Is There A New Nuclear Arms Race?

Episode of: The Inquiry

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Apr 14, 201522m
Is There A New Nuclear Arms Race?
Apr 14 '1522m
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Later this month 190 nations will meet in New York to discuss the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), 45 years after it came into force. The Treaty prompted several aspiring nuclear-weapon nations to give up trying to get the bomb, but it also committed nuclear-weapon states like Russia and the US to pursue disarmament. Progress has been made. Overall stocks of nuclear warheads have dropped significantly. But is that the whole story? Both the US and Russia have committed huge sums – over a long timescale – to modernise their arsenals. One expert tells The Inquiry that these modernisation programmes amount to a new nuclear arms race - one which is creating a new generation of less powerful but more accurate weapons. Some argue that such ‘tactical’ weapons are more likely to be used. Another expert witness tells us that the failure of nuclear-weapon states to disarm threatens the NPT itself. And we hear disturbing testimony about the nuclear stand-off between India and Pakistan and a terrifying account of a largely forgotten incident in 1995 when the world came within two minutes of nuclear annihilation. (Photo: Explosion nuclear bomb in ocean. Credit: Romolo Tavani/Shutterstock)

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