Tuesday, June 13, 2006

SIPRI (part 3) Nuclear Weapons and Accountability.

The tone of the SIPRI is a bit different from the usual western perspective when it comes to nuclear weapons. the stress the fact that "the matter of democratic accountability regarding nuclear weapons should not be a concern only in transitional or authoritarian states, but also in consolidated democracies."

Then they mention some problems that exist in all nuclear weapons states, some of which are hardly ever discussed in our media:

  • there is ambiguity in the UK about the special relationship with the USA;
  • in France, nuclear weapons are considered part of the domaine réservé of the president;
  • ndian governments have used nuclear weapon tests to boost their domestic popularity
  • in Russia, the breakup of the Soviet Union has resulted in the near impossibility of civilian control;
  • Pakistan poses concern in the eventuality that President Musharaf is no longer in power and the nuclear arsenal falls into the wrong hands;
  • Israel’s opaque nuclear posture leaves little grounds for transparency or control;
  • the USA constitutes the best and yet imperfect standard, with a strong Congress but an even stronger president as commander-in-chief.

What they underline is the need for political control and oversight. I can't help worrying a lot more about those countries in which public opinion may count but does not really vote or votes for a unique party. (Iran, North Korea).


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