Global Security, the Number One Dilemma of the World Community: the Case of the United States

Doctoral Thesis / Dissertation, 2018
333 Pages, Grade: A



This paper is an attempt to deconstruct the concept of security which has been by tradition exclusively confined to the military realm. We make evident that security takes into consideration a number of fields and that its major concern is the human person. In addressing security in this work, we do not only refer to the security of states – the concept of national security –, but also to that of individuals – human security –. Governments should integrate in their security agendas not only their own security, but also the security of their nationals. Accordingly, this implies that they should protect their citizens against any threat to human life. In other words, governments or the people they rule do not merely face military threats from other states; they are as well endangered by other threats to their security, these threats are debated in this research paper. We do not mean that military issues are not to be conceptualized within security frameworks, but we do contend that they are not the unique issues to be securitized. Indeed, this paper displays that other issues should be securitized.



First and foremost, I would like to thank Jesus for this great academic achievement. I thank Jesus for giving me the breath of life and for graduating today.

My thanks also go to my wife, Michelle OBAME, for her tremendous and undeniable support, who would always urge me to keep writing my research paper.

Great thanks to my mother, Angèle NZANG, for her encouragements.

Thanks to my father, Léon EMANE NZE, for his financial support.

Special thanks go to Dr. Scott WILSON, my supervisor, who taught me how to use in-text references with the APA writing style and who brought me rigor during seminars and coursework.

I would like to thank the university for making research so enjoyable owing to the online library available at the virtual campus, where I acquired 50% of the knowledge of my major. Across my studies in the past, I never met such a university as this, with advanced learning standards. I am proud to be amid the many alumni of this global enlightening institution and to be a participant in changing the world with the purpose of making it a better place. I am grateful to the university because I am not a clone produced by a traditional university. Today I can feel the desire to change the world.

Of course, thanks to all my brothers, sisters and friends who supported me financially, spiritually and psychologically.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten


Global security is a major of international relations which actually draws attention to lecturers, strategists and a number of security planners. The inquiries that are conducted are not negligible. In other words, the issue of global security is taken seriously amid the global political elite and security experts. The issue represents a significant aspect of research amid prominent university professors. It is also a permanent focus of regional organizations – ECCAS, ECOWAS, AU, EU, LAS, NATO, OAS etc. –, non-governmental organizations like Amnesty International, the Red Cross and many others, and international governmental organizations such as the UN. For instance, it can be argued that political non-state violence is a problem we should take seriously as it seems that we witness its progression at the local, national and international levels.

The theme of our research has not been chosen randomly considering its importance in view of the progress the world community has made so far in the purpose of managing global security problems – aggression of military groups from non-state actors, peace, environmental change, population pressures, nuclear terrorism, nuclear security, conflicts…–. Indeed, one of our main concerns is to highlight what has been implemented by the world community to address these problems. Some advancement was made possible thanks to a certain number of measures taken by the world community. We consider that a basic definition of global security should be provided in this introduction, in an attempt to give our readers a more comprehensive view of what we are intending to demonstrate in this paper.

Global security is the process that consists of preventing the break-out of military conflicts – with preventive diplomacy –, the mitigation of non-state military violence; it is focused on environmental degradation, arms control issues etc. in order to safeguard global peace and human security. Global security is put in place through diplomatic resolutions, peaceful settlements of armed conflicts, or by sending peacekeeping forces to areas stifled with military conflicts, or even by protecting people against environmental threats. Global security has also something to do with the respect of human rights everywhere in the world and as well the promotion and proliferation of democracy as a political system that guarantees the individual rights of citizens.

Another aspect of global security is the global-regional security mechanism between the UN Security Council and regional and sub-regional organizations.

We find appropriate to provide a characterization of security in this introduction. According to Bosold and Werthes (2005), there are two possible ways to define security, in this case, human security – a concept first developed by the UNDP Human Development Report in 1994 –. Human security can be regarded as a safety from physical violence and obedience to the law in accordance with fundamental human rights, most importantly, the right to life (Bosold and Werthes, 2005). The writers asserted that this approach has been at the core of international processes of negotiation, as it was the case with the discussions on small weapons trade and trafficking or the Ottawa Treaty – the highly successful 1977 Ban on Anti-Personnel Landmines –. In this perspective, they argued that the understanding of this perception of security is that order, peace and economic development have no chance to originate from failed states or developing countries with no previous stable environment wherein the disarmament of illegitimate fighters has been made possible, this means an environment wherein political stability can be encouraged or even reestablished as a precondition for development.

The second approach of human security is that the issue of security ranges from the degradation of the environment, satisfaction of fundamental human wants like health care and food, to economic security, mostly to have basic revenue (Bosold and Werthes, 2005). The writers underlined that this second analysis of security is at the core of the findings and works of the UNDP’s 1994 Report of human security in the sense that security in this perspective cannot be achieved by making some issues such as arms control a priority, but by broadening the framework of security in taking into consideration the effect of seven factors which obviously impact the lives of people on a regular basis. These seven factors include: economic security, environmental security, health security, food security, community security, political security and physical security (Bosold and Werthes, 2005).

Heinrich Böll Foundation Regional Office for East Africa (HBFROEA, 2006) brought about another dimension to security. HBFROEA (2006) explained that after the 9/11attacks in the United States and the consequent “war on terror”, the debate of international security has been focused on the traditional perception of security. The Bush administration has directed its security policy on the return of the utilization of force – as demonstrated in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and preemption as its response to terrorism – (HBFROEA, 2006). In this standpoint, security is primarily to give priority to military intervention and nonmilitary measures are not envisaged in considering security planning. Traditionally, the issue of security has been regarded as strictly concerned with the threat or utilization of violence, and preemptive responses are considered as essential to provide security (HBFROEA, 2006).

The traditional concepts of security are limited. In other words, traditional, that is, military-directed approaches to security are not always appropriate to the international challenges to come (HBFROEA, 2006). The writers underlined the following reasons to explain as to why this conceptualization of security has to be reconsidered:

- Weapons do not automatically bring security. This is true for confrontational states armed with weaponries of such destructive power that no defense is possible. It is true in civil wars, where the informal accessibility of weapons empowers the merciless but offers little defense for noncombatants; And it was true on 9/11, when a determined group of terrorists hit with impunity against the world’s most militarily powerful nation. Proliferation of weapons and military expertise is being recognized as a growing concern for international security;
- Factual security in a globalizing world cannot be provided on a purely national basis (or even on the basis of partial alliances). A polygonal and even comprehensive approach is needed to deal efficiently with a multitude of transboundary challenges;
- The traditional emphasis on state (or regime) security is inappropriate and needs to include protection and well-being of the state’s population. If people and communities are insecure, state security itself can be extremely jeopardized. Security without justice will not produce a stable peace. Democratic governance and a vibrant civil society may eventually be more important for security than an army;
- Non-military dimensions have an important impact on security and stability. Nations around the world, but particularly the weakest countries and communities, face a multitude of pressures. They face an incapacitating combination of rising race for resources, severe environmental degradation, the reappearance of infectious diseases, poverty and growing wealth discrepancies, demographic pressures, and unemployment and income insecurity.

The major security challenges of today cannot be addressed with traditional military-focused security policies (HBFROEA, 2006).

