Saturday, February 23, 2019 | ePaper


Nuclear weapons and global security

  • Print
Farouk Araie :
A deadly nuclear arms race looms in the face of humanity, as US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, walk away from the 31-year-old INF treaty.
Accidental or intentional nuclear war is an ever-emerging threat. A recently declassified intelligence report reveals that cyber threats to nuclear weapons and related systems, including planning systems, early warning systems, communications and delivery systems, increases the risk of unauthorised use of a nuclear weapon, and as a result false warnings could undermine confidence in the nuclear deterrent. This is because speed, stealth, unpredictability and challenge of any sophisticated cyber-attack makes it difficult to anticipate, deter and defend against concerted cyber assaults.
Since the cold war, the United States has kept 900 nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert, enabling the president to order a strike in 10 minutes. The other nuclear powers have the following nuclear weapons on 10-minute alert - Russia has 897, France has 80 and the United Kingdom 40.
If 100 nuclear weapons are unleashed on China, the world's most populous nation, 35 million people would be killed, millions more seriously injured. If India and Pakistan fought a war using 100 nuclear weapons, 50 million people will perish, half the world's upper ozone layer would be destroyed, and a "Nuclear Winter' will cripple the monsoons and decimate agriculture globally.
If we accept the premise that the development, deployment and the use of nuclear weapons is a threat to the continued existence of mankind and thus to the life of the international community, then the conclusion is inescapable that the existence of nuclear weapons is inconsistent with International Law and global security.

(The writer is based in South Africa).

More News For this Category

We must show respect to our mother tongue

THE true spirit of the language movement using Bangla in every sphere of life is still elusive even after creating a sovereign nation-state 48 years ago which set up

Ensure relocation of chemical godowns

THE death toll from the fire in Chawkbazar area of Old Dhaka has now risen to 80. Scores were injured in the fire that originated around 10:40pm on Wednesday

Readers’ Forum

Alarming rise in boys dropout :An English daily reported that the boys' dropout highest in seven years. It said that nearly 36 percent of boys dropped out before completing

Agribusiness is the problem, not the solution

Jomo Kwame Sundaram :For two centuries, all too many discussions about hunger and resource scarcity has been haunted by the ghost of Parson Thomas Malthus. Malthus warned that rising

Education reform in line with development demands

Md Bayazid Khan :Quality education is the key to success in overall development of the country. Overall development of the country desperately needs well educated future generations and only

Saudi investment in Bangladesh: Pragmatic policy needed

SAUDI ARABIA plans to invest several billion dollars in more than 30 projects in Bangladesh, including setting up an aircraft repair and maintenance facility in Lalmonirhat. The plan is

True spirit of Ekushey must be reflected everywhere

THE nation solemnly remembers the supreme sacrifice of the valiant souls who laid down their lives to establish the right of our mother tongue Bangla as the state language

Readers’ Forum

Respect to language martyrs :Decades ago, our predecessors paid a heavy price in order to uphold the dignity of our mother tongue - an act perhaps unparalleled in world

Genesis of the language movement

Ameer Hamza :The movement for decorating Bengali with the status of an official language of Bengal began long before the creation of Pakistan. An English writer N.B. Holhed in

Welcome US move: Democracy to be defended

Abu Hena :Though late, the United States, the driving force for freedom and democracy in the world, now stands ready to help countries that seek democracy and freedom, peace