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Members of the United Nations Security Council should strictly enforce the Nuclear NPT

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/27/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,906 times Debate No: 14163
Debate Rounds (4)
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RESOLUTION: Members of the United Nations Security Council should strictly enforce the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

Since this round is just for the challenge, I'll just thank darkkermit in advance for accepting and the judges in advance for bothering to read this debate.


Good luck to my opponent. Also thanks to the judges and Johnicle for creating this tournament.
Debate Round No. 1


Probably should've mentioned this earlier, but oh well. This debate is part of a debate tournament ( Please only vote on this debate if you are one of the tournament judges.

Members of the UN Security Council—China, Russia, France, UK, US, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Gabon, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, Turkey, Uganda [5]

Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty—This treaty is an attempt to limit the spread of nuclear weapons. It has three main pillars: 1) non-proliferation of nuclear arms 2) disarmament of already created nuclear arms and 3) the right to peacefully use nuclear technology. Today, its main relevance is in Pakistan, India, Iran, and North Korea

==Pakistan and Terrorism==
This is perhaps the clearest example of a government that should not have nuclear weapons. Pakistan is a corrupt and nearly failed state. Even the current government, installed and controlled by the U.S., isn't working with us. Recent Wikileaks cables show that the Pakistani government has been actively aiding insurgents. [1] Others show that there's widespread fear that the ineffective and corrupt Pakistani government won't be able to keep nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists. [2] Standing by and doing nothing is not an option. If terrorists are able to get their hands on nukes, they'll almost certainly use them against Israel or the United States, causing unimaginable amounts of death and destruction.

==Pakistan and India==
Another problem of nuclear weapons in this region is the potential for a nuclear exchange between Pakistan and India, if something were to set off their long-standing hatred of each other. Right now, the risk of this isn't particularly high, but any risk is too much when you consider that the consequences of such an exchange could be hundreds of millions of deaths.

Iran is yet another shining example of a country that should be stopped from obtaining nuclear weapons. Iran has repeatedly rebuffed the international communities attempts to observe and control its nuclear program, while also threatening to "wipe Israel off the map." [3] Iran's leaders publicly state that their nuclear program is for energy use only, but this claim is highly suspicious. Iran's leaders, with their religious fundamentalism and their belligerent attitude toward the world, particularly Israel, simply cannot be trusted on their word.

And if their claim that they only want to use nuclear energy for peaceful means is sincere, then there is no conflict between this and the UN "strictly enforcing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty," as the treaty specifically protects the right of countries to peacefully use nuclear energy. Iran would just have to cooperate with the international community, and allow UN inspectors to make sure that peaceful energy creation really is their intention.

==North Korea==
Here, the government not only obtained nuclear weapons, but has repeatedly threatened to use them. N. Korea is becoming increasingly belligerent and unpredictable, as demonstrated by their recent bombing of civilians in S. Korea. [4] While international pressure hasn't worked well against them before, that's only because China refused to go along with it. If China were to cooperate with the other members of the UN security council, the terms of the Non-Proliferation treaty could be enforced.

=="Strictly Enforce"==
This does not mean go to war with all of the above countries. The treaty can be enforced through entirely diplomatic and peaceful means. The U.S. has tried to pressure North Korea and Iran into giving up nuclear weapons, but it doesn't work, because other countries, particularly China and Russia, refuse to cooperate. While it's true that China and Russia are unlikely to change their minds about working with the U.S. on this issue any time soon, my argument is merely that they *should*, not that they will.

There are plenty of non-war ways the treaty could be enforced. Trade sanctions and other diplomatic means of pressure could be an option. Perhaps in countries that wanted nuclear power for peaceful means, the UN could send in specialists to aid them and to make sure that the technology wasn't used for weapons.







Thanks again to my opponent for his response.

Nuclear Peace

From the creation of the first nuclear weapon in 1945 to present day, a span of over 65 years, there has only been two nuclear bombs dropped. One in August 6th and one during august 9th 1945. During that time, there was only one country that owned nuclear weapons, the United States. From August 9th, 1945 to the present there has not been a single nuclear bombed dropped despite an increase in the amount of nuclear weapons and countries that own them.