We have considered that some approaches to security in this introduction are of tremendous criticality. We have first seen the concept of human security defined in the UNDP’s 1994 Report of Human Security that was the first comprehensive approach to the concept of human security. We have therefore understood that many issues are concerned with security; the environment for instance is a preoccupation of security. The Report helped see that every single threat to human life is a problem of security. Another aspect we have regarded here is the traditional understanding of security. In effect, we have seen that security was first-hand centered on military means as essential to its provision. As a result, the Bush administration opted for a preemptive approach for the retaliation to the 9/11 attacks.

The problem with preemption as it was the case with the Bush administration’s war on terror is that it proved to be significantly unproductive in some cases. The aim was to fight against the axis of evil, but the terror did not stop. This attempt to provide a definition to security has also revealed that not every security issues can be resolved with military means. For this reason, governments have to include the safety and well-being of their populations as part of their security agendas. In this respect, they have to protect their populations against environmental degradation, poverty, and illnesses. From this standpoint, it can be argued that military troops can do nothing about the Ebola outbreak!

Another aspect is that we investigate the challenges global security represents for the world community. In fact, we cannot solve a global problem if the world community is not involved. This is why it is necessary here to bring about some modest definition to the notion of world community. The world community is the set of states that do not compete in their mutual relations; they work together and cooperate in domains as diverse as trade, migrant crisis, military, diplomacy, terrorism, climate change, conflict resolutions... Of course, the world community is different from the international society; the latter is the set of countries that compete in their mutual relations. In an international society the more you have power, the more you are likely to reach your goals. As a result, power plays a strategic role in an international society. In addition, the world community refers to all the countries of the world put together, most of which belong to the UN or not. It is the responsibility of the world community to deal with global security problems. These issues require global cooperation.

Elements of Procedures

In this part, we would like to deal with the different approaches that withstand our research. In fact, our dissertation is sustained by a theoretical approach. We develop two different approaches to give this work its comprehensive academic dimension. Therefore, we have opted for an historical approach and postmodernism in a sense that they both deal with power and the historical development of real world problems. We identify their similarities. Then we show how important they are to our research paper. We will finally find that our thesis has social and political dimensions. Let us start with the postmodern approach. One of the most prominent scholars of the postmodern theory is Jean François Lyotard – a French philosopher and literary theorist, well-known for the analysis of the impact of postmodernity on the human condition –.

We will first examine an article by Lyotard, entitled “Postmodernism-Conceptual Postmodernism and Postmodernist Theory”. The writer argued that the most important determinate of postmodernism is a world of multicentering, as the emergence of many centers and claims upon one or another centrality, including previously marginalized groups. He specified that variety of interests and ways of viewing the world permits the previously marginalized groups to make claims about justice and upon a position of centrality.

In view of Lyotard’s terms, we can observe that minorities or marginalized groups have claims upon a position of centrality. What is glaring here is that our research paper is about power. In his theory the author showed that the world cannot remain the same, the world can no more be a world of centrality, where decision-makers (politicians) are the only individuals who decide about people’s destiny. The world is no more modern, but postmodern. The world is the world of many centers, which he termed “multicentering”. With the 20th century, the configuration of the world has changed with the multiplicity of international actors. While the traditional actors of IR are states, things have shifted by the end of WW II. In effect, other actors come on stage. We witness the creation of the UN, the establishment of its specialized agencies: the UNDP, WHO, UNHCR; we have the creation of the EU, AU, OAS, ASEAN etc.

We witness the coming of other actors, which are non-governmental organizations, international corporations, civil society etc. With postmodernism we understand that all these entities own power. We come to the realization that the nation-state is no longer the only unit that owns power with such a multiplicity of actors, hence the multicentering the writer referred to. And more significantly, there is no more a unique super power (the United States) but a multiplicity of global powers, considering postmodernism.

Lyotard (1979) indicated that the ruling class is and will continue to be the class of decision-makers. Even now it is no longer composed of the traditional political class, but of a composite layer of corporate leaders, high-level administrators, and the heads of the major professional, labor, political, and religious organizations. What is new in all of this is that the old poles of attraction represented by nation-states, parties, professions, institutions, and historical traditions are losing their attraction (Lyotard, 1979). This extract showcases what we have just underlined above about the multiplicity of actors and that states have to adapt to that new reality of international affairs.

What about the historical approach? Our point is that the historical approach or the historical method is research that consists of gathering data through historical events. In the approach, we concentrate our analysis on historical facts that we have to analyze. In addition, in an historical approach the analysis of facts play a major role. But an historical approach of course is not only to deal with historical facts; it also has something to do with current events that are going on in our society. From an online dictionary retrieved from, we have found out that an historical approach is “the process of establishing general facts and principles through attention to chronology and to the evolution or historical course of what is being studied.” Another definition is “a technique of presenting information (as in teaching or criticism) in which a topic is considered in terms of its earliest phases and followed in an historical course through its subsequent evolution and development” (

When examining both definitions, it is not difficult to understand that if we have chosen an historical approach for our research it is because our theme deals with issues that have a certain development across the time. Indeed, we have to start from where and how non-state military forces started for example; how the issue of international security is being addressed. The historical method will really help us scrutinize historical facts associated with global security. What are the similarities within both approaches? We have seen that the first approach deals with power and that the second is about the use of information from a chronological (historical) order so as to provide some analyzes or interpretations. The similarities lie in the fact that the issues that are discussed in our research are about power throughout the past and the present time. These approaches are essentially relevant to our investigation because we are proceeding exactly as the approaches suggest, that is, we are showing that the question of power is obvious in our paper and which historical events can evidence it.

To assert that our work has political and social dimensions means that we cannot deal with international security without the involvement of world political leaders because they symbolize solutions to political problems. That is why in this thesis we deal with the challenges global security represents for the world community since it is these political elites that in effect characterize that community. It subsequently requires political commitment to address dossiers associated with global security. Our thesis has a great social dimension in so much as when referring to global security we refer to the security of people. When it comes to the victims of suicide bombers or bomb attacks, we deal with the lives of people.

The Purpose of Our Study

With the theme we develop in this paper, we examine some issues that are entrenched in global security in order to highlight the role of the world community in addressing them effectively. This investigation is not only a contribution to the scientific community, but also to the general public as it displays the reality that is currently witnessed in international affairs. With regard to the time location of our study, we have opted for a period ranging from the 1970s to the present. This means that we deal with our theme within and after the Cold War. As for the geographical location of our study, we are concentrating our research on the United States and its relationships with the rest of the world.

The Review of the Literature

The world community has worked hard to take measures that prevent the proliferation of WMD and the dismantlement of biological and chemical weapons. A study has been carried out in the United States, through the Department of Defense Cooperative Threat Reduction (DOD CTR) programs. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS, 2009), with the book Global Security Engagement: A New Model for Cooperative Reduction Threat is considered here as it displays the concrete measures that had already been taken to ensure global security and peace and to guarantee the capability of the world community to safeguard threat reduction.

