US President, BarrackObama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last October. A move received with much skepticism. Almost six months later, Obama is proving his credentials by going further than any other President in history has, by ensuring the world would be a safer place.
His 47 nation nuclear summit, due to conclude on Tuesday, has been a major success. Countries across theworld have avowed peace. From sanctioning Iran, which was imminent, to Ukraine giving up its stocks of highly enriched weapons grade uranium. While unstable nuclear countries like Pakistan will do more, with US help, to ensure that the weapon of mass destruction stay out of terrorist hands. Israel, they never claimed to have any.
In his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, Obama had said “our actions matter, and can bend history . . .” So have his actions proved thus far. Signing a historic deal with Russia only a week ago, saw two of the world’s biggest nuclear arsenals cut down considerably. With a collective arsenal of over 15, 000 nuclear bombs between them, the new deal will see the deployed arsenal cut to 3100 warheads.
Ironically, the United States and Russia alone have the capability, to nuke the globe 100 times over – even with reduced deployment. However, the treaty and other commitments made at the summit are proof of just why Obama was handed that peace prize.
Iran and Pakistan are the most pressing of concerns for Obama now. However, he cannot have his world peace till he also tackles Israel over the subject. Pyongyang’s arsenals, for some reason, have been shoved into the background. Non proliferation must be dealt in a manner that serves universal justice.
Obama is very easily piling the pressure on Iran with even China, finally agreeing over sanctions on Iran. This comes a bit after Holbrooke admitted that Iran does not have the capability to make nuclear weapons. On the moral level that seems to be a good idea. Less countries that get it, the fewer the nations you have to convince to stop. In the region, however that creates instability given the “undeclared” arsenal of Israel. Obama must concentrate towards this searing problem. Until Israel gives up their arsenal, Iran cannot be convinced otherwise.
The last point of Obama’s agenda in the summit was proliferation - to keep the arsenal out of wrong hands. Ukraine was the holding area for much of nuclear fissile material produced under the iron curtain and the site for the most horrific nuclear disaster since the bomb, Chernobyl. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Ukraine made a living by disposing off the mass cold war stockpiles of weapons (250 warheads were also black marketed in 1992). Nuclear proliferation was also done to make some money on the sides. Pyongyang, Islamabad, Tripoli and now Tehran, owe their nuclear ambitions in part to the nuclear wealth of Ukraine in some ways. While the commodity is closely monitored, it is a weapon waiting to be exploited by the wrong people.
This is where Pakistan features prominently. The argument is that the civilian government is too unstable to be trusted while the army has leanings towards fundamentalism and can change sides on the flip of a coin, and the terrorists are banging on the door, ready to take over. But for all intents and purposes, that is under control. What is not is the fact that Pakistan’s neighbor, and main threat comes from another nuclear tipped country, India. India and Pakistan have three of the world’s most populous cities, contributing with Mumbai (2nd most populous), Karachi (3rd most populous) and New Delhi (4th most populous). Here, terror is often state sponsored. A dirty bomb would be more catastrophic than Hiroshima or Nagasaki combined in these mega cities.
Indeed, Obama was right when he said that he would not see a nuclear weapon-free world in his lifetime. However, he, with his pre empted peace prize and the ground breaking steps, has set the path that will finally rid the world of a weapon that brings the ultimate fear.