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A Wedge for Nuclear Disarmament


A Wedge for Nuclear Disarmament

Robert C. Koehler

“Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith . . .”

What if words like this actually meant something?

This is Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which the United States signed in 1970. It continues: “. . . on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”


Now they stood beside the treasure
On the mountain, dark and red
Turned the stone and looked beneath it
“Peace on Earth” was all it said


If nuclear countries won’t disarm, the next best thing would be to democratize nukes by placing them under UN control.


Thank you for the excellent and optimistic article, Mr. Koehler.


A good article and hurrah for the Marshall Islands!

One thing, though. When I read the following, I thought, oops, maybe I do not understand Article VI of the NPT:

"Please read it again, slowly, understanding that 190 nations have
signed onto these words: “a treaty on general and complete (nuclear)

It was the addition of the word “nuclear” in parens that threw me. It seems to suggest that “general and complete disarmament” meant only general and complete nuclear disarmament.

My researches cleared up my confusion. General and complete disarmament (GCD) is a phrase that was known and is very much still known to mean both a complete end to WMD and a reduction of conventional arms to the point where they are usable only for internal security and to supply forces for the use of the UN.

To me it is very important that the NPT calls for negotiations in good faith not just on nuclear disarmament but also on general and complete disarmament. My reading of the world situation is that GCD and ND have to go hand in hand, and this reality does not get a lot of print. I wish it did!