Will 2022 be the year of nuclear proliferation? responsiblestatecraft.org

Daniel Larison, contributing editor at Antiwar.com and former senior editor at The American Conservative magazine

The war in Ukraine and the faltering negotiations to revive the nuclear deal with Iran have reminded the world how important arms control and nonproliferation are for international peace and security. They have also underscored how difficult it will be to negotiate any lasting arms control and nonproliferation agreements for the foreseeable future.

The Russian government said last week that it was open to new talks on strategic stability and nonproliferation, but Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has all but destroyed the Western political support for arms control negotiations when those negotiations are needed most. The mutual benefits of a restored nuclear deal are obvious to almost everyone, but the politics of Iran policy in the United States make the long-term survival of any agreement with Iran unlikely at best.

The future of arms control and nonproliferation seems dim right now, but this is why the U.S. and its allies must recommit themselves to both, and reject the easy temptations of more military buildups and unnecessary wars.

While the taboo against nuclear use has not yet been broken, the danger of escalation in Ukraine has created legitimate fear that the Russian government might resort to using nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, the emphasis on “great power competition” in the U.S. and the willingness in some quarters to contemplate direct conflict with nuclear-armed states are bringing the U.S. closer to the brink of nuclear war than it has been for decades. Läs artikel