Five Plus Three: How to Have a Meaningful and Helpful Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty

By Christopher A. Ford

The Obama administration has stated its intention to conclude a treaty cutting off production of fissile material, highly enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium, for nuclear weapons. So did the administrations of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Although a fissile material cutoff treaty (FMCT) has been a key objective of the UN Conference on Disarmament (CD) for many years, that organization seems unable to break out of its now customary paralysis.[1] This experience should encourage the Obama administration, if indeed it wants such a treaty, to look to another forum for realization. More importantly, it may be vital for the new U.S. administration to take a different approach because pursuit of an FMCT as currently contemplated at the CD might well have the ironic and presumably unintended consequence of gravely undermining the nuclear nonproliferation regime. Fortunately, such a new approach may well be available.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Representatives of the previous Bush administration, and the author of this article specifically, used to stress that it was naive to try to pretend that North Korea was still a member of the NPT. How would the author today suggest that North Korea be dealt with in the context of his proposal?