentary one and it says nothing about the kind of zero to aim for. Preferably, this would be a world where the inhibitions against reversal are strong enough to make it stably non-nuclear. What, then, are the requirements of such a stable zero? The question is not just hypothetical, of no practical consequence, for how we conceive of the goal has implications for the roadmap leading to it. Four US statesmen (Shultz, Perry, Kissinger and Nunn) hit the nail on the head when they emphasized the inter-relationship between visions and measures: the vision is necessary to give full meaning to the measures, and the measures are necessary to make the vision realistic. The interplay is vital for the dynamism of any disarmament process.
The literature on nuclear disarmament has not paid much attention to this question. By and large, the focus has been on the next steps. Discussions tend to stop where the NPT stops, with the elimination of the weapons. Elimination is in itself a distant goal, and to plunge into a discussion of the conditions under which it could become a permanent feature of international security affairs may seem both unnecessary and presumptuous. Understandable as this may be, however, it is a major shortcoming: a reasonably clear conception of the goal is not only important in itself, but can shed light on what kind of disarmament process to promote. The vision can and should guide actions. This book seeks to fill that lacunae by examining the requirements of stable nuclear zero and their implications for the roadmap to that goal, with a focus on the international dimensions of the problem.
This book will be of much interest to students of nuclear proliferation, global governance, security studies and IR.