Countries do not aim to achieve nuclear weapons to use them offensively, but rather to protect themselves against foreign adversaries. Fear is a strong motive. Nations would not risk using nuclear warheads, knowing that others also have warheads and would retaliate. It would be irrational for a leader to put themselves and their nation at risk by launching a nuclear missile.

Hence, this might explain why there has not been a major world war since 1945, and a nuclear warhead has not been used since 1945. Instead of the cold war turning into a full scale war, instead it was just proxy wars. No two sides engaged against one another, despite tensions. The only case of war between two countries with nuclear weapons was during the Kargil War between Pakistan and India. Even during the war, neither country engaged in nuclear war and peace came quickly.

Nuclear Non-proliferation treaty supports nuclear weapons

The nuclear non-proliferation treaty does not call for an end for nuclear weapons. Instead it states that 5 countries can own nuclear weapons: The United States, France, the United Kingdom, and China. One must ask why these five countries? Is it because they can for some reason be trusted not to use them? The United States has already used two. Is it because these countries are "peaceful"? Hardly.The United Kingdom and France owned colonies that exploited states resources[1]

Here is only a brief examples of the wars fought after world war II. The United States and French fought wars in Vietnam, the Soviet Union fought a war against Afghanistan, and the United Kingdom's fought a war against Argentina during the Falklands war. Is it because these countries are more "democratic"? Russia and China are both very corrupt. Before the present, these countries were even worse. Joseph Stalin was a ruthless dictator that killed millions, some even estimating up to 60 million [2]. He purged those who would oppress him and banish others to the terrors of Siberia. He was mentally unstable and a tyrant. Present day china is known for its restriction on freedom speech [3] and inhumane working condition s. [4] There is no peaceful relationship between these country. There is still strong tension between the United States and China. There was a lot of tension between the United States and Russia during the cold war, and still some today.

Other WMDs

By removing the ability of countries to obtain nuclear weapons, countries will find other ways to produce weapons of mass destruction.

Other weapons of mass destruction have effects as worse if not more worse than nuclear weapons. A notorious example include biological agents. It would take less than 2 kg of the toxin produced by Clostridium Botulinum to kill the entire world's population.[5] Unlike nuclear weapons, biological agents of war can spread to kill those unattended. Just imagine if Ebola, with a 90% mortality rate was used as a weapon.

Issues of terrorist owning a nuclear missile

It would be very unlikely that a terrorist would be able to infiltrate a military base, steal a nuclear missile, and be unnoticed. At the very best, a terrorist could be able to steal plutonium or uranium (also heavily

National Sovereignty

Each country has the right to national sovereignty, which includes the right to raise a military and defense. Owning nuclear weapons is part of raising a military. It might even be less costly for states to uphold a military, if they have nuclear weapons (countries with nuclear weapons are less likely to be attacked).

Issues of enforcement

Setting up trade sanctions would only harm and kill the citizens of these countries, unfairly punishing them. This was the case in Iraq, where death rates where hundreds of thousands of children in Iraq died due to the economic sanctions. Economic sanctions is not a merciful alternative to war, but a very cruel punishment[6].

Nuclear Weapons created in secrecy

Enforcing the nuclear non-proliferation act would only cause countries to hide their nuclear weapon programs, not discourage creating them.

Debate Round No. 2


==re: Nuclear Peace==
Con is correct in saying that no rational leader would ever actually use a nuclear weapon. But, as I mentioned before, the countries this treaty would be enforced against aren't led by rational people. The problem this treaty tries to address isn't Western countries with nukes, it's religious fundamentalists in Iran getting nukes, or terrorists getting access to Pakistani nukes, or Kim Jong Il using his nukes in his ever-growing conflict with South Korea.

