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Le journal d'Erasme

The two distinct universes of the international security

27 Avril 2014, 09:42am

Publié par Seffy

Unfortunately, my very long and very unhappy experience with all sorts of weapons of mass destruction in the developing world (not just CBRN but also delivery systems, command and control, etc.) convinced me that there are TWO distinct universes.
1. The universe that we all know (or are supposed to know) about: 
That of international conventions, policies, conferences, treaties, commitments and so on and so forth. My humble experience convinced me that this universe is completely detached from reality. The officials and activists involved are all well meaning. Their intentions - to rid the world of these weapons - are noble. But their approach - to come up with international treaties and laws that states will commit to and then abide by - is impractical. States commit to the acquisition of WMD because they NEED the deterrence or killing capacity they provide. These states will persevere no matter what - treaties or no treaties.
2. The universe of the states - rogue and sane alike - that acquire WMD (warheads, delivery systems, command and control, etc.). This is the world of cool and calculated strategies that make states commit huge budgets and disproportional segment of their best scientists and technicians (and thus harming all other national development) to these strategic programs. These states do so because they are convinced they must have these capabilities - either from protection against foes, or as a deterrence against would be foes, or in order to provide cover for national ascent and expansion drives. There can be no international treaty that can substitute for such national needs and drives. At best, nations will lie and deceit and conceal their programs.
I've always been convinced that the West should face reality in a pragmatic manner - that is, focus on Universe 2. We don't really do it. Whenever we cannot ignore Universe 2 - in Iran or North Korea, for example - we try to pull them to Universe 1 and tie them down with agreements they will ultimately violate secretly because these strategic weapons are just too important to be sacrificed  for a peace of paper.

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