Sunday, October 22, 2006

Nuclear Accountability

In an effort to expand the discussion on this thread regarding North Korea, I wanted to discuss the theory of “Nuclear Accountability”. I hadn’t heard about this until I came across an article in the Washington Post. In his article, “We Need a New Deterrent”, David Ignatius describes nuclear accountability as the logical replacement of our current non-proliferation position.

Using this policy, if a dirty bomb of some sort goes off on our soil, the United States would test the area to find where the original nuclear material came from. Once the source was determined, the United States would respond against the original country with “…devastating force.” For example, North Korea gives material to Iran, and Iran gives this same material to Hezbollah to use in a strike against America. A dirty bomb explodes in New York. We test the area and find a nuclear signature of some sort pointing at North Korea. The United States would launch a retaliatory strike against North Korea as if North Korea had launched a nuclear missile against the United States.

I believe this is a good policy, if it is used within the frame work of other policies. Our foreign policy towards developing “nuclear nations” must start with and attempt to spread democracy and work towards nuclear non-proliferation. I am not a big fan of bribes from the United Nations, but we should be at the negotiation table, or have parties that we feel can negotiate successfully with that nation. We should structure any foreign aid to the developing nuclear nation so that our aid is dependent on measurable progress towards democracy. Democracies don’t make war with other democracies.

Should this fail, as it appears to have with North Korea, we should continue to push these ideas, but remind the world of our new nuclear accountability program. In order to keep Iran from joining the nuclear group next, both the United States and the United Nations need to have policies that have teeth against any state that thumbs their nose at the US or UN. Perhaps a clear accountability program, that the United States is willing to follow, is what is really needed to make Iran and North Korea rethink their current nuclear ambitions.

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