US President Donald Trump sermonising to Russia on the latter’s nuclear armoury would be laughable were it not for the seriousness of the situation. Between them, these two powers hold over 90 per cent of all nuclear weapons in the world.
In the wake of the US pulling out of the decades-old Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia, the world is once again confronted with a nuclear arms race which has revived even more intensively.
When it comes to nuclear weapons, the US is the world’s first and leading offender. It was the first to develop, test and use a nuclear weapon. It is also the only country to use the threat of nuclear weapons against others. After all, one use is enough to convince the world that a second use would be disastrous for the planet. Thus, the mere threat of using nuclear force or missiles is sufficient to subdue any other country.
Besides the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council(UNSC), the other nuclear-weapon states are India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel. There are other states on the threshold, capable of developing nuclear weapons at short notice. Then there are forces, including terrorist groups, which would not find it very difficult to get their hands on nuclear weapons of weak states.
The US is the prime culprit in making nuclear weapons aspirational for developing countries. So much so that possession of nuclear weapons is flaunted as a mark of "development". The other eight nuclear-weapon states are equally responsible for making the cult of nuclear weapons a matter of national pride.
It is high time that a global movement for the elimination of nuclear weapons was launched. The new initiative should come from a new quarter, such as BRICS, for example, which has successfully set up a bank in the teeth of opposition from the international community.
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