USA Must Stop Becoming Threat To Other Nations
When any nation builds its arms stock, other nations are forced to do the same in fear and for the sake of defense. Alliances are formed on this basis and such alliances often lead to war. It is imperative that measures be taken to ensure disarmament. (Dr.Osita Agbu, 2006)
Powerful nations led by the United States must show leadership in the quest for global peace, by gradually destroying their deadly weapons and encouraging others to follow suit as the notion that, ''if you want peace, prepare for war'' is no longer tenable. In today's world, if you want peace, you must prepare for peace.
The only way to global peace is the destruction of war armunations and prevention of further production of such deadly weapons by states and none state actors alike.
From every indication, it is clear that, provided nations continue to build their arm stocks, the prospect of peace would elude the world and that of war, made more manifest. No wonder the entire globe is engulfed in all forms of conflicts.
In recent times, states such as Iran, China and others have been engaged in massive production of arms, many more states are looking towards that direction and those with limited capability in arms production are acquiring newly produced arms.
Study shows that,the military expenditure of the United States and the Soviet Union in 1987 was 293 billion and 260 billion dollars respectively. A recent World Bank Report discloses that,the world spends more than one trillion dollars (1,000,000,000,000,000,000) on the military and its upkeep. Developing countries also spend huge amounts on defense.
This tells us that, resources which should be used in providing employment, end poverty, provide infrastructure and education are being dedicated towards arms purchase and military upkeep. What can we gain from arms other than death and destruction?
It is important to note that, the more arms are being produced, the more they proliferate around the world and the easier groups and individuals are able to acquire it, even by the most remote people in a small village. This explain the reason why more conflicts keeps springing up in every corner of the world, states, town and even communities at the slightest provocation. People now seems to be more eager to bring out their guns, when all they require is their words. In some African countries, A.K 47 which is produced in far away europe or America can be acquired for as low as $10.
Dr. Agbu explain that, the nuclear energy as well as the techniques of industrialization applied to the manufacture of weapons, mounting imperial enmity, nationalism, competing alliance system have all contributed to increasingly dangerous and cost arms races. To address the underlying problem pertaining to arms race or arms proliferation, disarmament plans to focus on political effects of military preponderance rather than the implications of such proliferation of weapons. Tension usually leads to insurgency, insurgency often leads to counter insurgency and this violent behaviour tends to increase tension situation that will attract eventually a catastrophe of high magnitude.
However, It is important to note that, over proliferation of military hardware and establishments has a great probability of attracting very violent and destructive conflicts. Thus, availability of arms makes disputants to be more of irrational beasts than reasonable and peaceful enemies. For instance, since the end of cold war, Europe has experienced a paradigm shift in their pre and cold war era relations' confrontation to that of cooperation and integration in the New World Order. Economic cooperation and competition has replaced the unholy military confrontations and arms race that bedeviled the continent and other parts of the world system. Economic tool has become a superior object of international dominance. (Agbu, 2006)
In modern arm race, U.S become the number one culprit, as they are the leading arm producer in the world. Other nations engage in arm production in fear of attack from U.S and others take inspiration from them. Also, some of the leading private firms producing arms are located in United State. This is the reason why, when we call for arm disarmament, U.S have to be a focal point, as they determine in most cases, the direction of global arm trend.
Quoting an unknown American diplomat who said “We (Americans) create and enjoy crises … why, I don't know. I wish I knew. But all of us like them. I know I enjoy them. There is a sense of elation that comes with crises.”
Dr. Agbu noted that, although this statement made by an unidentifiedAmerican diplomat is rather chilling in its implications, it does express what may be a more widespread attitude than is generally realized. The way that crises are seized upon and dramatized by the media, for example, indicates the interest and excitement that a confrontation between states arouses in a public that is otherwise largely uninterested in foreign affairs. But it also seems likely that crises have a similar macabre fascination for policy-makers themselves.
For the diplomat or statesman, the confrontation with rival governments is the ultimate movement of truth, the time when his will, ability, wisdom and leadership qualities are all stretched to the utmost. If he comes through it successfully,he knows that his personal prestige and stature will be enormously enhanced both within his own state and in the eyes if other governments. The sense of pride with which statesmen in their memoirs highlight their decisions and actions during periods of acute tension or crisis is symptomatic of the importance they attach to these situations. (Agbu, 2006)
On a personal note, i have the feeling that, crisis generated from arm production and its usage as championed by the U.S give credence to the above argument.
Also, evidence show that, since U.S and other super powers had been engaged in arm production in persuit of security, more and more insecurity had been generated around the world. It is expected that, when a particular line of thought is not producing the desired result, one should re-think and source for better ways of achieving result, but these countries had failed to re-think, rather, they keep revolving around the arms strategy, creating more deadly weapons.
However, If the USA or any other country fail to desist from producing war weapons, sooner or later, that country would be destroyed by the same weapon it is producing.
