I am comparing international law, more specifically the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, to a game of poker. This is a slippery slope, ‘the treaty could be easily undermined by determined countries who refused to abide by the treaty’s requirements; forcing the international community’s hand at detection and enforcement and coming up trumps.’ Coming up trumps?
I am trying to make this subject accessible, instantly interesting and understood by someone who knows nothing about the wierd, small world of nuclear non-proliferation. What do people want to hear about? The villains, the heroes, and the fools? Is this just too simplistic? Yes. What about the wins and losses. The fact that we’re headed for inevitable nuclear proliferation and then its a matter if putting on the kettle and waiting for armageddon?
The threat of nuclear non-proliferation is no longer being contained by the nuclear non-proliferation regime; at its heart, the nuclear non-proliferation treaty is allowing proliferators through its loop holes. As of 2001, the United States administration has adopted new measures in response to this increasing threat of nuclear proliferation. This paper proposes that these new measures adopted by the United States are neither effective in countering nuclear proliferation nor protecting against nuclear attack. The larger repercussion of these new measures is that the larger nuclear non-proliferation regime is undermined, reducing the security of the world at large, thereby increasing the likelihood of nuclear proliferation and nuclear attack. The conclusion of this assessment is that the nuclear regime for its failings is a necessary bedrock for a world where nuclear non-proliferation is a norm. This regime, and the treaty, is reliant on multilateral buy-in, NPT and secondly build new mechanisms to counter the new drivers affecting both demand and supply of nuclear weaponization.
When the NPT was created, with a 25 year end by date, it was not envisioned to be long standing edifice of the nuclear non-proliferation regime. It has surpassed original expectations and become an successful example of multilateral, international law. There is an opportunity to lead in shoring up the treaty and accompanying watch-dog to ensure an effective nuclear non-proliferation regime. In an increasingly multi-polar world where the US is no longer global hegemonic power, the US needs to lever these mechanisms to protect its own national security because unilateral, ‘coalition’ regional interventions are not sufficient.