Monday, April 12, 2010

Why U.S. needs a nuclear-free world

Nuclear Security Summit

Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived in Washington for the Nuclear Security Summit from April 12--13, 2010. The summit will mainly discuss how to prevent acts of nuclear terrorism. For the reason why U.S. has decided to support and promote the new policy of a nuclear-free world, some Chinese analysts expressed their opinions as follows,

First, nuclear deterrence is invalid to terrorists.

Due to lower threshold of nuclear weapons technology today, the terrorists could made at least "dirty bombs" if they had got radioactive nuclear material. If it were set off in the center of a major city, it could bring large-scale casualties and result in hundreds of years of non-accessible biological "black hole" in the city center. Nuclear weapons have not brought security to the United States but threats from terrorists.

Second, U.S. conventional military forces are strong enough.

The United States enjoys overwhelming conventional military and also has 16 strategic international straits and waterways, which can be controlled during any wartime. To meet the existing challenges in the world, the United States is mighty enough to only rely on its conventional military superiority. In contrast, if other countries have nuclear weapons, the U.S. conventional military superiority will be restrained by the other nuclear powers. North Korea is a good example of this.

Third, maintenance and storage of nuclear weapons are not easy.

Because the U.S. military think nuclear weapons can only be used as a deterrent, and they are almost impossible to be put into a real combat, the status of the relevant units for the nuclear weapons storage and maintenance in U.S. military are deteriorating. Therefore, the United States has a number of incidents from the safety management of nuclear weapons since 2006. The United States may believe that since the effort to properly maintain a large number of nuclear weapons is unsustainable, why not gradually reduce and ultimately end the dependence on nuclear weapons. Moreover, if the United States promotes the gradual reduction and even the total elimination of nuclear weapons, it will also help ease the financial crisis the U.S. government is facing in the global economic recession.