Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Duke W. Nukem

Daniel W. Drezner pleads, "I'm going to Los Angeles for a UCLA conference entitled 'Nuclear Weapons in a New Century: Facing the Emerging Challenges.'

"As I have to say something about this in 48 hours, readers are strongly encouraged to proffer any bright ideas they might have about how to deal with this issue."

I'm pretty ignorant of international relations theory, but I offered my two cents' worth on his blog, along with a plug for my favorite IR proposal, from Joe Haldeman's Tool of the Trade.

Haldeman's proposal (in simplified form) is that the five "Nuclear Weapons States" which have signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty -- the U.S., Russia, the U.K., France, and China -- should each commit reduce their stockpiles of nuclear weapons to a level no greater (according to both number of weapons and total megatons) than the largest stockpile of any nation which does not have such an agreement. (The details include rules for inspection and verification, reducing stockpiles by 10% per year over 10 years, and so forth.)

This would reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the world from about 20,000 to below 2,000 and probably below 1,000; in other words, more than 90% and probably more than 95% of nuclear weapons would be eliminated. (The percentages are even higher for reducing total megatons, rather than number of weapons!)

Over 90%, and probably over 95% -- I give this plan an A.