U.S., UK and France Denounce Nuclear Ban Treaty
Date Written: 13/07/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21126
The U.S., UK and France did not participate in the United Nations negotiations leading to the recent adoption of the nuclear ban treaty, and joined together in expressing their outright defiance of the newly-adopted treaty.
In a joint press statement, issued on July 7, 2017, the day the treaty was adopted, the U.S., UK and France stated, "We do not intend to sign, ratify or ever become party to it." Seriously? Rather than supporting the countries that came together and hammered out the treaty, the three countries argued: "This initiative clearly disregards the realities of the international security environment." Rather than taking a leadership role in the negotiations, they protested the talks and the resulting treaty banning nuclear weapons. They chose hubris over wisdom, might over right.
They based their opposition on their belief that the treaty is "incompatible with the policy of nuclear deterrence, which has been essential to keeping the peace in Europe and North Asia for over 70 years." Others would take issue with their conclusion, arguing that, in addition to overlooking the Korean War and other smaller wars, the peace in Europe and North Asia has been kept not because of nuclear deterrence but in spite of it.
The occasions on which nuclear deterrence has come close to failure, including during the Cuban missile crisis, are well known. The absolute belief of the U.S., UK and France in nuclear deterrence seems more theological than practical.