Kissinger and Co.: Nuclear Nonproliferation Efforts Inadequate

Wednesday, 06 Mar 2013 11:52 AM

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While some progress has been made on the issue of nuclear proliferation, it’s not nearly enough, says former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

“The continuing risk posed by nuclear weapons remains an overarching strategic problem, but the pace of work doesn’t now match the urgency of the threat,” Kissinger writes in The Wall Street Journal, along with three other top former government officials.

“Technological progress and the proliferation of nuclear weapons to additional states are compounded by dangerous complacency,” they write.

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The relationship between the United States and Russia, the world’s two largest nuclear powers, is troubled, the foursome notes. And, “there are continuing difficulties in effectively addressing emerging nuclear threats in North Korea and Iran, punctuated recently by a test explosion in North Korea.”

Joining Kissinger in expressing their views were former Secretary of State George Shultz, former Defense Secretary William Perry, and former Georgia Sen. Sam Nunn.

“Combined with the dangers of suicidal terrorist groups, the growing number of nations with nuclear arms and differing motives, aims and ambitions, poses very high and unpredictable risks,” they write.

To begin solving the problem, the four recommend:
  • Keeping nuclear materials safe from violent terrorists.
  • Changes in the way United States and Russian nuclear weapons are deployed to increase decision time for using them.
  • Consideration by the two big powers of lowering limits on the number of warheads and launchers.
  • A U.S. “verification initiative that involves the U.S. nuclear weapons laboratories and global scientific experts in developing essential technologies and innovations for reducing and controlling nuclear weapons and materials.”

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