The purpose of this chapter is to explicate reasons why Asia is especially well positioned to lead a global push to eliminate, or greatly reduce, nuclear weapons inventories worldwide, and why Mongolia might be catalytic to that effort. The threat of any general, thermonuclear war is existential to civilization itself. No one understands that better than Japan. North and South Korea want to unify, but they cannot while they are clients of opposing major powers, China and the USA. Nuclear weapons complicate that tragically, at great expense and risk to everyone. Meanwhile, Pakistan is destabilizing, which scares everyone in South Asia and many worldwide, because of its long feud with nuclear-armed India, including four conventional wars. The risk that Pakistani nuclear explosives could find their way to Islamic terrorist groups terrifies others. Many analysts therefore consider South Asia the most likely place for a nuclear war to start today. Russia is a declining power, and is frightened by both NATO and a fast-rising China, while China has considerable capital it could devote to a noble, global cause like nuclear arms control. Israel is a wild card, which motivates Iran to be one too. The former has a complete nuclear triad, and Iran could build nuclear weapons over several years if allowed to. Meanwhile, the USA is paralyzed on this topic by our weapons industry (among other factors), and everyone who now possesses nuclear weapons is modernizing. Europe in general is quite alarmed by US abandonment of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Arms Treaty (INF) and by Russian threats to use “small” nuclear weapons in tactical situations. Therefore, the EU would probably support any Asian effort to bring sanity to this situation before any more large wars get fought over their territories. No European nation wants to become a battleground for major powers fighting with nuclear weapons. At the end, we will discuss some solutions well aware that the countries that already possess nuclear weapons are extremely reluctant to eliminate, or even to limit them.
This is a derivative of a paper presented in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, on September 26, 2019 at a conference on nuclear proliferation issues hosted by Mongolia's Foreign Ministry and sponsored by the Asian Political History Association and the International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations. It may be published someday in slightly different forms in the APHA's journal, and/or as a chapter in an edited book. However, those publicatioins are uncertain while the Digital Conservancy is close and reliable. The topic is well described by the title and abstract. The bottom line is that the "Mutual Assured Destruction" strategy of nuclear deterrence is unstable, and will blow up if we wait long enough. The Mongolians are doing the best anyone from tiny countries can to remedy this situation by creative diplomacy on the nuclear proliferation issue.
Andregg, Michael M..
Why Asia Should Lead a Global Push to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons.
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