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The Courage to Challenge the Nuclear World Order

In July 2017, 122 countries adopted the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. To mark this historic achievement, this year’s Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, in recognition of its work over the past decade to make this treaty possible. This article reflects on the nuclear disarmament activism that led up to the formation of ICAN and the new treaty, and the challenges this now poses to the nuclear weapon states.

Pakistan and the Nasr Missile

Pakistan's nuclear planners have sought to develop and plan deployment of the short-range Nasr tactical missile to deliver nuclear weapons against advancing Indian armoured forces. This article explores the limited utility of the use of tactical nuclear weapons which could still prove to be catastrophic by triggering the escalation of a conventional conflict into nuclear war. An alternative could be that Pakistan and India revive the idea first proposed by India in 1949 and 1950 of a No-War Agreement. The actions forbidden could include support for cross-border militancy and military incursions across the border, as well as subversion, blockades, and disruption of river waters.

Choosing Peace in South Asia

While the governments of India and Pakistan plan for war and pour billions of dollars into their arms race, a recent poll in six major cities in India and in eight cities and 36 villages in Pakistan shows that civil society in these two countries is ready to make peace, if only the governments would permit them. Will the governments in India and Pakistan heed their people rather than their generals?

Pushing South Asia towards the Brink

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seemed interested only in increasing business for US companies and cementing a new defence relationship during her India visit. But a basic reordering of US priorities in south Asia is long overdue. This means that the US has to stop feeding the fire between India and Pakistan. Only an end to the south Asian arms race can begin to undo the structures that have sustained the conflict in the subcontinent.

America's Pakistan Problem

The relations of the United States with the people of Pakistan could not have been worse. The US military actions on Taliban and Al-Qaida bases within Pakistan have inflamed public opinion and led to perceptions that the US is at war with that country. The US "war on terror" in Pakistan has only fed Pakistani support for the Islamists.

Going MAD: Ten Years of the Bomb in South Asia

India and Pakistan have been talking peace since 2003, yet they have continued to expand their nuclear arsenals. This suggests a failure both of imagination and of political will to seriously engage with the nuclear danger. The peace process does not seem to recognise the fact that since the two countries conducted their nuclear tests in 1998 there has been a war and a major military crisis, both prominently featuring nuclear threats. Nuclear denial in south Asia is not a symptom of inattention, or passivity in the face of an overwhelming problem. It is deliberate blindness to the contradiction between word and deed. India and Pakistan talk of peace while pouring scarce resources into developing their nuclear arsenals, the infrastructure for producing and using them, and doctrines aimed at fighting a nuclear war.

Ten Years of the Bomb

It is 10 years since India and Pakistan went openly nuclear. The dangers of a nuclear south Asia are becoming more and more apparent, yet the governments of the two countries continue to build their arsenals. Both countries continue to produce plutonium for more and more bombs, both countries have been testing new kinds of delivery vehicles and both countries have conducted war games assuming the use of nuclear weapons. The pursuit of nuclear weapons is beginning to take, as elsewhere in the world, a logic of its own. South Asia awaits a strong peace movement that will make the governments of India and Pakistan see reason.

Five Years of War

After five years of US military operations in Iraq the mission still remains unaccomplished. The war, besides the horrendous cost, has exposed the limits of American power, its army has started to crack under the strain and there is a growing public sentiment that the country should not meddle around the world.

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