A “Simple” Way to Protect Ourselves from Weapons of Mass Destruction

After a substantial amount of research, I’ve concluded that investing money into Weapons of Mass Destruction is the best way we can protect ourselves from it.

You see, the human race has reached a point in the development of these weapons that make it entirely irreversible for us to do anything about it. That is, obviously, if our sole objective is to eliminate all weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) from the planet.

The concept of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) has many years now been a sole reason for humanity to keep producing and at least acquiring WMDs. The Cold War exemplifies this since it became a conflict that was predicated on the possibility of a nuclear attack. Mainly, it is our sense of fear that prevents us from trying to eliminate these deadly weapons, unless it was made in an ultra systematic manner across the planet.

Therefore, to understand whether or not we should eradicate nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, it is essential to know what they have represented for the history of the world.

It was 13 years ago that the United Nations Security Council first passed Resolution 1540, affirming that the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) represents a threat towards the maintenance of peace and security. Despite that, throughout the last decade, the international community has been faced with unusual events regarding the usage of these weapons in multinational conflicts. Even though the number of nuclear warheads has decreased by more than half over the past 30 years, the current implication of WMDs provokes a more considerable danger.

As of June 2016, the Security Council has adopted a resolution which seeks “to keep non-State actors from acquiring nuclear, biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction.” The current framework imposed by the UN favors a system which aims at impeding militia groups with a history of violent outbreaks to acquire such potentially dangerous tools. As an example, Clause 7 from Resolution 2325 of the Security Council emphasizes this structure, stating that all states should “take into account developments on the evolving nature of the risk of proliferation and rapid advances in science and technology in their implementation of a resolution.” Overall, there seems to be a fair amount of equitable grounds to believe that the current role of weapons of mass destruction laws amplifies long-lasting diplomatic issues within UN member states, resulting in a substantial sense of fear across the globe.

Past Measures by the United Nations

There have been several attempts made by the United Nations to arrive at a firm conclusion through a pacifist approach concerning the proliferation of these weapons. Throughout the last few years, several UN peacekeeping troops were sent to assist in humanitarian crises around the world as a result of chemical, biological, and nuclear attacks. In each respective location, the UN’s ambitions to apply laws against the proliferation of WMDs were introduced. Thereby, other countries have strived to abide and cooperate with these ideas by formulating resolutions that focus on eradicating weapons of mass destruction around the planet.

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Ever since its establishment in 1945, the United Nations has sought to eliminate the usage of WMDs across the world, especially after the gruesome attacks of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Therefore, the first resolution ever adopted concerning this issue dates back to 1946. In it, the UN proposes the idea of a committee which directly addresses the threats imposed by the discovery of atomic energy. Following this panel, other specified substructures were funded as a means of fulfilling the same role – eradicating weapons of mass destruction worldwide. Examples of these include the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests In The Atmosphere, and the In Outer Space And Underwater Agreement – all of which contributed substantially towards the present-day demographics of WMDs internationally.

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(Natural Resources Defense Council.)

Another useful example is a famous treaty made in the United Nations by the USA, the European Union, and Iran. By the end of 2013, the Obama Administration established what is now known as a key signature in American foreign policy – the institution of a specified nuclear framework commonly known as the Iran Nuclear Deal. In fear that Iran would acquire nuclear capabilities, the deal imposed extensive sanctions on the country’s economy. Hence, over the past five years the President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, has experienced a severe diminution in the Iranian nuclear program.

Nowadays, many concerns are revolving around this deal. For instance, critics often argue that there is no guarantee that Iran can’t develop a nuclear weapon, nor that the JCPOA (as the agreement is alternatively called) can postpone the risk caused by its potential proliferation. Amongst other concerns, the international community worries that Iran’s economy is not performing the way it should have according to the deal. Specifically, “the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected, the country’s non-oil growth would approach 3.5 percent in 2017, up from .75 percent a year prior” (Laub). However, Iran’s wealth and frugality have suffered due to unrelated sanctions imposed on the country’s most prominent and wide-reaching banks. Correspondingly, the interest rate of international companies towards Iranian commerce has decreased dramatically.

Now, with President Trump in office, several authors of the treaty have been extensively vocal on their disturbance relating to how his current foreign policy can potentially jeopardize the Iran Nuclear Deal. Mr. Trump has expressed that if the deal weren’t amended to permanently block Iran’s capacity of building nuclear weapons and other types of ICBMs (Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles), he would dismiss the agreement altogether. Among the most popular criticisms include that Trump is potentially risking the diplomatic association of the United States in current affairs, and neglecting the benefits it has generated like the large-scale inspections towards Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Nowadays, the United Nations continues to abide by Resolution 1540 through the support of several instituted principals. For example, the UN has legitimized the idea of implementing effective partnerships with civil societies as a result of the resolution’s influence within the organization. Thus, in cooperation with Austria, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) held, in January 2013, the first Civil Society Forum on Resolution 1540, which assembled 45 civil society organizations with representatives from the Americas, Asia, Eastern and Western Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Furthermore, Resolution 1977 from 2011 proposed a trust fund for global and regional disarmament activities, also led by UNODA. Consequently, as stated by the committee:

In support of UNODA’s 1540 related activities, the Trust Fund has received relevant voluntary contributions from Andorra, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America as well as the European Union and the Carnegie Corporation.

In summation, the continuing support directed at the United Nations for the application of various methods of preventing the proliferation of WMDs across the globe is only made possible through generous voluntary contributions, as continuously encouraged by the Security Council.

