Another Nail in the Coffin of the NPT

. . . is what this would be if it was actually adopted as policy by the NSG. I’m talking about a Dutch paper, sponsored by the US, UK and the Czech Republic, and submitted to the NSG meeting a couple of weeks ago, which proposed that the NSG take a more “open-minded approach aimed at cooperation with non-NSG members and promoting transparency of the NSG guidelines.” According to our favorite nuclear reporter Fredrik Dahl:

The discussion paper, seen by Reuters, outlined different types of “possible benefits the NSG could consider granting” a country that is adhering to its trade guidelines even though it is not in the secretive 48-nation grouping.

These could include sharing of information, access to NSG meetings and “facilitated export arrangements”, suggesting possible access to some nuclear trade with NSG countries, for example related to safety.

Currently, Israel is the only non-NSG country that fulfils the criteria regarding “adherence” to its guidelines although India and Pakistan have informally indicated that they also follow them, the Dutch Foreign Ministry document said.

So, under this new and improved approach, India, Pakistan and Israel, at least, would likely be promoted to receiving most if not all of the substantive benefits of membership in the NPT – including most importantly civilian nuclear trade with NSG supplier states. So we would go from one travesty – the India exemption already granted by the NSG in 2005 – to at least three and maybe more.

Again, these would be states that have not signed the NPT, but have clandestinely developed nuclear weapons stockpiles on their own. And under this proposal, they would be granted by NSG supplier states, nuclear trade access which the 157 NNWS parties to the NPT had to give up their legal privilege to possess nuclear weapons in order to secure.

Is this a game of how far can we push NPT NNWS before they will finally be convinced that the NPT grand bargain is dead, and that they are upholding their NPT obligations and tacitly consenting to a system of nuclear apartheid for nothing?

This isn’t how Mark Hibbs sees it. Mark seems to think this is a fine idea. In the article he’s quoted as follows:

Nuclear expert Mark Hibbs said such an acknowledgement by the NSG would be important for Israel. “It would be a recognition from a very important nuclear non-proliferation related body that Israel is a responsible nuclear state,” Hibbs, of the Carnegie Endowment think-tank, said.

That’s not the point, Mark. Responsible or not, you can’t undermine one part of the grand bargain of the NPT without expecting the other parts to fall down too.


4 Comments on “Another Nail in the Coffin of the NPT”

  1. masoud says:

    “responsible nuclear state”???!!!

    Israel is the main party responsible for the proliferation of nuclear weapons technology into Apartheid era South Africa. In fact, Nobel laureate Simon Peres, treated most by US media as some kind of a cross between the Dalai Lama and Frederick Douglass, was Minister of Defence when this policy was implemented.

    I guess in addition to having to regurgitate the now standard panoply of anti-Iranian/anti-(Shia)Muslim tropes, western nuclear pundits need to embrace outright white-supremacist sentiment in order to continue to be perceived as knowledgeable and relevant experts in the eyes of mainstream news media.

  2. Don Bacon says:

    The US has been skillful (if that’s the word) in allying Saudi Arabia with Israel by playing up Iran as an enemy and by assisting Saudi terrorism in Syria and Iraq (and Qatar in Syria). Also Pakistan, another terrorism supporter allied with the US, has become close to Saudi Arabia.

    These alliances serve to neutralize the Arab League’s long quest to bring Israel into the NPT, and now even to allow Israel special privileges because it is a “responsible” state, having been censured by the UN General Assembly only a couple hundred times or so over the past sixty years for its irresponsible conduct in forcibly taking over most of Palestine from its former inhabitants.

    So I would expect that after Israel gets elevated, the despots in Saudi Arabia will follow, with NSG privileges for its new King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KA-CARE).

    It must be tough to be “the leader of the free world” and deal with these assorted thugs, but US presidents never shirk from their dirty deeds.

  3. Johnboy says:

    Well, heck, that comment from Mark Hibbs suggests very strongly that his PoV is that of the “nuclear haves”, meaning that he spares not much thought at all for the “nuclear have-nots”.

    And by that logic this latest moves makes perfect sense e.g. Israel is most definitely a “nuclear have”, and so it is just sound common-sense that Israel should be allowed to eat at the top table with the patricians of the NSG.

    And all the “nuclear have-nots” who signed onto the NTP in anticipation of sharing in the feast?

    As you point out, they don’t get factored into the equation.

    They have already been put in their box, and so they should know enough to stop bellyaching.

    Only the Israel’s and the India’s of the world are allowed to belly-ache….

  4. yousaf says:

    I did not realize there was any space left on the coffin for additional nails.

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