The Doomsday Clock is an internationally recognized design that conveys how close we are to destroying our civilization with dangerous technologies of our own making. First and foremost among these are nuclear weapons, but the dangers include climate-changing technologies, emerging... Read More
Do you think the hands of the Doomsday Clock should be closer to or farther from midnight?
Naeem Ahmad Salik
Before his retirement from Pakistan's military, Brigadier Salik served as director of arms control and disarmament affairs in the Strategic Plans Division, the secretariat of Pakistan's National Command Authority. He has taught at National Defense University in Islamabad and has been a visiting scholar at Johns Hopkins University and the Brookings Institution. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in political science and international relations at the Center for Muslim States and Societies at the University of Western Australia.
Before the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) came into force in 1970, concerned scientists made dire predictions about the rate at which nuclear weapons would spread around the globe. Thanks in part to the treaty, the gloomiest scenarios have been avoided.
The author argues that making meaningful changes to the structure and mission of the IAEA would be, partly for historical reasons, very difficult; and that, barring general disarmament, nuclear weapons are probably in South Asia to stay.
The author argues that the IAEA’s responsibilities should not be expanded to the point that it has difficulty carrying out its mandate, and that exceptionalism such as the waiver extended to India in 2008 by the Nuclear Suppliers Group does not encourage treaty outliers to join the NPT.
The author argues that some problems with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty could be addressed by establishing a consortium under the IAEA that would guarantee technology and fuel in exchange for return of spent fuel and accession to the Additional Protocol to the NPT Safeguards Agreement.