Saturday, October 1, 2022

Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons - yeah that won't work

A thought being thrown around right now is to ban Nuclear Weapons. This is coming to the forefront because of the provocation of Russia's threat to use nucs in Ukraine. A total ban on Nuclear Weapons seems smart and possible.

It is not either.

Here is an opinion piece pushing for this solution:

That leaves a fourth possibility, the most promising and the most secure. Recognize that nuclear weapons are the problem, and rather than creating a more nuclear-armed world or ousting rogue governments that have nuclear weapons, the world needs to eliminate nuclear weapons. It will not happen quickly, and the world would have to develop a new, truly stabilizing security regime to replace the current system built upon nuclear deterrence, but that effort should be the focus of international efforts moving forward.

Look I would love this too. But it won't happen. Demilitarization has a horrible record since the industrial revolution. In the past countries have banded together to get rid of or limit the numbers battleships, standing armies, planes, drones and tanks. None of these have worked.

Weapon bans haven't worked two reasons - and these same two would render banning Nuclear Weapons useless.

1. Even if all countries agreed, someone would either lie or hide their capability. In the past countries have been caught flat footed when their enemy ignores military bans in secret. With nuclear weapons have already failed this test with the advent of nuclear capability in secret by North Korean, Israel, Pakistan, India and South Africa. And a "promise" of stability and peace was accepted by Ukraine as part of the process to give up its nuclear arsenal. The US and Europe ignored this promise as Russia took Crimea and is now dismembering the rest of Ukraine.

2. Other bans have only worked when the banned item was not useful on the battlefield. Countries have outlawed and banned the use of chemical weapons. It was only successful because battlefield chemical weapons injured both sides without giving an advantage to either combatant.

But even in the banning of chemical weapons, there were cheaters. Iraq and Syria have both used chemical weapons against civilians and received zero response from other countries, aside from a short period of loud and toothless condemnation. AND, even with chemical weapons being banned, the United States, Russia and Iran at the very least have stocks "just in case."

Sometimes we do have to bow to real world implications.

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