Monday, January 3, 2022

Exciting White House Statement on Nuclear Non-Proliferation

Mike Billington of the Schiller Institute sent me an email as below and my reply that followed. Dear George, We would like your thoughts on today's dramatic P5 statement against nuclear war and the arms race. Do you think it will be durable? Will it lead to an agreement to Putin's treaty proposals? Can the US be trusted to stick to such an agreement after dropping out of so many others? Any other thoughts? Thanks, Mike Dear Mike, Thank you for sharing the statement from the White House. On its face, the proclamation is as positive and forward thinking as one could wish for to begin the New Year. However, the U.S. has a history of double talk and recanting their publicly declared positions when it suits them, such that people around the world can't be faulted for being wary and restrained in daring to hope for a better future. By listing all five members of the UN Security Council in the opening paragraph, I believe the Biden Administration is attempting to suggest and imply that all five nuclear powers stand together and behind the proclamation. This is a strong move and should help bolster the credibility of the intention behind the statement. To reassure the peace loving people of the world, I hope the other Security Council members will soon go public to reaffirm and echo the American declaration. Over the decades of disappointment, we have learned that just the word of Uncle Sam is not enough.* There is nothing specific in declaration to suggest that the U.S. intends to reach an agreement on a treaty with Russia. However, if the Biden Administration is truly committed to the last paragraph of the statement, such as "multilateral diplomatic approaches to avoid military confrontations" and "prevent an arms race that would benefit none and endanger all" then Washington needs to reach out and begin the negotiation process and reassure Russia of the U.S. and NATO's intention to stop expanding their presence eastward including Ukraine. Further, if the United States were to live up to the commitment of nuclear non-proliferation, then the Biden White House should unilaterally cancel its commitment to transfer nuclear submarine technology to Australia. Will the world's only hegemon adhere to their New Year commitment? I fervently hope so and, furthermore, it's too early in the New Year to rain on a peace parade, but, alas I am prepared to be disappointed. Happy New Year. George * I realized that the declaration was a joint statement by the permanent 5 members of the Security Council. See commentary by Swaran Singh for a comprehensive analysis of the New Year's statement.

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