NAS (2009) holds that the DOD CTR program was a program primarily approved and sustained by funds allocated to the Department of Defense by the Congress, which initially authorized $ 400 million under the Soviet Nuclear Threat Reduction Act of 1991 in Public Law 102-228. The law takes into account three (3) primary program goals: (1) assist the former Soviet states to destroy nuclear, chemical and other weapons; (2) transport, store, disable and safeguard weapons in association with their destruction; and (3) create verifiable safeguard against the proliferation of such weapons. Of course DOD CTR programs met the reluctance of the US Congress that considered spending too much money and time to what it thought to be “soft” activities in contrast with the “hard”, more concrete activities, those related to programs of dismantlement and destruction of WMD, (NAS, 2009).

Despite these impediments across the years, from the beginning of the DOD CTR programs to the year 2009, the United States and the Newly Independent States (NIS) – the countries formed on the basis of the former Soviet Republic, and does not include the Baltic States – have neutralized 7,504 strategic nuclear warheads, demolished 742 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), removed 496 ICBM silos, destroyed 143 ICBM mobile launchers, eliminated 633 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), demolished 476 SLBM launchers, destroyed 31 nuclear submarines and started biological surveillance efforts in several NIS states (NAS, 2009).

NAS (2009) also reports that other measures were taken during the Kananaskis G8 Summit among which was the Creation of the Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, held in 2002 in Canada. These are the significant measures taken during the G8 GP (Global Partnership) Summit: to prevent “terrorists, or those who harbor them, from acquiring or developing nuclear, chemical, radiological and biological weapons; missiles and related equipment and technology.” The G8 GP was a retaliation to the 9/11 attacks. Can we state that these measures yet undertaken by the world community are enough to guarantee global security in combating non-state violence? We admit that these are noble measures but more actions might have needed to be taken in order to safeguard world peace which is actually endangered. Beforehand, we have to identify how we can consider terrorism. Sloan (2000) believed that it is worth pointing out the following question: is terrorism a criminal act or an act of war? He stated that the way we fight it depends heavily on how the answer to this question is addressed. The writer explained that in the 1990s terrorism was still perceived as a form of violence that only occurred to other people in other regions of the world. However, that perception would change with basically two factual events: the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York on February 26, 1993 and the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. The World Trade Center blast was the first massive terrorist attack on the U.S. soil (Sloan, 2000).

Per se Sloan (2000) considered terrorism as a form of criminality, an aspect of intense political competition and manifestation of the changing nature of conflict. Then he supported that concrete military actions have to be undertaken as a direct response to the problem. But for U.S. politicians and the military in general, terrorism is not thought to be a form of warfare that demands action by the military services. According to the writer, the reason for an absence of a counterterrorism doctrine is that military services are reluctant to recognize that terrorism is a new type of conflict that needs a military doctrine to fight it. Unfortunately military action is only undertaken after a bomb attack or a suicide bomber has hit as a way to retaliate (Sloan, 2000).

When considering the approach developed in the report of the National Academy of Sciences, we note that good measures have been assumed in order to prevent terrorists from getting technology, WMD, nuclear arsenals, ballistic missiles etc. Yet, those countermeasures are limited if they only take actions associated with prevention. Obviously, prevention is a good thing, but still more action is to be taken. Sloan has a point there because he helped us see that in addition to prevention, other measures may be considered: an offensive approach against terrorists which is manifested by military actions against them. The common point with these authors is that they all advocate global security measures to combat both domestic and international terrorism. Terrorism is not the only threat to global security; of course there are many others.

Although terrorism embodies a serious threat for both national and global security, we also have other threats such as population pressures, migration, environmental degradation, water shortage, climate change etc. The increase of the world population in some regions is a danger for sustainability because the environment they live in might not be able to support their daily needs for food (as a result of desertification, soil erosion, deforestation) with poor agriculture, water supply etc., the absence of such commodities might cause populations to migrate from one place to another. Michael and Savana (2001) held that the beginning of the twenty-first century has come with specific security challenges. Many of them will not provide any easy response to solve them. One of these new challenges will concern population pressures and the related mess up problems of immigration, refugees and conflict. The distribution of the world population is disproportionate and has negative impacts over the globe since it constitutes the commencement of a new era of important change in demography (Michael and Savana, 2001).

When dealing with population pressures we refer to the total number of people in the world at a given time; despite the increase of the world population, what has to be taken into account is the distribution of the total number of people in the world (Michael and Savana, 2001). The writers explained that while it is admitted that traditionally the migration of people between states has a basic impact on international politics, local population pressures are often responsible for such situations as inadequate economic opportunities, which cause people to migrate most of the time. Migration means the permanent situation in the change of people’s locations for others (Michael and Savana, 2001).

The authors considered some figures to examine the enlargement of the world population in displaying how risky it might be for global security. For example, the world population reached its one billion mark in 1830. From that year it took merely 100 years to have another billion mark (1930). By 1960, only 30 years later, the world reached the 3 billion mark. We made the 4 billion mark in 1975, and in 1987 we topped the 5 billion mark. As early as the 2000s, the world population stabilized at 5.6 billion with a global rate of 1.56 percent (Michael and Savana, 2001). They went on to underline that in the 2000s, 4.3 billion of the 5.6 billion of the world population (78 percent) live in developing regions. With the expansion in population growth raises the demands on the environment in many respects. Firstly, an important number of people provoke more demands on the environment for food supply, energy and other raw materials. Secondly, the escalation of economic activity as a consequence of more people producing outputs that touches soil erosion, deforestation, air and water pollution and other environmental factors (Michael and Savana, 2001). As more people place greater demands on and having impact on their local environment and that environment becoming less able to support those people, it is logical that the direct consequence is the migration of people from one region to another. Obviously migration is the result of population pressures, although not the only causes of migration as people use to migrate by themselves (Michael and Savana, 2001).

Through the writers’ analysis we understand that there is an obvious link between population growth, migration and refugees. The authors also indicated that the dangerous growth of the global population can cause serious problems to the lives of people on the planet. Population growth can be a source of tensions as the authors held it. The immediate consequence may be food scarcity (agricultural crisis) as the demands for food would arise and as well the scarcity of water and raw materials. This can provoke conflicts as states might fight for natural resources. The world community cannot neglect this aspect of security. What we would like to underscore here is that when we debate issues of global security in this research paper, such things as natural resources (renewable and nonrenewable resources), and food security are included in global security issues.

Visibly, global security has not only to do with the military, terrorism, armed conflicts management, but also the above-mentioned problems. An appealing issue of global security has been of course climate change. The issue of climate change is to be regarded seriously as the way we manage this challenge of human life will jeopardize or not future generations. Indeed, climate change is considered to be one of the most important challenges facing the world today. The problem of climate change is associated with sustainable development, which takes into consideration the well-being of future generations.

The Problem Statement

Can non-state military forces be regarded as new actors of international law as we take into account the mounting of terrorism?

What factors are accountable for non-state military forces around the world?

How and what can the world community do to possibly find a solution to the issue?

Is the possession of nuclear weapons by states a way to deter their enemies from attacking them or to compel them to act accordingly?

Is a complete nuclear disarmament likely to take place from the traditional NPT nuclear-weapon states when considering that issue-specific possessors of nuclear weapons outside the NPT are not willing to disarm as they use their nuclear weapons as a deterrent against regional and existential threats?

Is there a possible solution to the non-viability issue – socioeconomic, military and political viabilities –?

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are threatening human security, is there a way to annihilate them from our environment and avoid health degradation? Is it possible to analyze peace quantitatively or rather, qualitatively?


