How can we build security without nuclear weapons?

Yes, strong arguments are being made to rid the world of the risk posed by nuclear reliance.

One of the most recent and important publications is entitled Delegitimizing Nuclear Weapons. It was sponsored by the Swiss and New Zealand governments for presentation at the 2010 NPT, with research and writing by the Monterey Institute.

The Nuclear Turning Point: A Blueprint for Deep Cuts and De-alerting, edited by Harold Feiveson.

We should adopt a policy based on Common Security.

The Palme Commission in 1989 proposed the concept of “Common Security”:
“…[States] protect their citizens through unilateral military measures.  All states, even the most powerful, are dependent in the end upon the good sense and restraint of other nations.  Even ideological and political opponents have a shared interest in survival.  In the long run, no nation can base its security on the insecurity of others.  True security requires a cooperative effort, a partnership in the struggle against war…”

What are the “tools” of Common Security?

Project Ploughshares believes that the “tools” include:

  • local-global democracy
  • human rights
  • social justice
  • economic development
  • environmental security
  • peace

What are “Confidence and Security Building Measures” (CSBM)?

States wanting to improve their security can develop techniques of gradually developing confidence between themselves and states they perceive as threats.  During the Cold War,  the NATO and Warsaw Pact states agreed through the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) to participate in:

  • Annual exchanges of military information
  • Risk Reduction through:
  • Consultation and cooperation re: unusual military activities
  • Cooperation re: hazardous incidents
  • Voluntary hosting of visits to dispel concerns about military activities
    • Contacts:
    • Visits to bases, academies, language facilities, conferences, sporting, cultural events
    • Joint military exercises and training
    • Provision of experts
    • Prior notification of certain military activities
    • Observation of certain military activities
    • Sharing annual calendars of military activities
    • Communications (CSCE Communications Network)
    • Annual Implementation Assessment Meeting

Are there other security building processes?

  • Creation of Nuclear Weapons Free Zones (NWFZs) See the Opanal website and the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs website on NWFZs
  • Use of Preventive Diplomacy to avert violent conflicts
  • Reference of inter-state disputes to the International Court of Justice
  • Maintain peace in pre- or post-conflict regions through use of UN peacekeepers
  • The newly-formed International Criminal Court will enable prosecution of international criminals in cases of war crimes where their own country does not act, or where national prosecution is not believed to be fair and credible.
  • Intrusive inspection measures such as “Open Skies”: The “Open Skies” Treaty of 1992 allows 27 states parties to conduct observation flights over each other’s territories and provides warning of surprise attack, reduces misperceptions and thereby promotes mutual confidence.

to which you might consider adding this link to a page on nwfz’s within the Opanal website:

[I would not suggest linking to the home page of the Opanal website for it is the organization for only the Latin and South American countries in nwfz’s. There does not seem to be a formal global organization as yet. ]

And here is the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs website on NWFZs:

Scholars discussing security options:

Ernie Regehr, Preparing for a World Without Nuclear Weapons: Alternative Security Arrangements

Harald Muller, “The Importance of Framework Conditions,” in George Perkovich and James M.
Acton, editors. Abolishing Nuclear Weapons: A Debate, Carnegie Endowment for International
Peace, 2009, 337 pp.

Bjørn Møller, Common Security and Nonoffensive Defense: A Neorealist Perspective, Lynne
Rienner Publishers, 1992, 285 pp.

Commander Robert Green, Security without Nuclear Deterrence (2010)

Mary Kaldor, Dismantling the global nuclear infrastructure, 11 August 2009

Beebe, Shannon D., and Kaldor, Mary (2010), The ultimate weapon is no weapon: human security and the new rules of war and peace. PublicAffairs Books, New York, USA