After returning home to New Zealand from attending a major conference at the United Nations in New York reviewing prospects for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, Commander Green noted the extent to which the negotiations were detached from reality in his article in the Huffington Post.
As a former operator of British nuclear weapons, he tries to articulate this reality, and “get up close and personal” with this desperately serious issue for humanity, most recently in a book called Security Without Nuclear Deterrence mentioned earlier on this site.
His carefully considered conclusion is that the concept of nuclear deterrence – uncritically accepted by nuclear weapon states – is a fifty year old confidence trick ‘cooked up’ by the US military industrial complex now dominating US politics.
A rational [civilised] leader cannot use the nuclear threat
Robert Green explains, “A rational leader cannot make a credible nuclear threat against a nuclear adversary capable of a retaliatory strike. And a second strike is pointless, because it would be no more than posthumous revenge, in which millions of innocent people would die horribly . . . A nuclear “weapon” is militarily unusable, combining uniquely indiscriminate, long-term health effects, including genetic damage, from radioactivity with almost unimaginable explosive violence. In fact, it is the ultimate terror device, far worse than chemical or biological weapons, which are banned by global treaties.”
He points out that the overwhelming majority of states feel secure without depending on nuclear deterrence – which is effectively state-sponsored nuclear terrorism.
Meaningful progress towards nuclear weapon abolition is sought by group of experts from the NGO community. They advocate starting a parallel process leading to a Nuclear Weapons Convention and have drafted treaty which has been endorsed by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, as part of his five-point plan for nuclear disarmament.
Green’s civilised conclusion
The key is to see nuclear disarmament as a security-building process, moving from an outdated adversarial mindset to a co-operative one where nuclear weapons are recognized as a lethal liability.
Read the full article.