The world population is no longer interested in war weapons, what they need is peace weapon and increasingly, the weapon of peace is gradually getting stronger than the weapon of war. While the weapon of war is controlled by the hand of men, that of peace is controlled by the heart of men. And we all know, the heart, not the hand of men is stronger.
If for once, U.S and other world powers dedicate as much energy and resouces to the persuit of peace like they do for production of arms, it is very unlikely that crisis around the globe would be this manifest. Indeed, it is very unlikely if there would be as much terror, tribal and regional crisis, but the over concentration of the leading nations on arms has effected the psyque of many across the world and this must be discontinued.
It is also important to stress that, formerly, it was only the U.S that had nuclear capability, but today, countries like Israel, Brazil, South Africa, India and Pakistan have acquired nuclear potential. In fact, in May 1998 both the South Asian countries of India and Pakistan who are not signatories to the CTBT (Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty) exploded nuclear devices to test their capabilities.
Like I stated in a similar publication 2 years ago, It should be recalled that, the historic origin of arms proliferation in the modern world can be traced to 1939, when Albert Einstein wrote a letter to the then U.S president, Mr. Roosevelt, informing the president on the need to carry out a project on the U.S atomic bomb and its possibilities. This letter gave birth to the American Manhattan Project in September 1942. But prior to the launching of that project, a soviet scientist, Georgian. Flerov wrote the soviet state defence committee in June 1942 on the need to produce a uranium bomb. This period marked the beginning of arms race in modern history. Thus, according to C.M Robert:
On December 2, 1942, the first chain reaction was achieved at the University of Chicago. Studies have it that, the incident of World War II has had some devastating consequences on mankind as well as global system. The world has been greeted with proliferation of variety of assault weapons and agents of mass destruction, where a mutual difference has taken the form of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD). The war has marked a new phase in the history of human tragedy.
It was after the U.S show of power and oppressive display of weapons that prompted the USSR to follow suit and engage in massive arm manufacturing which now poses a great danger to global peace.
''The comparable soviet achievement came on December 24, 1946. The Soviet Union did not produce sufficient plutonium for a nuclear bomb best until 1949. More than four years after the U.S test at Alamagordo, New Mexico (Roberts, 1974.)''
''Studies also have it that, after the innovation of the U.S in the development of atomic bomb, the government of Soviet Union reacted swiftly by calling on its scientists and engineers to defend their homeland by building an atomic bomb in no time. The reaction of the USSR government was to check the U.S monopoly of atomic energy or military supremacy, particularly when there was already a cold war existing between the west and east divides. Again, after Soviet Union invention of atomic bomb, a series of caution were made between the U.S and USSR because of their equal power relations to mutual destruction.''
U.S later launched its first nuclear powered submarine and development of huge B-52 bombers. On 26 of August, 1957, the Soviet government announced the first test of an ICBM and six weeks later, she also announced the Sputnik project. Other ballistic missiles already developed were intermediate and medium range ballistic missile (IRBMs and MRBMs). The two super powers later developed (ABM) Anti-Ballistic Missile which the Soviets developed to provide limited defence against the U.S Minuteman Missiles. The U.S developed ABM system before the Soviet Union. The U.S first began with Nike-Zeus and then developed the then more advanced Nike X. Also in the 1960's, the U.S developed MRV (Multiple Warhead Re-entry Vehicle) carrying a cluster of war heads for a buckshot effect. The U.S also considered in quick succession, the building on the independently guided Multiple Warhead (MIRV). In Texas meeting, the U.S also considered the development of Poseidon, a new MIRV missile for Polaris submarine. But in order to further check the American supremacy in strategic military build-up, the Soviets built new ICBMs, particularly the massive SS-9s as well as many nuclear powered ballistic missile submarines often known as Yankee Class (Y Class),which could match the U.S` Polaris submarines. The Soviet Union also developed surface to air missiles (SAM). China and some other countries have joined the world nuclear powers, and there is an on-going debate on the development of nuclear energy by Iran, which most western nations believe that it would spell a bad omen to the majority of the world population, if the U.S coined member of Axis of Evil, Iran develops it.
We must note that, while U.S and Soviet government continue on produce arms, many country didn't follow that line, until the U.S threat became real in Japan when in August 6, 1945, America released an atomic bomb on Hiroshima in Japan. The fear of U.S threat forced many countries to tow the line of arm production and today, the world powers have more than 50,000 nuclear warheads whose destructive capability equals a million Hiroshima bombs.
While there is a ban on the development of some weapons which may be categorized as weapon of mass destruction by the world body, United Nations, but notwithstanding, U.S and some other super powers enjoy the production of these weapons against the law of the U.N without caution, giving an impression that these super powers are more interested in war than peace.
In conclusion, U.S must show leadership in the persuit of global peace, not by providing military assistant to troubled nations or groups, but by leading is arms disarmament and promoting the culture of peace. U.S must stop becoming threat to other nations, thereby forcing them to persue arms in defence. Rather, it should inspire them to persue peace.
Abdulrazaq O Hamzat is a Peace Expert from Nigeria and can be reached on [email protected]
@Abdool101 on Twitter