Saturday, May 25, 2013

Discussing Nuke Disarmament at Glion

The Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GSCP) invited a small group to discuss nuke disarmament at Glion, a small village about a hundred kilometers outside of Geneva (on Lake Geneva), Switzerland.

The discussions were under the Chatham House rule but I can report that it was a fairly useful and innovative approach, with a focus on how security might be maintained after nuclear disarmament.  We discussed some of the challenges, potential institutional and other other response measures and the prospects for stability.  My feeling was that the
insecurity of the weaker members of the current nuclear weapons club (and some of the potential members such as Iran) needed to be taken seriously, may be even more seriously than the concerns of the great powers.  I suspect that even if the major nuclear powers agree to give up nuclear weapons (!!), the smaller ones might be more reluctant because they (countries like Israel, Pakistan, North Korea etc.) pursued nuclear weapons to overcome significant disadvantages in conventional  military power.  Unless there are drastic reductions in conventional military imbalances (if then), it is unlikely that these weaker nuclear weapon powers will give up their nukes.  But it was a good exercise in imagination what might happen in one possible future, at a breathtaking venue.  And the thirty degree Celsius temperature difference with Delhi didn't hurt either!

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