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  • No More Nukes, But Just Not Yet
    Posted by Douglas Barrie 2:47 PM on Sep 24, 2009

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    British prime minster Gordon Brown’s ‘offer’ at the UN to cut Britain’s next-generation of nuclear deterrent submarines from four to three is an effort to encourage other nuclear states to do the same – and at the same time shave the odd billion or two off costs.

    London now joins U.S. President Barack Obama  in having voiced interest in reducing its nuclear capability as part of multilateral reductions, though as of yet there have only been hints of warhead cuts in the UK.

    Arguably the problems that lie ahead will not be between primarily the traditional nuclear players – the U.S.A., Russia, the U.K., France, and China – but with the more recent entrants, and threshold states.

    In the Middle East how to handle Iran will continue to prove a challenge.

    In his UN address Brown said: “Let there be no ambiguity: Iran and North Korea must now know that the world will be even tougher on proliferation. We are ready to consider further sanctions. Britain will insist in future that the onus on nonnuclear states is that, in the years ahead, it is for them to prove that they are not developing nuclear weapons.”

    The Middle East, however, already has a significant nuclear state – that of Israel.  Its substantial nuclear arsenal will at some point have to be brought into the equation.

    A UN Security Council meeting – chaired by President Obama – September 24 unanimously voted in favour of a resolution calling for greater efforts to be made in dealing with nuclear weapons proliferation, and on disarmament efforts.

    The 2010 review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is the focus of the renewed impetus to control the spread of nuclear weapons, and for nuclear states to at least further reduce their arsenals.

    Picture Credit Royal Navy/Crown Copyright

    Tags: ar99, Trident, NPT, UK

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