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Abolishing Nuclear weapons: a debate by George Perkovich and James M. Acton, editors

By George Perkovich and James M. Acton, editors

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Otherwise, an interest in balancing and deterring overall US military power would make retention of nuclear weapons feel imperative, especially to Russia and China. Conventional arms-control and confidence-building measures would probably need to be implemented in the regions abutting Russia and China, and in South Asia. Russia and NATO have negotiated such arrangements in the past, and China and Russia have undertaken military confidencebuilding in the context of establishing the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

North Korea has recently declared its plutonium holdings and production history, and talks are currently under way to agree on the details of verification. In the longer term North Korea’s suspected efforts to enrich uranium and its nuclear cooperation with Syria will have to be addressed. It must also declare its nuclear-weapons facilities and the weapons themselves. The process of disclosure will be a complicated one that could serve as a test laboratory for future disarmament-verification processes elsewhere.

Nor is there any reason for Russia and the US not to become more transparent now, including about the inventories and disposition of their ’non-strategic‘ nuclear weapons, that is, weapons — generally of smaller yields — designed for battlefield use. 28 42 | George Perkovich and James M. Acton One way to test the willingness of the US, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and others to move ahead on nuclear disarmament, and to elaborate the conditions that must be established for them to be able to do this, would be to elicit and discuss their officials’ private objections to nuclear transparency.

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