START, STRATEGIC STABILITY AND THE FUTURE OF NUCLEAR DETERRNCE

Ishtiaq, Ahmad (1995) START, STRATEGIC STABILITY AND THE FUTURE OF NUCLEAR DETERRNCE. Doctoral thesis, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.

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Abstract

History has turned full circle since the end of the cold war and collapse of the Soviet Union. Today, the United States and Russia are cooperating in areas which were ridden with conflict in not-too-distant a past. One of these areas is the strategic arms control. Two agreements have so far been signed to reduce drastically the strategic arsenals of the two sides: the START I treaty, which is currently being implemented; and the START II agreement, which is yet to be ratified. If START II was also ratified, by 2000 or 2003, the United States and Russia would reduce by 70 per cent the strategic weapons they possessed in 1992. This strategic build-down has occurred as a direct consequence of the end of the cold war confrontation. However, the strategic weapons potential of the two sides even after the implementation of the two START agreements would be formidable enough to destroy the world more than once. In the radically transformed global strategic landscape that exists today, the only cold war role nuclear weapons still retain is that of war-prevention. And nuclear weapons can play this role at levels which are far below those included in START I and II. Nuclear weapons cannot be disinvented. Nations still consider them as useful instruments of national security. The goal of nuclear disarmament can be achieved in a world with a single central authority, and not in a world of anarchy. Thus, the question arises: if nuclear weapons cannot be eliminated, and if they cannot be retained at the present levels, what should be their lowest limit in the United States and Russia? START I and II, once implemented, would improve strategic stability between the two countries and help them maintain a credible and stable nuclear deterrence. This was what the entire negotiating process leading to the two treaties also aimed at. The same purpose can be served in a much better way if strategic nuclear weapons are further reduced drastically to the minimum possible level. This level of forces, which is possible to achieve under present circumstances, will ensure minimum deterrence. It is possible that the United States and Russia reduce their strategic arsenals to 200 weapons each provided they are joined by three other nuclear weapon states-- China, France and Britain. Mere reductions, however, are not enough. They have to be complemented by measures which ensure nuclear security, check nuclear proliferation and, above all, neutralise nuclear weapons.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: start, strategic stability, nuclear deterrnce, cold war, soviet union, united states, russia, strategic build-down, nuclear weapons, nuclear disarmament, salt
Subjects: E History America > E151 United States (General)
Depositing User: Muhammad Khan Khan
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2016 07:31
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2016 07:31
URI: http://eprints.hec.gov.pk/id/eprint/715

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