Leaders in many non-nuclear-weapon states feel under siege from a growing barrage of nonproliferation initiatives, such the Additional Protocol, new Nuclear Suppliers Group guidelines, and advanced safeguards mechanisms. Aspiring nuclear-power states, particularly those with no history of WMD programs and no advanced dual-use industries, sometimes question the merit of investing in comprehensive proliferation controls. They also resent the fact that the nonproliferation agenda is pushed hard by the nuclear-weapon states while the prospects for complete nuclear disarmament remain grim. What is the right balance to be struck between these two pillars of the NPT? What are the respective obligations of the nuclear-weapon states and non-nuclear-weapon states to work in “good faith” toward disarmament under NPT Article VI? Can the nonproliferation regime be significantly strengthened in the absence of significant steps toward the goal of nuclear disarmament?
Scott Sagan, Christopher Ford, Alfredo Labbé, and Harald Müller answer these questions and more. Share your comments and questions below.