Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Need For Nuclear Disarmament

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The world has witnessed different levels of wars between countries and regions and the use of arms and munitions of different sorts from time immemorial. The climax of all this came when the atomic bomb was used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the Second World War.

The threat posed by certain countries during the First and Second World Wars has led several countries into looking for more deadly ways to protect themselves against invasion by their neighbours or by known powerful nations. This quest for protection against both real and imaginary enemies has led to the birth of deadly weapons of war – Atomic bomb, nuclear bomb, E-bomb, Hydrogen bomb, minor explosives, intercontinental ballistic missives, scud missiles, B52 bomber jets, Hawk, Missile launchers, nuclear submarine, Frigates, warships, biological weapons, nerve gas, etc.

The interesting part of the whole scenario is that all the above-mentioned weapons are fashioned to destroy the human organism and not animals. Why on earth should nations dedicate so much time, resources, money and energy researching things that would be used to outdo one another? America alone possesses over 5,000 nuclear warheads. Russia, Britain, France, Australia, China all in one way or the other have their own stockpiles. Recently other countries like Pakistan, India, North Korea, etc have all joined the nuclear nations list. Iran, Syria and others yet to be determined are already threatening to do same.

What are the dangers?
Nuclear proliferation poses much problems and threat than the world may anticipate. Some of the reasons why continual research into nuclear production is dangerous include:
1. Hunger and starvation: The world is wallowing in economic recession that has made many people die of hunger and starvation (though these problems have always been around). Arms productions have indirectly contributed to worsen the situation. Since 2003 America has spent over $200b fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; North Korea keeps testing weapons upon weapons while their citizens (North Koreans) wallow in abject poverty and are crossing their national borders into South Korea and China in their thousand to look for greener pasture. The money spent on weapons worldwide is enough to put food on the tables of the world’s poor masses who die of hunger daily. Hunger and starvation may get worse unless we channel these resources into agriculture and food production.
2. Increase in Illiteracy: The annual budgets of nations reflect how widespread this fear of insecurity has gone. Countries are allocating as much as 30-50% of their annual budgets to maintain their armed forces whereas a miserly less than 10% are given to education. This money used for research into weapons of mass destruction should be channeled into developing human resources and awarding scholarships to the less privileged to enable them acquire education.
3. Massive human destruction: the use of the Atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki led to the death of close to 300,000 people with several others maimed for life; and years later, congenital abnormalities attributable to the effects of the bomb still continued to occur. These weapons kill in their thousands and I am sure that whenever they are used thousands of human lives would be wasted – lives that God holds in sanctity. How about the conscience of the person who launches the weapons? Do you think such person would ever be happy with himself whenever he remembers the lives he sent to their early graves in the course of fighting?
4. Accidental explosion: I am sure the world still remembers the effect of the accidental explosion that happened years ago in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) where hundreds of innocent lives were wasted. Only recently there was also another weapons explosion in Russia. What is the guarantee that stockpiling the bombs would not one day lead to similar horrifying and devastating experience? The bomb explosion in a military barracks in Lagos, Nigeria is still fresh in our minds: we know how many people lost their lives as a result of that incidence. We remember the case of accidental loading of six nuclear warheads into a jet and were flown across some states in the United States recently. If there had been an accident what would be the result?
5. Terrorism: In this era of terrorism where people are threatening to annihilate countries and religions what happens should these blood thirsty persons lay their hands on nuclear weapons? Your guess is as good as mine.
6. More conflicts: Whosoever has something that others don’t have would always look for an opportunity to exhibit his superiority. The reason the world went after Iraq was because of the fear they might be possessing biological weapons. Now that North Korea has developed nuclear technology, we see them showing their arrogance from time to time, even thinking of shooting missile from their country to reach the United States of America.

The world should think of what to do to completely stop further proliferation of these deadly weapons which some countries are using to foil conflicts in other regions and making billions of dollars from them. The recent nuclear summit in the USA may have discussed the way forward and may have also applauded their efforts, but I think a lot more need be done to make the world live in relative peace and harmony and stop living in mutual suspicion.

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