We have two hypotheses. The first one is that the world community cannot overcome domestic and global military threats from non-state actors. In other words, we contend that it is impossible to defeat political non-state violence for the reason that when dealing with non-state violence we are not engaged in a conventional warfare where the enemy is identified. In non-state military violence the enemy is likely to be confused with a civilian.

The second hypothesis is that the world community cannot achieve global peace with the mounting of military threats from non-state actors and the threat of nuclear terrorism, the proliferation of conflicts on the planets – mostly intrastate conflicts –, the ongoing environmental degradation and population pressures, water problems and hunger. Peace cannot be achieved in such a hostile global environment if we acknowledge that peace is not the mere absence of warfare but the absence of any forms of violence.

In this doctoral dissertation, our work is sectioned into 5 parts. Indeed, we deal with (I) Armament and Disarmament, (II) Environmental Security, (III) Global and Regional Security, (IV) Military Strategies and Terrorism, and (V) Peace and Conflict Resolution.


Partial Introduction


“There would be neither winners nor losers in a global nuclear conflict: world civilization would inevitably perish. It is a suicide, rather than a war in the conventional sense of the word. But military technology has developed to such an extent that even a non-nuclear war would now be comparable with a nuclear war in its destructive effect. For the first time in history, basing international politics on moral and ethical norms that are common to all humankind, as well as humanizing interstate relations, has become a vital requirement. From the security point of view the arms race has become an absurdity because its very logic leads to the destabilization of international relations and eventually to a nuclear conflict. Diverting huge resources from other priorities, the arms race is lowering the level of security, impairing it. It is in itself an enemy of peace. The USSR and the USA could come up with large joint programs, pooling our resources and our scientific and intellectual potentials in order to solve the most diverse problems for the benefit of humankind. So, adversaries must become partners and start looking jointly for a way to achieve universal security.”

Mikhail Gorbachev’s 1988 New Political Thinking speech, quoted in the book of Ó Tuathail et al. (1998, p.98).

A new comprehension of the concept of security has been developing in the 21st century (Nanda, 2009). He contends that the need to redefine the traditional concept of security was eloquently developed in 2003 by the Commission on Human Security, in their report Human Security Now (Nanda, 2009). The writer explains that the Commission co-chaired by Sadako Ogato, former UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and Amartya Sen, Nobel laureate in economics, was launched by the former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the 2000 Millennium Summit and was recognized as the initiative of the Japanese government. The new concept of security was different from the traditional one in that it aimed at assuring the security of people. According to Nanda (2000, p.335) the Commission indicated the following:

“The security debate has changed dramatically since the inception of state security advocated in the 17th century. According to that traditional idea, the state would monopolize the rights and means to protect its citizens. But in the 21st century, both the challenges to security and its protectors have become more complex. The state remains the fundamental purveyor. Yet it often fails to fulfill its security obligations—and at times has even become a source of threat to its own people. That is why attention must now shift from the security of the state to the security of the people—to human security.”

The Commission’s emphasis is on the enablement of people, which can help get them ready against severe present and future dangers, both societal and natural. The Commission sustains that the traditional view of state security has expanded in the 21st century to also encompass human security (Nanda, 2009). The emphasis on human security is to make sure that adequate focus is directed to address the real causes of insecurity from several individuals around the world who suffer. Nuclear weapons represent a serious cause of people’s insecurity, and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) – chemical, biological and nuclear – are apparently among the main dangers to state security (Nanda, 2009). The writer informs that the High-Level Panel of the UN Secretary-General in 2004 which was established to analyze new global security threats enlisted six groups of threats to global security, which encompassed WMD.

Nanda (2009, p.336) states that in June 2007, former US Senator and co-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Reduction Initiative, Sam Nunn speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations enumerated the major threats we currently face from nuclear weapons:

"Catastrophic terrorism, a rise in the number of nuclear weapons states, increasing danger of mistaken, accidental or unauthorized nuclear launch . . . ."2 5 He referred to the January 2007 Wall Street Journal op-ed piece he had published along with two former Secretaries of State, Henry Kissinger and George Schultz, and former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry, in which they had called upon the United States to provide leadership to prevent nuclear weapons' "proliferation into potentially dangerous hands, and ultimately ending them as a threat to the world.”

In the same way President Kennedy had declared in his 1961 speech to the United Nations General Assembly: "Every man, woman, and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident or by miscalculation or by madness. The weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us.” (Nanda, 2009, p.336).

M. ElBaradei, former Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), (ElBaradei, 2005) made clear that security strategies were for various centuries limited to frontiers: strategic placement of cities and boundaries to take advantage of natural barriers; defenses that were based on trenches, walls and armadas; and the utilization of ethnic, religious or other groupings to distinguish friend from enemy. In the 20th century the arrival of submarines, airplanes and ballistic missiles started to challenge this approach to security by making capable the remote delivery of destruction on scale up to that time not imagined (ElBaradei, 2005).

At the same time, the author informed that the change that has modified the global security landscape tremendously is indeed globalization. The international community has become mutually dependent with the continuous movement of people, ideas and goods. Several aspects of contemporary life – the global marketplace, communication and, most recently, the rise of global terrorism – obviously show that our comprehension of and approaches to national and global security must be reevaluated, in taking into account new realities (ElBaradei, 2005).

On the importance of nuclear security, Amano (2005) asserted that since the 9/11 attacks of 2001, the global community has reexamined and supported measures against terrorism in wide-ranging areas with a sense of urgency. However, non-state military forces are increasing their capacities in conducting activities such as crossing boundaries, acquiring funds and weapons, campaigns of propaganda, and the utilization of technology and advanced science. Amano (2005) insisted that strengthened security measures have particular significance in the fight against terrorism. If nuclear terrorism ever occurs, it could provoke inestimable damage and psychological effect on our entire society. For this reason he argued that we should take all the necessary measures as extensively as possible so as to protect society from nuclear terrorism (Amano, 2005).

The questions of armament and disarmament have started to become a concern from the beginning of the 20th century, but most significantly after World War II (WW II). Accordingly, this happened with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States using the atomic bomb over Japan in August 1945 where 300,000 people died. That experience brought the world to consider that we were entering a new era, that of the WMD. An important aspect to be regarded is the radioactivity of the atomic bomb that lasted over 30 years in Japan. When the Soviet Union also possessed the atomic bomb, we had witnessed what was called arms race between the two superpowers during the Cold War.

This made the confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States even more possible and dangerous, because such confrontation could eventually have ended in a nuclear war knowing that the military arsenals of both powers could by themselves destroy human civilization. Notwithstanding, what made the military conflict impossible is what was known as the mutual assured destruction (MAD) if a war ever waged between the two. Now before we continue, it is necessary to define the words armament and disarmament.

