New nuclear arms control treaties, despite the fact the former president of the Soviet Union is telling the U.S. Senate they need to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, will be still born.

A world without nuclear weapons?  Please.  Let’s start realistically thinking about how we’re going to live with nuclear weapons and with nuclear weapons proliferation.

Two things that will help America deal with said proliferation come to mind: missile defense and civil defense. 

Maybe the arms controllers can embrace the idea of assured U.S/allied (if they can come up with the money) survivability through missile defense and purge themselves of the idea of shared mutual vulnerability (AKA mutually assured destruction) with our adversaries.  Maybe…

Why is the future of arms control so grim?

It’s because those who are defense-concerned in the 112th Congress (and beyond) will be unwilling to do any arms control work until the Russians cough up much of their 10 times advantage in tactical nuclear weapons.  However, the Russians–through their Foreign Minister–have effectively said all future nuclear arms control treaties must be multilateral, something which can gently be described as way too-hard.

I’d expect Gorby’s beloved test ban treaty will be placed in the queue behind the Russian tactical nuke issue meaning it will never make its way to the front of the line.  Discussions?  Aplenty.  Progress?  Don’t expect any.  The Russians now have the hand they want and they’ll likely hold it for some time.

And speaking of multilateral nuclear treaties, does anyone really think China, Pakistan, India, or Israel is going to give up some nuclear weapons? How about North Korea and soon, Iran?

And once Iran goes nuclear, Saudi Arabia and Egypt will follow suit.  Burma, Syria, and Indonesia are all plausible candidates to go nuclear within the next two decades, and depending on how things break, perhaps much less. 

Nuclear proliferation is knowledge based and as Julian Assange (remember, you still can’t spell Assange without a-s-s) has shown us, knowledge–no matter how valuable–can be tough to keep in the bottle.

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