Weapons of Mass Destruction in Asia

Asian countries have experienced the most inhumane effects of WMDs over the years. As a result, the continent has become a prominent figure of authority in the global campaign to denounce chemical, nuclear, and biological weapons. In fact, three of the most effective resolutions ever passed in regards to this issue was explicitly targeted towards locations found in Asia and the Pacific. One of them, for instance, is the Treaty of Rarotonga. This 1985 document argues that the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the South Pacific would appropriately ban any possession and testing of nuclear weapons. Other examples include the Bangkok Treaty and the Central Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone Accord – both of which successfully hindered the further proliferation of WMDs through the imposition of legal terms upon all UN member states.

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Altogether, these treaties and agreements fostered beneficial results for Asia and the Pacific. In 1992, Mongolia became the first country to declare itself free from any propagation of nuclear power. As such, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCPD) began thoroughly assisting all Asian countries in the pursuit of their respective WMD-free zones.

Finally, in 1996 a statement from The Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons argued that “so long as any state has nuclear weapons, others will want them. So long as any such weapons remain, it defies credibility that they will not one day be used, by accident, miscalculation or design… It is sheer luck that the world has escaped such catastrophe until now.” With that in mind, it can be assured that Asian countries have been proficient in abiding by this critical concept.

The Iran-Iraq War

In August of 1980, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, alongside his Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, conducted a towering invasion into Iranian territory. Mainly, Hussein invaded Iran to retrieve Shatt al-Arab – the waterway which forms the boundary between the two countries that Iraq claimed to be theirs. At that time, Iraq had only 58 kilometers of the sea coast, and its capital of Baghdad was a little over 100 kilometers from the border and had few natural defenses, while Iraq lacked both secure access to the Gulf and strategic depth as a protection from Iran (Cordesman 5). Not only that, Saddam believed that the Iranian Revolution of 1978 destabilized Iran’s legislative framework, facilitating the process in which they could invade the country and Hussein’s motivation to do so.

At first, the Former President of Iran Ruhollah Khomeini did not accept a ceasefire with Iraq. As stated by journalist and political analyst Roger Hardy:

After repeated Iranian attacks on its vessels, Kuwait appealed to outside powers for protection – and both the United States and the Soviet Union stepped in. This helped turn the tide against Iran.

Consequently, in July of 1988 Khomeini declared that he had “drank the cup of poison,” accepting the armistice installed by the United Nations. To this day, the primarily debated question is whether or not Iraq has possessed a weapon of mass destruction.

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“Muslims in a Self-Destructive Mode” (Article).

Chemical Weapons in Syria

Even with the United Nation’s measures to resolve the proliferation of WMDs in Syria, no concrete solution has been found yet. The resolutions passed have mainly been focused on condemning President Assad’s use of chemical weapons, increasing counterterrorism efforts in the region, and calling for a political solution through a democratic election. In 2014, The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Joint Mission successfully confiscated large quantities of chemical weapons from Syrian government facilities. Even with the mission complete, President Assad continues to be in violation of past UN resolutions by continuing to use WMDs, such as chlorine bombs.

2014 was the first time chemical weapons were used in a country that takes part of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Therefore, the UN decided to address this in the Resolution 2209 of the Security Council, promising that “individuals responsible for any use of chemicals as weapons…must be held accountable,” referring to President Assad.

A primary example of an incredibly impacting chemical attack in Syria occurred on the 21st of August of 2013. That day, two suburbs in the capital of Damascus were struck by missiles containing sarin – a synthetic chemical compound. The estimated toll range was approximately 1,729 deaths overall. The attack was the deadliest use of chemical weapons since the Iran–Iraq War.

Another major chemical attack that affected Syrian citizens happened in the 19th of March, also in 2013. After more than 86 injuries and deaths were noted, the UN came up with a mandate excluding the evaluation of blame for the chemical weapons attacks. Lastly, The UN report, which was completed in December of 2016, found “likely use of chemical weapons in Khan al-Assal” and assessed that the organophosphate poisoning was the cause of the “mass intoxication.”

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The North Korean Nuclear Threat

The most recent trend in regards to weapons of mass destruction globally now comes from Chairman Kim Jong-un’s nuclear audacity. Excluding the false claims made by the North Korean government – like the one made in December of 2015, when Jong-un declared his possession of a hydrogen bomb – there is a present-day threat to the DPRK’s nuclear potential. An article from September of 2017 by the Director of Proliferation Prevention Program explains that North Korea’s ability to cause a war with the United States rely on several specific variables. One of them, for instance, is that the missile’s range has to be enough to target a distant land territory. However, high costs often overshadow Chairman Kim’s ability to establish this range. She writes that, based on her extensive research, “there are no indications so far that North Korea envisions anything beyond a deterrence role for its nuclear weapons, so it’s not clear how accurate its missiles need to be.”

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An accessible means of solving this matter is through the denuclearization of the DPRK through policy objectives conducted by American authorities. Currently, the only strategic input executed by the Trump administration was communicated by the U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, recommending that North Korea ceases its nuclear and missile tests as a gesture of goodwill and indication of interest in negotiations.

However, Trump has also argued several times that administering an invasion inside the DPRK is the only way the United States can assure the termination of Kim Jong-Un’s nuclear threat. Although there have been no further steps excluding the proclamation of these ideas, they indeed inflict an elevated sense of trepidation amongst the Western World. In spite of that, North Korea’s nuclear capabilities are still reasonably distant in forming a major conflict within these world powers.

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Conclusion

In the end, although WMDs represent a hazardous threat towards all countries involved, its complete eradication takes a long time to occur. Despite that, several organizations are working on precisely that, and being effective in many regions across the globe. Still, the battle against the existence of these weapons continues to be part of a somewhat distant future, making the continual investment towards it our best option to prevent a nuclear catastrophe.

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