A Cultural Perspective to Nuclear Proliferation

Sitting in my American Foreign Policy course, having exhausted our readings we jumped into current events, specifically Iranian-American relationships.  My question to a student was do you support nuclear proliferation? The following is a paraphrase of his answer: Considering they rule through a hereditary right and there is a theocratic government, we do not know what they are capable of. With Pakistan and India with nuclear weapons and Iran on its way, in no time will the rest of world will be on its way to acquire nuclear weapons and before you know it, they will be used.

The way I interpreted this is his unwillingness to see how it feels for nations to be a have not and being consistently dominated by America that have nuclear weapons. If anything, the Eastern countries could use the same argument and say, the West is aggressive and interventionist. We need all we can do to secure ourselves.  Is this really the way we want to go?  I was surprised by this student’s statement, because so far I felt he brought forward well thought out interpretations and arguments. I just could not make sense of how he does not see the animosity behind such reasoning to justify non-proliferation this way. In my opinion it was culturally insensitive comment to make. We are better than that now. Come on, already.

He’s basically saying, the legitimacy of Eastern leader is no good. The West has nuclear weapons and this is where we draw the line. I cannot deny the lack of accountability in the East of Leaders toward their people but in some way or another, his comment did hint at being comfortable with supremacy of West. That to me is disgusting. Hmm, there is something uncomfortable and wrong here.

Personally, I do not have this figured out. My heart says non-proliferation but I think my mind knows better and it says nuclear -proliferation is necessary to close the gap between the East and West. We will never have a free nuclear world anyways. If the rest of the world, especially if the East acquire nuclear weapons it would mean equality and would close the gap between the the West. Again, this is merely based on sentiments and I have yet to really grasp the complexity of both sides of the argument.

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