06 December, 2020

'The Treaty Can't Be Held Hostage'

Two most vociferous Indian votaries of CTBT argue that India must sign the treaty to pursue N-disarmament

'The Treaty Can't Be Held Hostage'

WHEN the May-June session of the CTBT negotiations closed, even the Indian press had to register New Delhi's isolation and the unexpected angry outbursts from Russia and the UK. Ironically, the US, long painted as the primary villain, calmly received India's decision not to sign the treaty, and sensibly, didn't insist that the treaty's 'entry into force' be contingent on India's signature.

The CTBT is too valuable to be held a hostage in this way. Its completion will decisively weaken the technological push fuelling the arms race. It will break the 'talk-test-build' format that was the bane of arms control during the Cold War. It will weaken the 'fear factor' (fear of new advances by the adversary) that drove the arms race. It will prevent production of ever-deadlier new generation weapons and vastly improve the climate for further restraint and disarmament measures, e.g. fissile materials cut-off, no-first use, freeze on production of, and class-by-class destruction of, nuclear weapons. It will psychologically devalue the ugly mystique...



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