The world loves a rogue

  • 14/04/2002

World opinion has been like a pendulum where us president George W Bush is concerned. If last week Bush was a rogue because of his extremely crazy nuclear policy, this week he is seen as a good guy after he promised at the just ended Monterrey conference on Financing for Sustainable Development to give a token contribution. This when his nuclear deterrent plan, contemplating pre-emptive strikes against a list of non-nuclear powers, promises to spin the world out of control.

This scheme is part of a new Pentagon planning paper that became public last month. The paper, the Nuclear Posture Review, proposes lowering the overall number of nuclear warheads, but it widens the circumstances thought to justify a possible nuclear response and expands the list of countries considered potential nuclear targets.

Which such a policy, non-nuclear countries may conclude that they have no motive to stay non-nuclear. In fact, they may well decide that they need nuclear weapons to avoid a nuclear attack. Moreover, the addition of new weapons to America's nuclear arsenal, which is also what the review proposes, sends wrong signals to countries like North Korea and Iran, which have so far been restrained