Saturday, April 22, 2017

Risk of nuclear weapons use at all-time high since Cold War : UN study

The threat of a “nuclear weapon detonation event,” be it accidental or deliberate, is now the highest it’s been since the end of the Cold War, 26 years ago, a UN agency has warned, saying the risk is rising as relations between nuclear powers deteriorate.

With over 15,000 nuclear weapons possessed by nine states, the world now appears “full of potential for catastrophe,” warns a comprehensive study from the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR).

“The threat of a nuclear weapon detonation event in 2017 is arguably at its highest in the 26 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union,” said the research paper composed by several reputed scholars and disarmament experts.

Nuclear deterrence was, and still is, the backbone of the military strategies of many world powers. Overall, nine states – the US, Russia, China, the UK, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel – possess more than 15,000 warheads, and global investment in the modernization and development of new, more capable and mobile nuclear weapons continues to rise.

One of the major factors threatening global security is the current state of US-Russia relations, the researchers argued.

“The return of Cold War-like confrontational postures has hindered international cooperation and confidence-building,” the paper said.......

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