Thursday, May 26, 2005

Nuclear skies

NPR kicks off a series of examinations on nuclear proliferation with a story about the current status of the U.S. and what do to about its arsenal. The notion was brought up that there hasn’t been a lot of progress since the end of the Cold War. The U.S. still holds a sizeable stockpile that carries a lot of weight when dealing with other nations. As in poker, sometimes the size of your stack counts more than what cards you’re holding. (Sorry just watched Rounders the other night.)

The story casts some interesting perspectives on how and if the U.S. should disarm completely. The fact that the U.S. keeps a cache of nuclear weapons paradoxically keeps other countries from having to develop nuclear capabilities. Allies such as Japan have not needed to resort to investing in their own nuclear weapons because it relies on the protection of a nuclear United States. So what happens if we disarm as what most people think is best? Is it going to help with the gradual deduction of warheads in the world or just open the door for other countries to establish their own nuclear programs?

The U.S. is in a tough spot. It makes me wonder how effective our politicians and their diplomacy really are. Are we just viewed as bullies who others listen to just because they don’t want to get beat up? I’ve always felt that you get more by gaining people’s respect, not their fear. It’s seems that the U.S. keeps sliding out of the respect side and resorting to the fear side. So how do we reverse that trend?

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