Ukraine Crisis Highlights Fears of Global Nuclear Proliferation

May 13, 2014, 06:59 ET from World Review

VADUZ, Liechtenstein, May 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

UNITED States President Barack Obama declared in 2009, that America's nuclear strategy would include a commitment to 'Global Zero' - a multinational cooperative effort dedicated to the voluntary elimination of nuclear weapons. However, claims that Russia has violated previous nuclear agreements have soured interest on additional arms control cooperation with Moscow in the US Congress, writes World Review author Dr James Jay Carafano, the Heritage Foundation, US.

'The loss of momentum for 'nuclear zero' will probably be exacerbated by the current crisis in Ukraine,' he says. 'Not only has the confrontation between Washington and Moscow further poisoned any likelihood of additional arms control negotiations, but some countries will interpret the Russian annexation of Crimea as a strong cautionary argument against de-nuclearisation.'

Additionally, the ongoing 'final status' talks between Iran and the P5+1 countries - the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, namely United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, and France, plus Germany - are unlikely to stem concerns over further global proliferation. Even if a final agreement is signed, the steps Iran would be required to take are reversible.

'The deal would not address two other key components of the nuclear weapons programme - the development of a delivery vehicle and long-range ballistic missiles - or limit Iran's ongoing collaboration with North Korea, potentially the world's worst nuclear and missile technology proliferator,' he says, adding that regional powers, including Saudi Arabia and Israel, will still fret over a potential Iranian nuclear breakout.

'Many believe both Turkey and Egypt would also contemplate establishing independent nuclear capabilities to match a nuclear-armed Iran,' he says.

'The most likely, and most dangerous, proliferation scenario remains a cascading addition of new nuclear powers in the Middle East as a response to the emergence of a nuclear-capable Iran and uncertainty over US security guarantees for the region.'

Read the full World Review article here.

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About the Author 

World Review author Dr James Jay Carafano is a leading expert in America's national security and foreign policy challenges, is the Washington-based Heritage Foundation's vice president for foreign and defence policy studies and director of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies.


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