From the dictionary retrieved from we have found a remarkable definition of armament. According to the dictionary, the word armament is meant to describe heavy duty artillery and the equipment that is related to it, such as fighter jets, tanks, bombs and assault rifles. The dictionary explains that in the 17th century, armament was mainly used to refer to naval equipment for war, and stands for the Latin word armare, meaning to arm or to provide with weapons. As for disarmament, the Collins English Dictionary, on its 12th Edition 2014 defines it as follows:

1. The reduction of offensive or defensive fighting capability, as by a nation.

2. The act of disarming or state of being disarmed.

The Random House Kernerman Webter’s College Dictionary, 2010, defines disarmament as:

1. The act or instance of disarming.

2. The reduction or limitation of the size, equipment, armament of the armed forces of a country.

The above definitions of disarmament are retrieved from the free online dictionary on the link We wanted to approach some definitions to armament and disarmament before advancing in this section. Yet, as for disarmament, we would like to make clear that dealing with disarmament in this paper has nothing to do with disarming rebels after a civil war or conflict but is concerned with states’ military arsenals, whether conventional or nuclear. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI, 1982), the permanent increase of military expenditure is the main indicator of the increasing use of resources in the world for military ends. In the course of the 1970s, expenditures in the military sector remained increasingly high. By 1979, military spending had extended to some $480,800 million. As stated by SIPRI (1982), in 1980 that figure went above $500,000 million. As a matter of fact, these figures represent nearly a four-time increase in military budget since 1948. Everything showed that these figures would keep increasing steadily. In this respect, the 1970s UN “Decade for Disarmament” had proved to be a widespread failure (SIPRI, 1982).

As we consider these data by SIPRI, this brings us to question the reasons for this increase in military budgets by states. The reasons may be rooted in the arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union, two giant nuclear powers on the one hand, and other emerging nuclear states on the other. As we see it, this increase in military spending is due to investing money in military research and development (R&D) technology. The aim of states was to acquire the most advanced military technology possible. Another reason was to acquire military superiority. Some states like Pakistan, as we shall see in this section started to develop their nuclear program in the 1970s as a deterrent against India. In effect, India’s conventional arsenal is highly superior to that of Pakistan. As a result, Pakistan developed its program to deter its neighbor India from trying to attack it or attempt any reunification or invasion.

Watkinson (1999) indicated that over the period of the Cold War, both the United States and Russia discussed about a series of arms control agreements to minimize the direct risks of their possible nuclear confrontation. In addition to that initiative, they participated in the building of other agreements associating other countries, with a much greater involvement, with the purpose to curb the production of nuclear arsenals in other countries The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in 1968 is a perfect illustration in this respect.

It can be admitted that these multilateral nuclear talks about nonnuclear proliferation and arms control proved to be successful, in so much as no mistaken, accidental or unauthorized launches of nuclear weaponries had ever occurred (Watkinson, 1999). In other words, we have never witnessed any escalation to a nuclear war between countries. The nuclear weapons of the United States and Russia finally shrank even if the quantity of their arsenals were still importantly high, 30,000 and 40,000 respectively. Besides, with the termination of the Cold War, the nuclear arms of both countries have substantially diminished, as 1500-2000 nuclear warheads were being dismantled each year on each side (Watkinson, 1999).

As we deal with disarmament in this dissertation, can we consider this voluntary bilateral nuclear disarmament from the United States and Russia as long-lasting such as to guarantee world peace and avoid a possible escalation to a nuclear confrontation? For this reason, it can be contended that much needs to be done in the long road to nuclear disarmament. In effect, the United States and Russia are not the unique nuclear weapon states (NWS); we have other NWS like the United Kingdom, France, China, the aforementioned Pakistan, and India.

The problem today is that we have the so-called rogue states such as Pakistan, North Korea and Iran which possess nuclear arsenals although the latter was requested to stop its nuclear program in exchange of repealing the economic sanctions that the main actors of the international community made it undergo. The year 2015 was a historic year in this regard when Iran, the United States and the European Union negotiated an agreement whose provisions were that Iran should stop immediately its nuclear program and in exchange of economic advantages and the repealing of the economic embargo. It can be argued that disarmament is essential to ensure world peace for the reasons of stability and damage limitation. But the issue becomes complicated when it comes to nuclear disarmament given that the possession of nuclear arsenals is important to deter aggression from states or non-state military forces.

In this section, we basically discuss two major points subdivided into two chapters: (I) Armament and Disarmament during and after the Cold War and (II) Nuclear Security.


Symons (2005) contended that the dawn of the nuclear era has brought with it a new power, terrifying in its capacity to wipe out, awesome in its potential for good, a great contrast that confronts the world today. On the one hand, nuclear power represents a significant climate friendly source of energy. Furthermore, its applications go far beyond civil nuclear power – the preservation of food and the prevention of diseases are being revolutionized by nuclear technology – and in effect, nuclear power will practically be certainly essential if we must continue our adventure of exploration beyond our solar system (Symons, 2005).

In the meantime, the author sustained that if we have to continue to reap the welfares of the atom, we have to take into consideration its associated threats, and prevent a technology with the power for so much good from falling into the hands of those that would utilize it to harm and exterminate life. Nuclear security therefore plays a critical role in this effort. The NPT has been a momentous and to many, a surprising success in impeding nuclear proliferation and making available a secure framework for the peaceful transfer of nuclear technology. The UK continues to believe in the central importance of all aspects of the NPT and considers it as the core of the regime of non-proliferation (Symons, 2005).

Together with the NPT, the IAEA has played an important role in encouraging and contributing to nuclear security and safety, championing the peaceful utilization of nuclear technology and science and promoting and enforcing safeguards that protect nuclear devices and impede its diversion to destructive usages (Symons, 2005). Together the operations of the IAEA and the NPT face significant challenges. But this is not a reason to get discouraged, rather there should be more global efforts to make the system work better in the future. Symons (2005) went on to argue about the current challenges of nuclear security in asserting that the end of the Cold War brought about new hope, but as well new challenges. The threat to international security has changed and therefore we should as well change the way we address it. The most persistent image of the Cold War was an iron curtain consisting of a hard impassable boundary wrought in the container of two opposing ideologies (Symons, 2005).

Today’s boundary more strictly represents the habitat of mountain tunnels wherein some terrorists have decided to take a refuge. Likewise, the nuclear landscape no longer rests on a balance of poles – two superpowers –, but on a balance of wills (Symons, 2005). People disposed to take their own lives as they destroy others are not dissuaded by conventional logic – those with limited or no material assets, who often view their own annihilation as a prize, cannot be deterred by deterrents, whether they be nuclear or conventional –. The danger of a dirty bomb in the hands of a non-state actor, with the guaranteeing panic, chaos and trouble it would provoke, is a specter not easy to contemplate, (Symons, 2005).

1.1 World Military Expenditure and Nuclear Armament

SIPRI (1982) pointed out that in the 1970s the world military expenditure was rushing and the United States five-year program (1980-1985) for military expenditure predicted a 4% annual growth. During the period, the total supplementary expenditure in the military would be $80,000 million. It was estimated that the Soviet Union military expenditure had increased at a percentage of 3 to 5% a year during the 1970s. This estimate was responsible for the NATO increase of its military budget (SIPRI, 1982).

The following diagrams indicate the development of world military spending from 1949 to 1979, SIPRI (1982, p. 16).

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

SIPRI (1982) stated that world military expenditure was generally witnessing a rapid growth rate over the decade 1970-1979. In this respect, there have been states whose military spending had increased significantly. This can be exemplified by the members’ states of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) which spent an important portion of their high revenue on weapons. In the same decade, their investment rate in the military as a group of states underwent a 15% increase annually. Another place with a high military expenditure was southern Africa, with South Africa and the neighboring states, with a total military expenditure of 16% annually. In southern America, the military expenditure had reached about 5% annually, in the entire continent (SIPRI, 1982).

