Skip to main content

8e8f040146f86f5010672c00_pa2900c.jpg

Bombs Away

One of the most dispiriting features of contemporary international debate is that the threat to humanity posed by the world’s 23,000 nuclear weapons has been consigned to the margin of politics. Indeed, Japan’s Fukushima disaster has generated a massive debate about the safety of nuclear power, but not about nuclear weapons.

LONDON – One of the most dispiriting features of today’s international debates is that the threat to humanity posed by the world’s 23,000 nuclear weapons – and by those who would build more of them, or be only too willing to use them – has been consigned to the margin of politics.

US President Barack Obama did capture global attention with his Prague speech in 2009, which made a compelling case for a nuclear weapon-free world. And he did deliver on a major new arms-reduction treaty with Russia, and hosted a summit aimed at reducing the vulnerability of nuclear weapons and materials to theft or diversion.

But nuclear issues still struggle for public resonance and political traction. It would take a brave gambler to bet on ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty by the US Senate any time soon.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.

Subscribe

Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.

https://prosyn.org/NzIgodz;
  1. palacio101_Artur Debat Getty Images_earthspaceshadow Artur Debat/Getty Images

    Europe on a Geopolitical Fault Line

    Ana Palacio

    China has begun to build a parallel international order, centered on itself. If the European Union aids in its construction – even just by positioning itself on the fault line between China and the United States – it risks toppling key pillars of its own edifice and, eventually, collapsing altogether.

    1
  2. rajan59_Drew AngererGetty Images_trumpplanewinterice Drew Angerer/Getty Images

    Is Economic Winter Coming?

    Raghuram G. Rajan

    Now that the old rules governing macroeconomic cycles no longer seem to apply, it remains to be seen what might cause the next recession in the United States. But if recent history is our guide, the biggest threat stems not from the US Federal Reserve or any one sector of the economy, but rather from the White House.

    0
  3. eichengreen134_Ryan PyleCorbis via Getty Images_chinamanbuildinghallway Ryan Pyle/Corbis via Getty Images

    Will China Confront a Revolution of Rising Expectations?

    Barry Eichengreen

    Amid much discussion of the challenges facing the Chinese economy, the line-up of usual suspects typically excludes the most worrying scenario of all: popular unrest. While skeptics would contend that widespread protest against the regime and its policies is unlikely, events elsewhere suggest that China is not immune.

    3
  4. GettyImages-1185850541 Scott Peterson/Getty Images

    Power to the People?

    Aryeh Neier

    From Beirut to Hong Kong to Santiago, governments are eager to bring an end to mass demonstrations. But, in the absence of greater institutional responsiveness to popular grievances and demands, people are unlikely to stay home.

    1

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated Cookie policy, Privacy policy and Terms & Conditions