Remarks By Carl Bildt at the Global Zero Summit: "But from my particular European perspective I would urge for an agreement on further limits on strategic arms to be followed by talks aimed at reductions also on sub-strategic nuclear weapons."
The citation is from a thoughtful speech by Carl Bildt from a couple of days ago. Apparently President Obama does not think we will remove nuclear weapons during his lifetime and Bildt adds that this will not happen "tomorrow". I don't think nuclear weapons, by all means, is the last murderous weapon Man will invent. There will be more to come. However, for terrorists nuclear weapons can't be judged a "weapon of the past". They seem instead to be the weapons of tomorrow.
We could not prevent North Korea from acquiring nuclear weapons. I don't think we will be able to prevent Iran from this either. Bildt argues that when the Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968 was ratified there were five nuclear states. Now there are at least four more. He adds that we are now at a critical point and I can't agree more. This can be seen in the international press in the discussions around Iran's nuclear program. It is rogue and labile states that now are acquiring nuclear weapons with resources to start producing terrorist grade ones.
With due respect of the initiative from Bildt and Sikorski, the Polish foreign minister, I believe that a progressive European perspective on the nuclear issue should be focused on the proliferation aspect. Yes, less tactical weapons might mean less chance of "broken arrows" but Iran, North Korea, Pakistan and perhaps clandestine organizations make their own gear.
North Korea and Iran are backed by China, who then does not show what the West mean by responsibility for the security of the world community. Most data speak in the direction of this meaning that we will have to live with "loose canons". It therefore seems like these weapons have to be stopped at the borders and that the discussion would have to be geared in this direction instead. After all we have the Kaliningrad and Kola weapons on our doorstep already.
Extrapolating from Chinese intent, they let North Korea through and armed Pakistan, it seems like they would not mind a Western town going up in smoke with the loss of moral this would entail. The questioning of Tony Blair, the former prime minister of the UK, recently aired the idea that the judgment of risk attached to Muslim fundamentalism allows for the destruction of 30,000 people or so. If Iran acts by proxy via Hamas and Hizbollah, it seems China is doing the same via North Korea, Pakistan and Iran. The Muslim radical being their wasser träger.
Europe could then act in solidarity with the US and not sell civilian air craft and weapons to China when China is threatening the US as The Economist suggests. However, the Chinese play tough and say that Europe should sell weapons to them now so that they would be able to buy from China in the future. This is the cross roads we currently are at. Backing the US against China or joining China in potential trade wars. What are our values? Well, there is a great difference between an American Republican and a Swedish Social Democrat. But if there would be anything to the talk of human rights in the West, we are miles away from the average Chinese.
Europe should then somehow sway Iran to their side a move that would block China's proxy fight. It is really important with a peaceful solution for this equation and it is very probable that Europe would win in fair competition with China in Iran. Interestingly, this would mean going China's way on Iran which is what China probably does not want the West to do. They gamble on conflict which suits them better. A friendly Iran means a friendly Turkey and friendly diasporas in Europe. It would make the Middle East more peaceful. Both Russia and China are trying to rule by divide in Europe. China sees itself starting a new Asian dynasty and would not mind a lower grade Eurabia, although I personally don't think there is a risk for this development.
However, due to a low interest by Europeans in the G1+G1 'affairs' and due to a problem of a disunited Europe, the EU should follow the lead of the US, while still acting alone. The problem is that if the elites of Europe realize this the average European is very local in her thinking, at least according to available statistics. Therefore I see a great need for an EU minister in Sweden that can paint up the greater picture for the Swedes in that they will become true Europeans. Without even a pan-European television channel and a common language, this is a very difficult job.