Sunday, March 01, 2009

"The Nuclear Club"

On Sunday, the Associated Press reported Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, top military brass, contends Iran has enough "fissile material" to produce a nuclear weapon. Mullen added that the outcome would be "very, very bad" should Tehran proceed with their plans. We haven't heard that kind of language since Donald Rumsfeld, and the start of the war of hyperbole.

So, this seems to be as good a time as any to reflect on "the nuclear club," a group of nine counties which all share the dubious distinction of having acquired nuclear capabiity, or having been the first on their block to have detonated a nuclear weapon.

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty lists five of these nine states as nuclear weapon states, and they include, in order of seniority, the U.S., Russia, the U.K., France, and China. The U.S. and Russia, of course, are thought to have the greatest nuclear arsenal of all.

A former president, Jimmy Carter, has asserted that Israel has as many as 150 nuclear weapons, a claim that has yet to be denied, or confirmed.

Many other countries, like Saudi Arabia and Turkey, are also thought to have the wherewithal for nuclear proliferation.

Then, there are those nations that have already conducted nuclear testing include: India, Pakistan, and North Korea. These folks are higher up on the devolutionary food chain.

Thinking about the club of nine should come in handy whenever any top U.S. military official starts making noises about Iran's progress down the road of nuclear capability. How about having a non-proliferation pajama party at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Consider the irony that the country making the most noise about Iran and North Korea's nuclear stockpile is the one that has breached the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty more than any other, even Russia; yes, you guessed it, the United States.

So, what about that pajama party. After all, non-proliferation, like charity, begins at home.