Ridding the Arctic of Nuclear Weapons

Ridding the Arctic of Nuclear Weapons

By: Michael Wallace and Steven Staples

Date: March 2010

“The world’s climate is altering. The physical climate, of course, is changing, and nowhere more rapidly and dramatically than in the Arctic Ocean and littoral. But the political climate is changing with equal speed: more and more, the states and peoples of the Arctic are challenging outmoded nuclear deployments and alliances whose rationale is rooted in the Cold War and not in present-day reality. In requesting – insisting – that nuclear weapons be removed from the Arctic we are neither abandoning our traditional allies nor attempting to create new conflicts. Rather we, the peoples of the Arctic, are not only challenging the leftover detritus of the rickety Cold War structure but even more fundamentally challenging the relevance of the Westphalian paradigm itself as a useful model for governance in the Arctic. . . . We are certain: nuclear weapons play no useful role in the challenges of the rapidly evolving Arctic, and indeed can be nothing but a lethal impediment to progress.”


Wallace, M., Staples, S. Ridding the Arctic of Nuclear Weapons: A Task Long Overdue. Canadian Pugwash and the Rideau Institute, March 2010.

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