New Forest East


Daily Telegraph – 22 May 1995

Bruce Kent is as partial in his reading of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (letter, May 18), as he was in the East-West confrontation before the collapse of communism. Of course the preamble to the treaty refers to "the elimination from national arsenals of nuclear weapons and the means of their delivery", but Mr Kent fails to finish the sentence. It continues: "pursuant to" – that is, in conformity with – ''a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective interna­tional controls".

Article VI of the NPT likewise commits the signatories to "pursue negotiations", not only for a nuclear-free world, but for a treaty on general and complete disarmament too.

Nowhere does the NPT require a nuclear-free world to be achieved prior to the Utopia of an arms-free world. Indeed, it is obvious that abandoning all nuclear weapons in an un-reformed world would be a recipe for disaster. In a conventional war, the former nuclear powers would immediately race to reacquire the Bomb. The first to succeed would then use it without fear of retaliation – as the United States did against Japan in 1945.

Dr Julian Lewis
Policy Research Associates
London SE1