Those countries who have developed their own WMD programs and have not signed various non-proliferation agreements, highlights this hypocrisy that is existing in the international community. Where, no one is willing to force new countries that develop their own WMD programs to commit to such standards. This is problematic, because it telling the world that those countries not committing to various non-proliferation efforts, can maintain their programs (in secrecy) despite the international standard that is in place. At which point, other nations will seek to start their own WMD programs, as they see this as a double standard. Where, you are not supposed to have these weapons, yet once you do they may not apply.
When you combine this with the fact, that those countries that have not signed various international accords are also not making such disclosures to the IAEA; will more than likely be inclined to pass this material onto to terrorists. Where, the lack of accountability can mean that the conditions are ideal for someone to sell various weapons and technology to these organizations. Then, there is also the possibility that various materials or weapons can purchased on the black market. This underscores, how the problem is continuing to become worse as time goes by. Unless new standards are in place and the international community agrees to follow / enforce them; means it will only be a matter of time until a WMD is used by one nation against another or in a terrorist attack. At which point, the various countries will more than likely do what it takes to have true non-proliferation efforts. Until that time, the status quo is highlighting how one day the above scenario will eventually occur.
The Conceptual Prospective for the Proliferation of WMD's
When you look at the different approaches towards the issue of WMD proliferation, there are several methods that have been use to address the issue the most notable would include: realism and neorealim. Realism is when you are taking a rational approach, to the issue by understanding that politics is affected by the forces of human nature. Where, there is no faith in the effectiveness of international institutions, to force compliance with various agreements. This is because there is the belief that the international community is increasingly chaotic. Instead, you must appeal to the country's own self-interest such as: their best interests of consolidating power and ensuring survival. At which point, you can have control of other states and their actions, by appealing to these basic principals of human nature. (Williams, 2007, pp. 945 -- 950) a good example of this theory in action can be seen during the Iran -- Iraq War. What happened was: the U.S. was engaging in a policy of realism towards both sides. Where, they did not want to support Khomeini, who was an enemy, while not wanting to see Hussein of Iraq succeed in his territorial ambitions. As a result, they would engage in a policy of providing technology and information on various WMD programs to Iraq. The idea was to give Iraq enough of an edge, that they can inflict heavy casualties on Iran, while not seeing overwhelming victory. This was occurring in the shadows of the Israeli air strike on the main facility for the country's nuclear program (Osrik). This would play a major role in helping to push both sides to build and maintain their own WMD programs. Where, Iran began to create their own programs, to counter any kind of possible threat from Iraq and Israel. This would push other countries to engage in similar programs, in response to the perceived threat from Israel and other nations seeking these weapons. In this situation, because the U.S. continued to fund the Iraq program, Iran and other countries in the region would seek to acquire this technology. What this shows, is that the use of realism helps to increase the proliferation of WMD's. This is because there is no effective standard in place, which increases the chances that the technology will be passed on to other countries. Then, when you combine this with the basic principal of each country acting based upon their own self-interest, shows that once one country has this technology, it is only a matter of time until others will acquire it. This is out of fears surrounding the possible use of these weapons against them in the future or the perceived invincibility (a country may have that possess them). At which point, the chances increase dramatically that the proliferation of WMDs will take place. In the above example, the use of realism failed to prevent the spread of WMD's, as the aggressive actions by the Israelis would increase these fears. Then, the United States and other countries providing support to Arab nations, wishing to acquire this technology, only makes the situation worse. In this particular case, realism is helpful in identifying the issue. Yet, when it comes to WMD proliferation, this theory only helps to perpetuate what is occurring. As a result, realism increases the possibility, that a number of nations will successfully acquire WMD's and that conflicts will increase among those nations that have this technology. (Gardner, 2007, pp. 81 -94)
Neorealism is when there is an emphasis on creating various international institutions and structures, to control the actions of different countries. Where, various treaties and agreements form basic the foundation of understanding. At which point, each nation will play an important part in helping to ensure stability, as part of this structure. If any kind of action is required for those countries that are not in compliance with the wishes of the international community, an approach of diplomacy is tried. If this fails, the use of force is possibility, with each member contributing accordingly. (Solomon, 2008, pp. 26 -- 28) When you examine the effectiveness of this theory, in regards to the proliferations of WMD's, this shows that the various agreement provide a basic foundation. Yet, with no effective way to enforce the different standards or the to engage those who violate them, only perpetuates the situation. A good example of this can be seen with how the world community continued to appease Adolph Hitler, in his territorial ambitions throughout the 1930's. Where, Germany agreed to abide by the Treaty of Versailles (ending World War I). However, as they continued to rearm, the League of Nations (the forerunner to the UN) would condemn his actions, but never take any steps to punish him. Over the course of time, this inability to enforce the agreement would eventually lead to war. (Walker, 2009, pp. 219 -- 246) While, no WMD's existed at the time, this example shows what happens when various international institutions fail to act. In this particular situation, the fact that the world community is not enforcing various international provisions, shows that it is only a matter of time until a war will occur between those countries that have WMD's. Where, one country will see the international community as weak, because they could avoid international standards and develop these weapons. This will lead to increased tensions, as the one country will believe that with WMDs and no follow up from the international community, they can do what they want. At which point, the chances increase dramatically that a conflict will occur.
Clearly, the current standards that are in place will lead to the proliferation of WMD's. This is because many players on the world stage; are taking either a realist or neorealist approach when it comes to the issue. This means that various international agreements in place, are not enforced and then you could have a situation, where many countries will act in their own self-interest. Over the course of time, this will lead to the proliferation of WMD's. That being said, to rectify the situation, the international community must enforce these different provisions and punish those who engage in the proliferation of this technology. Until such a standard can be reached, the proliferation of WMD's will continue. At which point, it is only a matter of time that a tragedy will occur.
Cimbala, S. (2005). Nuclear Weapons and Strategy. New York, NY: Routledge.
Gardner, H. (2007). Risks of Nuclear Proliferation. American Global Strategy and the War on Terrorism. (pp. 81 -94) Aldershot, UA: Ashgate.
Heng, Y. (2009). The Proliferation Security Initiative. Risk, Global Governance and Security. (pp. 87 -- 95). New York, NY: Routledge.
Lia, B. (2004). Weapons of Mass Destruction. Globalization and the Future of Terrorism. (pp. 39…