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Promoting Arms Control and Disarmament

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Message Jason Sibert
 

If one cares about peace and security through international law, we live in a scary world.

China is behaving in a belligerent manner in the South China Sea, Russia is interfering in the political systems of democratic nations, and authoritarianism is on the rise in democratic nations around the world. China, Russia, Turkey, and Iran are allied in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the United States, Japan, India, South Korea, and India project power through the Quadrilateral Security Dialog (an anti-China alliance). The U.S. also contains Russia through the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance which also includes Turkey.

Power balancing and high military budgets are the name of the game on the international stage today. Writers Richard Haas and Charles Kupchan who advocate a very workable internationalism in the story "A New Concert of Powers," give us a path forward for a world that seems unwilling to cooperate on the cause of a law-driven world. International law advocate Hugo Grotius - a Renaissance thinker - would pull his hair out at the power blocks and lack of cooperation emerging on the world stage. For the most part arms control and disarmament, very compatible with internationalism of the Grotian sort, are two forms of security that are often overlooked by the political establishment, although not entirely.

President Joe Biden recently extended the New START Treaty with Russia, a positive development. After almost experiencing a nuclear war in the Cuban Missile Crises, the United States and Russia engaged in a series of arms-control agreements to simmer Cold War tensions. Even before the Cold War, our country looked for ways to draw down the number of arms in the world. The Kellogg-Braid Pact, the 1929 pact that tried to outlaw war as a means of settling disputes, won Secretary of State Frank Kellogg the Nobel Peace Prize. The London Naval Treaty of 1930 sought to limit the number of surface war ships possessed by the U.S., Japan, France, and the United Kingdom. There are many other examples in American history.

Arms control and disarmament, although it has some proven success as well as some failures, has little appeal to the politicians and companies that rely on the military-industrial complex for jobs and contracts. Despite this fact, some within the diplomatic community, peace activists, and some arms-control-oriented segments of the national-security community, believe in this form of security. It's particularly important that this viewpoint win if we're to avoid even more power balancing on the part of the world's powers.

Political Affairs Officer for the Office for Disarmament Affairs of the United Nations Diane Barnes has released a series of videos on the importance of disarmament to security and peace. The #Intro2Disarmament series is designed to drive interest and build understanding of what disarmament is and how it works. The videos can be used to engage anyone with an interest in international peace and security. They are scheduled to be introduced on March 23.

This series of educations videos is available at: Click Here .

Jason Sibert is Executive Director of the Peace Economy Project

 

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Jason Sibert worked for the Suburban Journals in the St. Louis area as a staff writer for a decade. His work has been published in a variety of publications since then and he is currently the executive director of the Peace Economy Project.
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