As for nuclear armament, SIPRI (1982) reported that in 1945 two atomic bombs with a total explosive power of about 30,000 tons of high explosive were released in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and destroyed both cities, eliminating 300,0000 people. From that time, the nuclear arsenals of the world have reached the equivalent of more than a million Hiroshima or Nagasaki bomb attacks. According to SIPRI (1982) the world’s nuclear arsenals at the time had more than 60,000 nuclear weapons, which correspond to about four tons of explosive per person. So if they ever used even a small proportion of these arms, this would be a widespread catastrophe over the planet (SIPRI, 1982).

Equally important, deterrence has been the common approach of the super powers based on MAD; however the temptation to attack first was growing increasingly and the danger of nuclear confrontation by miscalculating, madness or accident would increase accordingly (SIPRI, 1982). Nuclear warfighting was being made obtainable, but the propensity for their deployment and strategies for nuclear armament were rationalized. The Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT II), which establishes equal limits on the total number of strategic delivery systems between the Soviet Union and the United States, did not affect the planned deployment of nuclear weapons by these powers (SIPRI, 1982).

In effect, above the line set for number of weapons, each side has the right to determine the structure of its strategic nuclear arsenal. The weapon developed in the United States at the time is the MX missile system, with an associated mobile building scheme to moderate vulnerability. The MX would carry 10 warheads, the maximum number authorized by the SALT II treaty. While the submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBMs) did not have the required combination of accuracy and explosive to destroy targets such as missile silos, the US was designing a new genre of SLBMs, the Trident II, which would possibly have a final capability to destroy the planned targets (SIPRI, 1982). However, the URSS as the US was also developing a nuclear arsenal as a response to the US development of MX missile systems. Among the strategic weapons developed by the USSR, we had a series of multiple-warhead intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) able to destroy a high rate of US MX missile systems. Obviously, the arms race between the super powers was more likely to continue (SIPRI, 1982).

In accordance with SIPRI, it is obvious that disarmament was a great challenge for both the United States and the Soviet Union in a sense that none of them was willing to stop developing strategic weapons. The good news is that the MAD guaranteed that a nuclear war between the US and USSR would be even more destructive not only for both sides but also for the rest of the world. Consequently, a nuclear war can have no winner, because the destruction is assured for both parties, it even guarantees the annihilation of mankind. We can talk about winners in a conventional warfare; unfortunately the current trends of the global military arsenals reveal that even a conventional war can also be very destructive.

1.2 Early Approaches to Disarmament and Humanitarian Law of War

According to Brooks (1982), in the decades after WW II, it was believed that limitation of advancement in weapons’ development was impossible because of the difficulties relative to the verification of those limitations, particularly in the R&D stage. And so, talks on arms control had the tendency to focus on agreements for numerical limitations to the deployment of a category of weapons whose verification could be made possible with realistic confidence through unilateral intelligence means.

The Partial Test Ban (PTB) was an attempt to the limitation of technological advancement in so much as it was expected thanks to the prohibition of atmospheric tests, to prevent the development of nuclear arsenals and to make all testing of weapons very expensive in the very purpose to slow down that development considerably (Brooks, 1982). He explained that the PTB has not been that successful. Its main advantage was to reduce atmospheric pollution; nevertheless, conducting tests underground made them less visible to the public and therefore reduced the pressure of public opinion.

Dynamics of the Arms Race

The United Nations Groups of Consultant Experts (UNGCE, 1982) showed that the arms race was progressively being an international phenomenon and, albeit its intensity differed obviously between regions and some nations, no major region has escaped it. The competition of arms race between the most powerful military states was especially associated to the ultimate diversion of incomes, the highest potential dangers and represented the main chief reason of the global armament race. For this purpose that this competition was actually more extreme than we can imagine if we take into consideration the huge size and the rapid development of their artilleries, given that the competition takes place in the qualitative level not in the quantitative one, each innovation in weapons being more sophisticated and more damaging than the previous arsenals (UNGCE, 1982).

As far as military technology is concerned, UNGCE (1982) claimed that the most significant and remarkable facet of the arms race in the 1960s was the invention and the complete deployment of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and the development of submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), and the associated deployment of communication systems and satellite surveillance. At the end of the 1960s, there was a generalized anxiety about a new era of arms race that would eventually end with the invention of the ABMs and countermeasures in increasing the number of launchers, especially by augmenting the number of warheads per launcher in order to saturate ABM systems.

UNGCE (1982) stated that the proliferation of nuclear weapons kept moving rapidly across the years. China and France possessed nuclear technology competency in the 1960s. In 1975, 19 countries acquired nuclear weapons capability, and another 10 countries had acquired them in the 1980s. With regard to the developed and developing countries, designing a nuclear weapon program is no longer submitted to technological and economic barriers (UNGCE, 1982).

An important aspect to underline according to Ignatieff (1982) is the verification issue. In effect, when NWS negotiate an agreement on the limitation on certain arms development or test ban, the question is how the verification of the implementation of such agreement can enter in force with the guarantee of no violation. The author sustained that sensitive seismological instrument, as well satellite surveillance, obviously provide accurate means of verification. Another aspect as for Brooks (1982) is that the development of satellite surveillance reduced the possibility that whether the U.S. or the Soviets could secretly set up strategic weapons. Satellites equipped with infra-red detection - satellite reconnaissance - guaranteed instantaneous warning of a missile attack launched from any one place of the world, which as well prevented possible effective anticipatory attacks from each side (Brooks, 1982).

Policies on Nuclear Disarmament


Watkinson (1999) quoted the Committee on International Security and Arms Control, arguing that to understand the history of policies concerned with nuclear weapons and to address the challenges of designing new policies for the future demand an understanding of diverse definition and applicability of “deterrence”. The author described deterrence or to deter as deriving from the Latin deterrere, meaning to frighten from. Therefore the author provided the following definition of deterrence: “to discourage from some action by making the consequences seem frightening.” The author went on to say that nuclear deterrence is normally employed not only to discourage nuclear attacks, but also attacks with conventional weaponries, attacks with bioweapons and chemical weapons.

The possession of nuclear weapons has basically three goals: (1) deterrence of intended nuclear attack; (2) deterrence of most important conventional war; and (3) compensation for possible inadequacies in nonnuclear forces, including deterrence or response to attacks with chemical or biological weapons (Watkinson, 1999).

Watkinson (1999) contended that neither China nor Russia would currently consider reducing their nuclear weapons, while they would like the United States to do it. Russia and China are presently modernizing their nuclear arsenals and nobody can imagine what sort of power their arsenals will possess in the future. Accordingly, the author believed that it would be wiser for the United States to keep up a strong military deterrent. An example can be provided, when the Iraqi government in the Gulf War attributed their decision not to use bioweapons and chemical agents against the United States for the reason that they knew they could undergo a nuclear counter-attack by the USA (Watkinson, 1999).

