Annals of Pugwash 1985: World Peace and the Developing by Joseph Rotblat, Ubiratan D'Ambrosio

By Joseph Rotblat, Ubiratan D'Ambrosio

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He argued that the West and Soviets had not gone to war for over twenty years largely because their nuclear weapons deterred them from doing so. They were conscious of the threat of m,utual assured destruction if nuclear weapons were employed. Thus he argued that if nuclear weapons were injected into every regional conflict, the Middle East, South Asia, white versus black Africa, then a measure of nuclear deterrence would develop to ensure peace in those parts of the globe. Hedley Bunll argued that pursuing Gallois' thesis to its logical conclusion, was like saying that the best way to keep death off the roads was to put a small amount of nitroglycerine on every car bumper.

Some analysts argue that China was recognised as a great power only when she went nuclear. India's nuclear power is regarded as a symbol of strength, rating her next to the five nuclear powers. Although there is some truth in this, it should be pointed out that military strength, whether nuclear or conventional, is just but one aspect of the overall strength of a country, which is basically socio-economic, moral and cultural. When it comes to prestige or overall strength, one cannot claim that nuclear India is stronger or more prestigious than non-nuclear Japan, or that West Germany being non-nuclear is weaker than nuclear China.

South Africa is a typical example. Countries which produce uranium could also contribute to horizontal proliferation by supplying unsafeguarded uranium to other countries which are not members of NPT or have safeguards agreements with IAEA. South Africa's agreements with Israel and Taiwan are such examples. South Africa has demonstrated its will to sell uranium outside the international safeguard system. This would become very serious if it sold enriched uranium with more immediate military applications.

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