US, Russia and Nuclear Disarmament
Pakistan Journal of American Studies, Vol. 15, No. 1-2 (Spring & Fall 1997), pp 27-38
Thanks to the end of the Cold War, the subject of nuclear disarmament is fast gaining due attention from influential circles in nuclear powers, particularly the United States. Since the development of nuclear weapons and their use by the United States in the Second World War against Japan, the debate on nuclear disarmament has been going on. What, however, was missing in it as long as the Cold War continued was a credible and realistic initiative from states possessing nuclear weapons or aspiring to develop them. Consequently, the talk about nuclear disarmament remained idealistic, confined to resolutions of the United Nations or the Non-Aligned Movement. The initiative always came from non-nuclear weapon states, while nuclear states dithered on the matter. The difference this time is that the initiative for nuclear disarmament is coming from the nuc1ear nations themselves, even though not officially as much but from their former top officials and non-government think-tanks.

While underscoring the significance of such welcoming trend, this article argues that the US and Russia, as the world's principal possessors of nuclear arsenal, have to take the lead in realising global nuclear disarmament. For, by their very nature, nuclear weapons are dangerous devices. Only with the nuclear arsenals possessed currently by the five declared nuclear states-the United States, Russia, China, France, and the Great Britain, the world can be destroyed not just once but many times. Now when the international system itself has undergone a radical transformation and the thrust of international politics is on economic and social matters rather than security and strategic issues, it is but natural for nuclear weapons to depreciate in value as a currency in international relations. This one factor alone gives an impetus to the rationale for the abolition of nuclear arms. But the question is still the same: how to achieve this goal? Full Text