When considering the author’s views, it seems to us that possessing nuclear technology if not nuclear weapons is overwhelmingly crucial in this new context of international affairs. The acquisition of nuclear arsenals seems to be significantly important for the reasons of deterrence because a state can decide to attack another state when it knows that it cannot fear any threatening reprisals. Today possessing nuclear weapons constitutes a certain guarantee of security not to attack but to retaliate. It is arguably that conventional weapons are good but not enough to ensure some total protection if an attack is carried out. However, it is not documented that a NWS ever used preemptive measures against a NNWS. In other words, a nuclear war has never been waged; this is why states are making efforts to avoid such a disaster because as Gorbarchev said in 1988, a nuclear war would have no winner, nor looser, it will have as only outcome the annihilation of mankind.

In the meantime, states with nuclear arsenals know that it would be a mistake to eliminate all their nuclear weapons. The point at this stage is to have dominant nuclear deterrent to dissuade other states to attack them as in the above mentioned case of the United States. For example, North Korea has a nuclear arsenal but is aware that if it ever launches a nuclear warhead to the United States, it will witness a tremendous military response from America. In addition, deterrence is a good strategy to ensure that a nuclear war is unlikely to wage.

Simpson (2013) argues about the challenges that are brought to deterrence. In effect, he points out that further challenge to the legacy of deterrence is exemplified by the amounting non-NPT parties that are self-declared nuclear power states, or those that are supposed to be going towards that direction. In this sense, 3 states, North Korea, India and Pakistan have made tests on nuclear weapons and said to be possessing operational capabilities. The problem is that in some decades, there might be as many countries with nuclear technology outside the NPT as there are inside it. In this direction, we have countries with nuclear capabilities which are not parties to the NPT, and have never been parties to any international legal agreement on disarmament (Simpson, 2013). The writer assures that one thing is certain, the non-NPT countries believe that possessing these nuclear arsenals guarantee their protection regardless of being vulnerable to a first nuclear attack by another state.

The 1967 Treaty of Tlatelolco

According to Goldblat (1982), the treaty proscribes the use, manufacture, testing, acquisition or production by any means, as well as the installation, receipt, storage, deployment of any kind of possession of nuclear weapons in Latin America. The treaty had been in force from the beginning of the 1980s and its main intent was to prohibit the rise of nuclear-weapon powers in Latin America. That objective has been reached albeit the treaty is in force for nearly the majority of states of that region. Indeed, in 1977, that is to say a decade after signing the treaty, several countries were not still members of the treaty (Goldblat, 1982).

The 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)

Goldblat (1982) postulated that the treaty precludes the transfer by nuclear-weapon states (NWS) to any receiver whatever of nuclear arsenals or other nuclear warhead devices or control over them. The NPT also precludes the receipt by nonnuclear-weapon States (NNWS) from any transferor of whatever, as well as the making or other acquisition by those states of nuclear arsenals or warheads. In addition to that, the NWS are formally prohibited to assist, induce or encourage any NNWS to make or acquire nuclear devices (Goldblat, 1982). The author argued that the necessity to prevent a widespread of WMD came out when the United States and the Soviets realized that the acquisition of such weapons by many other countries would escalate the danger of global security. The problem with the treaty is that it prohibits the possession of nuclear weapons to the majority of the states in the world while at the same time it tolerates the retention of such weapons by a few groups of states. To this end, controversies had risen as to why all parties do not enjoy the same balance of rights and obligations under international agreements. To cope with that controversy, NWS had decided to facilitate the transfer of materials, equipment, scientific and technological information, for the nonviolent uses of nuclear energy, with some attention for the needs of the developing world (Goldblat, 1982).

In the same way, Simpson (2013) argues that traditionally, we have had a historical agreement on disarmament that had the goal to avoid the possession of nuclear weapons by nontraditional NWS. The initiative was an idea of the United States and the Soviet Union at that time. It is in that perspective that he reminds us that the cornerstone in disarmament policy is the Accord resulting from the negotiations co-presided by the United States and Russia held in July 1968, which is a Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, most known as the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), (Simpson, 2013).

Rinn (2013) exposes that the NPT, which was opened for signature in 1968 entered into force in 1970, has the pretention to curb the proliferation of nuclear weapons. 190 states ratified the NPT, rendering it the most adhered-to arms control treaty of all times. It recognizes five nuclear states, the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France and China, and puts all other countries in the category of NNWS for the purpose of the treaty. Only four states are not party to the NPT: North Korea which the majority of states recognized to have quitted in 2003, Pakistan, Israel and India which never adhered (Rinn, 2013).

Rinn (2013) posits that the precise hierarchy of NPT is sometimes discussed, but is safe to say that three of the treaty’s main objectives are (1) to curb the proliferation of nuclear weapons, (2) to declare that the responsible utilization of nuclear energy is permitted, and (3) to commit to a purpose of nuclear disarmament. The nonproliferation obligations of the NPT are specified in Articles I and II and as aforementioned demand that NWS shall not transfer or provide any aid in the development of nuclear weapons to any NNWS, and NNWS shall not receive any such weapons or seek development assistance. Then Article III demands that all parties to the NPT accept appropriate safeguards discussed with the IAEA to have an eye on the fulfillment of obligations under the treaty. Article IV declares that all parties have the inalienable right to peaceful nuclear energy, in conformity with the nonproliferation obligations of the NPT (Rinn, 2013).

Article VI is the disarmament provision, as quoted by the author: "Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control." Rinn (2013) points out that every five years since 1975, parties to the NPT have arranged to meet in order to “review the operation of [the] Treaty with a view to assuring that the purposes of the Preamble and the provisions of the Treaty are being realized." (NPT, supra note 6, art. VIII. 3.). Since 1995, private disarmament supporters and NGOs have spoken with an ever more powerful voice at these conferences. Review conferences on the NPT approximately last a month and include discussions on what can be achieved to promote the NPT’s goals for nonproliferation, peaceful nuclear energy, disarmament and other questions for example, how to react to withdrawals (Rinn, 2013).

The NPT after 1995 and the 2010 NPT Review Conference

Rinn (2013) gives details that in 1995, parties to the NPT met as demanded by Article X of the treaty and agreed to extend the treaty for an indefinite period. Contrary to this agreement, the majority of nongovernmental advocates (NGAs) appeared to have favored a long-term, but bounded extension of the NPT, such as by 25 years, in order to retain leverage over NWS. In effect, the belief was that if NWS wanted the extension of the NPT again, they might have to pay a price in terms of some important new commitment on disarmament. It is true that these NGAs did not see their preferences realized considering the extension of the NPT; the conference did consecrate the start of the NGA disarmament support and continues to be the case today (Rinn, 2013).

Simpson (2013) indicates that the 1995 Review and Extension Conference updated the NPT in a number of ways. France and China attended for the first time, therefore putting all the recognized NWS inside the structure of the Treaty. The disintegration of the Soviet Union, the coming of the Russian Federation as its inheritor of its nuclear arsenal and America’s large possessions of large numbers of warheads made possible both countries to embrace a more positive position on nuclear disarmament. Most of the reductions of nuclear arsenals took place under STARTI, and some by similar one-sided actions (Simpson, 2013). The NPT review process signed in 1995 put the NWS under constant and continuous pressure to make evident they were willing to disarm their nuclear arsenals. Disarmament debates concentrated mostly on the evaluation of progress on the way to particular disarmament phases and actions approved by agreement at review conferences Simpson (2013).

