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Saturday, December 02, 2023
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Weapons check

Nuclear treaty seeks to eliminate use of weapons

Last week, President Barack Obama revealed a new plan to gradually disarm nuclear stockpiles for both Russia and the United States.
The New Start plan seeks to move the entire world toward being nuclear weapon-free. One of the biggest changes from previous administrations is the United States will not use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear countries.
However, there is a catch. Those countries must fulfill their nonproliferation responsibilities under standing international treaties. That means countries like North Korea and Iran would be on the list of countries that the United States could still use nuclear weapons against.
Now many Republicans fear that constantly cutting down the United States nuclear arsenal will leave America less secure. After the proposed treaty comes into effect, though, the United States will still have 700 missiles and bombers that can carry 1,550 warheads.
That's enough nuclear weapons to bomb a country back to the Jurassic period.
The real benefit of the treaty is that it allows for the Russian and US governments to inform the other of how many warheads it has and where they are stored. To keep all players honest, verification requirements will also be put into place.
Mainly, it continues the dialogue on cutting down arsenals. The fact is, neither Russia nor the United States needs such large stockpiles of nuclear weapons. More importantly, reducing stockpiles also reduces costs for the government in keeping such arsenals.
Another highly progressive new policy is ceasing to build new warheads to replace older warheads in the arsenal. This new procedure is surrounded by controversy. Many Democrats are opposed to any action by the United States that could be interpreted as enhancing its nuclear power.
The rest of the world sees the United States as finally practicing what it preaches, and the treaty makes nations such as Iran and North Korea feel less pressure to develop nuclear arms. This is, without a doubt, a huge plus.
Republicans are trying to paint this deal as Obama appeasing rogue nations. The end result is the United States and Russia trying to show nations they can forgo nuclear arms.
It is interesting that Republicans are denouncing actions that even Ronald Regan wanted to accomplish. Regan is the model every modern-day Republican's image is crafted around.
But if the world were to go without nuclear weapons, another problem is posed. Nuclear weapons keep countries from attacking one another. The threat of a nuclear war prevents conventional wars from creating catastrophic destruction.
The United States and Soviet Union never fought a war. And in the almost 70 years since the United States dropped nuclear bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, no country has used a nuclear weapon since.
No country has used nuclear weapons because of the fear of mutually assured destruction – retaliation that would destroy every living thing on the planet. The case could be made that the most powerful weapon ever developed by man actually ensures peace.
The current administration wants to wield this new treaty as a new chip as it argues for tighter penalties on rogue states trying to develop nuclear weapons. It would be unrealistic to ever get rid of nuclear arms.
But there's nothing wrong with reducing their number.



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