by Andrei KOKOSHIN, RAS Corresponding Member, Acting Vice-President of RAS, head of Russia's National Security Studies Center, Moscow State University
SEQUELS TO THE ENLARGEMENT OF THE "NUCLEAR CLUB"
The present enlargement of the nuclear community differs from the previous cases in that the "club" has got new members in a situation when there is no absolute nuclear pact and no face-off between the two superpowers. Nor is there a global ideological conflict of the two systems headed by the selfsame superpowers, while the level of the military-political confrontation in which the nuclear powers were implicated is much lower (a situation symbolized by a series of agreements on the mutual non-targeting of strategic nuclear forces). Yet on the other hand, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of interethnic and religious conflicts, and there is intensification of rivalry in the economic and scientific-technical spheres.
It is argued every now and then that nuclear deterrence in US-Russia, US-China and Russia-China relations makes no sense any longer (not to speak of the other
nuclear axes involving Great Britain and France, which were not of much significance in military and political terms anyway). It is hypothesized that the nuclear weapon has gradually "come to naught". Now, such reasoning looked dubious even before the nuclear testings in South Asia. But even barring the new developments on the strategic scene, nuclear weapons would still have continued in operational service within a foreseeable time framework. No doubt, the entry of India and Pakistan into the "nuclear club" has given fresh impetus to the preservation and further development of nuclear arms, and to the development and further complexification of the system of nuclear deterrence. Complexification means heavier demands on the level and reliability of control systems.(*)
The emergence of another two nuclear weapon countries, India and Pakistan, shows up the inadequacy of intern ... Читать далее