Rinn (2013) sustains that at the review conference of 2000, NGAs kept arguing a moral imperative for nuclear disarmament and reinforced their determinations to build support for a nuclear-weapons convention. In this perspective, the mayor of Nagasaki described the horrors undergone by Japanese victims of the nuclear strikes of WW II. He gave warnings about the threats of human extermination and advocated a convention on nuclear weapons. In the same way, Rinn (2013) quotes Dr. Daniel Ellsberg, an advocate of disarmament who also contended at the conference that a significant commitment to the disarmament provision of the NPT would only be demonstrated if NWS first and foremost immediately started multilateral talks leading to total nuclear disarmament. The author informs that the conference is notably known to have produced the famous “13 Steps” toward nuclear disarmament, which encompassed an accord to achieve the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban, an agreement to start talks on a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty, and reduction of the roles for nuclear weapons in the defense strategies of states.

The Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy provides us with the final document (13 Steps) of the 2000 NPT Review Conference, also known as the Nuclear Disarmament Plan of Action (Thirteen Steps). The conference agrees on the following practical steps for the progressive and systematic efforts to implement Article VI of the NPT and paragraphs 3 and 4 (c) of the 1995 Decision on “Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament”:

1. The importance and urgency of signatures and ratifications, without conditions and without delay and in accordance with constitutional processes, to achieve the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

2. A moratorium on nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions pending entry into force of that Treaty.

3. The necessity of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on a nondiscriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices in accordance with the statement of the Special Coordinator in 1995 and the mandate contained therein, taking into consideration both nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation objectives. The Conference on Disarmament is urged to agree on a program of work which includes the immediate commencement of negotiations on such a treaty with a view to their conclusion within five years.

4. The necessity of establishing in the Conference on Disarmament an appropriate subsidiary body with a mandate to deal with nuclear disarmament is urged to agree on a program of work which includes the immediate establishment of such a body.

5. The principal of irreversibility to apply to nuclear disarmament, nuclear and other related arms control and reduction measures.

6. An unequivocal undertaking by the NWS to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament to which all States Parties are committed under Article VI.

7. The early entry into force and full implementation of START II and the conclusion of START III as soon as possible while preserving and strengthening the ABM Treaty as a cornerstone of strategic stability and as a basis for further reductions of strategic offensive weapons in accordance with its provisions.

8. The completion and implementation of the Trilateral Initiative between the United States of America, the Russian Federation and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

9. Steps by all the nuclear-weapon states leading to nuclear disarmament in a way that promotes international stability, and based on the principle of undiminished security for all.

10. Arrangements by all weapon nuclear-weapon states to place as soon as practicable, fissile material designated by each of them as no longer required for military purposes under IAEA or other relevant international verification and arrangements for the disposition of such material remains permanently outside of military programs.

11. Reaffirmation that the ultimate objective of the efforts of States in the disarmament process is general and complete disarmament under effective international control.

12. Regular reports, within the framework of the NPT strengthened review process, by all States parties on the implementation of Article VI and paragraph 4 (c) of the 1995 Decision on “Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament”, and recalling the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice of 8 July 1996.

13. The further development of the verification capabilities that will be required to provide assistance of compliance with nuclear disarmament agreements for the achievement and maintenance of nuclear-weapon-free world.

In contrast to the review conference of 2000, Rinn (2013) reports that NGAs almost globally saw the NPT review conference of 2005 as an awful failure. The majority of those nongovernmental advocates accused the United States, contending that this country would not accept any promotion of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, that it refused to build upon or even recognized the 13 Steps agreed to in 2000, and that the USA simply viewed no importance in multilateral diplomacy. At the same time, it is also documented that Egypt, Iran and the Non-Aligned Movement complicated negotiations by taking extreme positions and failing to offer constructive leadership (Rinn, 2013). The writer affirms that in the 2005 review conference NGAs kept promoting a convention on nuclear weapons within a specified time frame and supporting the moral imperative for nuclear disarmament. The number one argument in terms of disarmament advocacy was the belief by some NGAs that the 13 Steps agreed to at the review conference of 2000 were so closely associated to the central meaning of Article VI that they constituted legal requirements for compliance under the NPT.

The 2010 review conference probably showed the most forceful support yet for a convention on nuclear-weapons (Rinn, 2013). In effect, almost every NGA presentation to the conference had as its main focus the necessity to start talks on a convention about nuclear weapons. For instance, the author quotes Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams whose presentation headline was titled “A Nuclear Weapons Convention: The True Path to Nuclear Non-Proliferation," although she admitted in her presentation that talks on such a convention could be long and the actual disarmament process prolonged. It is important to note that NGAs do not focus only on disarmament, but also on ideas on how to address nonproliferation challenges, safely provide for the nonviolent utilization of nuclear energy, and manage other timely questions such as withdrawal from the NPT (Rinn, 2013).

In the meantime, it is important to recognize that the major emphasis of NGAs at review conferences has been focused on issues related to disarmament. The author argues that the nature of NGA engagement on nuclear disarmament has been principally normative, suggesting what NWS must do. He goes on asserting that even the 13 Steps agreed to at the review conference of 2000, which are called practical steps, are mainly normative in nature. For this reason, Rinn (2013) advocates the urgency of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty to be brought into force. He supports as well the necessity to start talks on a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty. At the same time, the author asserts that there is nothing abnormal with the urgency of these disarmament measures or any others; however there has been very little debate on how these “practical steps” must be accomplished in practice. Equally important, there are challenging political and often technical difficulties that must be considered and overcome to take serious steps toward disarmament (Rinn, 2013).

As for Simpson (2013), the 2010 NPT review conference was necessary to take place given that countries like Iran and North Korea challenged the Treaty by developing their nuclear arsenals. In the very purpose to make the NPT not to lose its credibility, a positive outcome to the 2010 review conference was crucial in order to support collective belief in the significance of the NPT and avoid the treaty structure to degrade.

In this end, the Obama administration attended the conference by taking a much more positive position on nuclear disarmament than former administrations. The Obama administration, as a result, launched a worldwide initiative to deal with the physical protection of nuclear devices.

The 1972 Biological Weapons Convention

Goldblat (1982) reported that the convention precludes the stockpiling, development, production or possession by other means, or maintenance of biological agents or toxins, in quantity or of types that has no excuse for peaceful purposes, as well as equipment, weapons or means of delivery prepared to use such agents or toxins in armed conflict or for hostile purposes. Due to their unpredictability and uncontrollability, biological weapons (BWs) have always been neglected. At the same time, the prohibition of biological weapons at the Biological Weapon Convention intended to eliminate the possibility that scientific development modify the conditions of stockpiling, production and use of those weapon arsenals and could make them interesting for armament (Goldblat, 1982).

The Humanitarian Law of War


Excerpt out of 333 pages


Global Security, the Number One Dilemma of the World Community: the Case of the United States
Atlantic International University
Doctor of International Relations with a major in International Security
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
3147 KB
global, security, number, dilemma, world, community, Environment, armament, desarmament, nuclear security, peace, peace building, conflict, states, military, viability, insecurity, weapons, Weapons of mass destruction
Quote paper
Jean Cédric Obame Emane (Author), 2018, Global Security, the Number One Dilemma of the World Community: the Case of the United States, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


  • No comments yet.
Read the ebook
Title: Global Security, the Number One Dilemma of the World Community: the Case of the United States

Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free