Use Incentives, Not Sanctions, To Head Off an Arms Race
08 Jun, 1998 · 108
Francois Heisbourg argues that as sanctions are not very effective, it is better to reward countries like Germany, Brazil, Japan, South Africa and Egypt which have showed restraint in going nuclear
Such measures are required both at the global and the regional levels. They should emphasize incentives rather than sanctions: Rewarding the virtuous many will be more effective than sanctioning the wayward few.
Global initiatives should build on two realities that the India-Pakistan tests have underscored.
First, it is necessary to recognize that it is unhealthy for the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council to also be the five declared nuclear powers.
This was not always the case. Indeed, none of the ''permanent five'' - including the
The political fact, though, is that the two categories have become identical. Precisely because of
Such an extension should not benefit that handful of states - including
Conversely, major nonnuclear regional powers that exercise international responsibilities, such as
Second, the declared nuclear powers should set an example by engaging in vigorous arms control measures: deeper cuts in the still overabundant American and Russian nuclear arsenals along with an international attempt to stop the production of all nuclear material destined for military use.
India appears to have expressed an interest in such a ''cutoff convention,'' which would have the political virtue of not discriminating among the five official nuclear powers (Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States) and those three states that have military nuclear programs (India, Pakistan and Israel).
At the regional level, it is a matter of absolute urgency that the Indian and Pakistani tests not lead to similar moves in
If, for instance,
President Bill Clinton's visit to
It remains to be seen whether the American president will sort out his priorities. Nuclear nonproliferation, human rights, respect of international property rights, reduction of the U.S. trade deficit with China, self-determination for Tibet - all are important, but it would be irresponsible to pretend that they can all be pursued without any trade-offs.
After the Pakistani tests, an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman was quoted as stating that the East Asian arms race ''has been caused by the weakness of the five nuclear powers' political will because they have failed to agree to the international community's wish for complete nuclear disarmament.''
Last but not least, the
India and Pakistan have not been deterred from testing by such sanctions, and the newly imposed sanctions will definitely not lead
An extract from International Herald Tribune,
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