World’s nuclear weapons treaties are in serious trouble – Martyn McLaughlin. Trust in the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty is ebbing as the US and Russia up the ante, writes Martyn McLaughlin. Fifty years ago tomorrow, a landmark global agreement came into force which stemmed from the horrors witnessed only a generation previously and sought to protect future generations from the same fate. The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), a response to the febrile geopolitical climate of the Cold War, has been subject to vociferous criticism ever since, dismissed as a conspiracy to tighten the grip of superpowers, or a talking shop which has failed to make good on its promise of complete nuclear disarmament. Neither argument is without merit, but as it reaches a landmark anniversary, it would be disingenuous to suggest that the NPT, a cornerstone of international efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, has not been a success. Only 13 states have ever held nuclear weapons, four of which have since given them up. The wholesale push to modernise atomic arsenals signals the latest, and arguably the gravest threat to the peace such accords have brokered. As things stand, the NPT could soon be the only agreement left. But with its most prominent signatories scuttling it, the future is very much uncertain.
Scotsman 4th March 2020 read more »