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Containing The Lemming Impulse


Raja Menon

UNIVERSAL COMPLIANCE : A STRATEGY FOR NATIONAL SECURITY
Edited by George Perkovich
India Research Press, New Delhi, 2005, pp. 220, price not stated.

COMPREHENSIVE SECURITY IN SOUTH ASIA
Edited by Dev Roy Dahal and Nischal Nath Pandey
Manohar Publishers, Delhi, 2006, pp. 266, Rs. 695.00

NUCLEAR RISK REDUCTION MEASURES IN SOUTH ASIA: PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS
By Upendra Choudhury
Manohar Publications, New Delhi, 2006, pp. 124, Rs. 250.00

NUCLEAR RISK REDUCTION MEASURES AND RESTRAINT REGIME IN SOUTH ASIA
By Zafar Nawaz Jaspal
Manohar Publishers, Delhi, 2004, pp. 113, Rs. 240.00

VOLUME XXX NUMBER 5 May 2006

Universal Compliance is the collective work of some notable heavyweights in the field of nuclear nonproliferation policy analyses and includes George Perkovich, Jessica Mathews, Joseph Cirincione, Rose Gottemoeller and Jon Wolfsthal. Produced after a demanding eighteen months of effort, the draft was circulated in 9000 copies as early as 2004, the year in which Perkovich presented his ideas in New Delhi too. The draft was rewritten on the basis of feedbacks from government officials of over twenty countries, industry, analysts, the IAEA and the Conference on Disarmament. The book has a comprehensive set of recommendations to strengthen nuclear nonproliferation, which remains man’s best effort yet, to match his ability to destroy the world. The successes in nonproliferation have been considerable, although few and far between, and include the coming into force of the NPT, the Biological Weapons Convention, the Intermediate – Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, the Chemical Warfare Convention and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.   The authors are rightly critical that successes only paid attention to signing of treaties and not enough to achieving compliance. So perhaps man’s greatest achievement yet, outside the rarefied atmosphere of diplomacy, may actually be the setting up and running of the IAEA which is an extraordinary concept in the field of restraining his talent for self destruction. Some moves to strengthen the early pillars of nonproliferation point to world opinion moving towards the central premise of this book. Such steps include the NSG linking its actions to the IAEA’s demand to stop all enrichment and reprocessing technology to those countries that don’t already have them. They also include the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction programme and the funding of the IAEA to transit from an accounting to an inspecting organization.   Many readers would wonder how universal is universal compliance. The authors have addressed that issue. They acknowledge that the pillars of the NPT, namely, articles I, IV, and VI have been shaken, and restoring them to stability would require all powers on both sides of the broken grand bargain, to reconsider their attitudes. In their words there is a ‘balance of obligations’, and there are six of them and they need elucidating. The first is to make nonproliferation irreversible (article X), the second to devalue the currency of nuclear weapons (article VI), the third to secure all nuclear materials, the fourth to stop illegal transfers, the fifth (linked to two) is to commit to ...


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