The recent restarting of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with Russia as a prologue to next week’s nuclear summit in Washington of about 47 nations some of which are and others not signatories of the non-proliferation (NPT) and comprehensive test ban treaties (CTBT) to discuss the American position on nuclear weapons and to commit, perhaps, the rest of the world to that view point. The promised reduction of about 30% of strategic nuclear weapons is presumed to occur, ceteris paribus (disappointingly, U.S missile defense posture has also not changed), within the 10-year duration of the new treaty.
The Summit, scheduled symbolically after the weekend of April 10th when King James I of England and the King James Bible chartered the Virginia companies of London and Plymouth, appears to want to agree on a Mayflower Compact on all matters nuclear, to make the nuclear and potentially nuclear nations self-governing on the dangers of nuclear proliferation and the responsibilities associated with being nuclear powers.
The Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) World Fact Book sees overpopulation as a major threat to global stability in this century. The nuclear summit might just as well be called a population summit given that the Pentagon four star general James Jones is leading the National Security Council (NSC) to which the CIA has important input.
The maintenance of existing nuclear stockpiles and fissile material control, with no new nuclear weapons production, subject to gradual reduction (he is not using the word “elimination”) over intergenerational time raises the question as to why he is not taking the high ground of committing the nations of the world to eliminating them far sooner than over several generations. After all, the Democrats and a few of his cabinet members such as Timothy Geithner, the Secretary of Treasury of the United States, are known to have opposed Ronald Reagan’s buildup when they were in college.
When the absence of principle in the nuclear posture is seen in the light of the population concerns among four of the five permanent United Nations Security Council members, United States, Russia, France and United Kingdom whose combined population is one-half of the Chinese population, China being the fifth member, the intergenerational rationale behind the U.S nuclear posture becomes clear: nuclear weapons in countries with majority but declining white populations of European descent as a deterrent against countries with growing non-white populations eager to economically develop.
The implicit trade-off between these two groups of countries sitting around the table next week in Washington seems to be to agree to eliminate all weapons of mass destruction if they can commit not to harm each other even as the balance of their economic futures changes over the course of this century.
The reality of geopolitics as it stands now is that the capacity of the wealthier G7 to determine the standards of living of the remaining G20 countries is exhausted because of the mistake of American overextension by Clintonomics in the ‘90s which overestimated, in its complacency, America’s capacity to raise the standards of living elsewhere around the world on American terms: the economic equivalent of global missile defense.
Had this not been the case, the trade-off for the more populous non-white world would have been to live far less well-off lives for the whites to give up nuclear weapons. Therefore, the minority white countries are now hedging the risk of the emerging non-white economies of the world potentially dominating global affairs by holding on to their nuclear arsenals, never mind that Harry Truman had made a bad decision to begin with when he had bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki or that the scientists working on the Manhattan Project, albeit academically enthused, were keenly aware of the Pandora’s box that they had opened.
The real risk facing the countries with mostly white populations is the culture of social liberalism, particularly since the ‘60s, coexisting with rising living standards. Economic development has the tendency to depress population replacement rates and when combined with predominantly socially liberal cultures, the few wealthy conservatives who typically have more children cannot adequately compensate for the tendentiousness toward smaller households and declining marriage rates.
The billion or so white populations around the world, even after the inexorable economic integration of the non-white countries, would be further in the minority if the social liberal culture in Europe, United States and Canada does not change to favor larger white populations. The stagnation or decline of white population, given the cultural stasis in the West which is trending toward ever more cultural liberalism, is just as inexorable as the economic integration of the non-white countries.
The non-white countries would win the end game without firing a shot even if they embrace the superficial glitziness of Western cultural liberalism that is a result of the tendency in capitalist consumerism to pander to the baser instincts of human nature. The decline in their population growth rates as a result of their economic development and aging will still leave them with substantially larger and wealthier populations by the end of the century relative to the West, except that their cultures would be compromised similar to the cultures in the West. By carefully adapting capitalism and democracy to their societies they would be both wealthier and culturally richer, a prospect that should be just as appealing to the West, given the population risk it faces.
Connecting the world’s cultures and peoples is a wise course to chart for all of the nuclear aspirants rather than give in to the geopolitics of mutual nuclear and economic deterrence. Next week the leaders of the various countries congregating in Washington must commit to extending the ban on chemical and biological weapons to nuclear weapons, whether the United States wants the same or not.
The President of the United States, Barack Obama, can commit the world to a path of eliminating nuclear weapons if he wills so, during his presidency, not over intergenerational time.