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  • July 9th, 2015

Why are all the nuclear weapons states modernizing their arsenals?

The upcoming 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the founding of the United Nations, as well as the 60th anniversary of the international Pugwash movement mark a time to reflect, even as the crisis in East-West relations re-ignites the risk of nuclear war. C. Alexei Arbatov, in a commentary for Defence News, warns against the potentially catastrophic consequences of “nuclear rhetoric” and makes a plea for renewed dialogue to defuse tensions. (Commentary: Protecting Nuclear Sanity Defence News, 15 June 2015).

 

In an article entitled ‘Disarm and Modernize’ (Foreign Policy, 24 March 2015), John Mecklin reviews the work of Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris, nuclear-arsenal experts at the Federation of American Scientists:

“In terms of sheer numbers, the nuclear arms race of the Cold War may be over. But the worldwide modernization craze scrambles the calculus of nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation efforts, challenging the aging underpinnings of the [Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty] NPT itself. Approximately 16,000 nuclear weapons are still on the planet, and the massive, long-term plans that nuclear nations have in place strongly suggest that they have no intention of giving up their nukes anytime soon.”

 

Against this backdrop of important anniversaries and gathering nuclear storm clouds, disarmament experts, activists and Pugwash movement members from Canada and the U.S. will meet at the historic Pugwash Thinkers’ Lodge in Pugwash, Nova Scotia from July 9-12 for a conference entitled, The Way Forward to a World Free of Nuclear Weapons. Among the speakers will be four former Canadian Ambassadors for Disarmament, including Rideau Institute President, Peggy Mason.

Read the full article by John Mecklin here: ‘Disarm and Modernize’ (The Foreign Policy, 24 March 2015)

Read the full article by Alexei Arbatov here: Commentary: Protecting Nuclear Sanity (Defence News, 15 June 2015)

Image credit: ThinkStock

 

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