==re: Supports Nuclear Weapons==
This point is completely irrelevant. The Non-Proliferation treaty doesn't say that it's a good thing that those 5 countries have nuclear weapons. It is limited in scope, because it would be politically impossible for the UN to abolish nukes in those countries. It doesn't condone things that are outside of its scope—it just has nothing to do with those things, one way or the other.

==re: Other WMDs==
Again, this is outside of the scope of the treaty, and is irrelevant. Yes, other WMDs can be made. But that's a separate problem for a separate debate.

==re: Terrorist access to missiles==
Con underestimates the corruption and incompetence of the Pakistani government. It would be nearly impossible for a terrorist to access an American nuclear weapon, but a Pakistani one? Many in the current Pakistani government are currently aiding terrorists. [1] As American bombings in Pakistan continue, support for Americans decreases and support for the insurgents increases.

==re: National Sovereignty==
Countries don't have rights, only individuals can have rights. Even if it were possible for governments to have rights in places such as the U.S. and other democracies, this surely cannot apply to brutal dictatorships such as Iran and North Korea. These governments are clearly nothing more than bands of violent criminals, have have no rights to "sovereignty" over the land they're currently occupying.

==re: Issues of enforcement==
Trade sanctions aren't necessarily as devastating as they were in Iraq. The Iraqi trade sanctions included restrictions of food, vital supplies for transporting clean water, and other unnecessary restrictions. [2] New sanctions could be more focused, and wouldn't need to be as indiscriminately devastating.

In addition, trade sanctions are one option among many. Carrots could be used instead of sticks—bribing leaders into not having nukes. Peaceful diplomatic channels have failed in the past, but mostly because China and Russia refused to cooperate. Rogue countries don't have much of an incentive to cooperate if it's only the U.S. that cares, and the rest of the world is fine with letting them do whatever they want.




*Nuclear Peace*

If my analysis is correct, then more nations should be allowed nuclear weapons. However the NPT only allows 5 nations to own them.

Pro agrees that a rational leader would not use nuclear weapons, since a nuclear attack would only cause a retaliation attack. However, he believes some leaders are too foolish. This could be further from the truth. Even countries run by dictators would not be stupid enough to use a nuclear weapon. A dictator must be very calculated and intelligent if he wants to stay in power. Kim Jong Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are both leaders that have evaded assassination attempts from rebels and America's foreign policy's attempt to remove them from office. They would not be foolish enough to act in a manner that would obviously not be in their best interest.

Joseph Stalin was a man that was much more power hungry, mentally unstable, and brutal then Kim John Il or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. A more heated conflict existed between America and Soviet Union than any other modern day conflict. However, not only did the Nuclear Nonproliferation treaty allow these countries to own nuclear weapons, but a nuclear strike never occurred.

It would be absurd to think that these leaders would use nuclear weapons offensively. If they wanted to, they would have done it already. Rather, they use them defensively, to protect themselves from an attack.

*Terrorist Access to Nuclear Weapons*

Pro doubts that terrorist could access nuclear weapons in the United States yet has doubts about Pakistan. His reasoning: Pakistan government has aided terrorist. This is non sequitur. How does aiding insurgencies undermine Pakistan's nuclear security? America has aided terrorists in the past yet terrorist would never have access to our nukes. We aided the mujahedeen in 1978, modern day Taliban.[1] Today, it aids MEK, an organization recognized as a terrorist organization worldwide [2], even by the US. Many more examples of America sponsoring terrorism exist [3].

Pakistan safely guards its nuclear equipment. It's in their best interest to. Aiding insurgencies would not cause a country to send terrorist nuclear missiles.

*Other WMDs*

This is very relevant. I would assume, that based on this debate, you would also be for the restriction of other WMDs. We could possibly restrict other WMDs, however states will still have a demand for WMDs. If states cannot use nuclear weapons, it would be much easier to conceal a biological weapon. A program to develop biological weapons can easily be concealed as a biotech or biology research lab. If I had to choose between two evils, an uncontrolled infectious virus and a nuclear attack, I would choose the latter. If a nuclear bomb occurs, thousands, even millions could die, but no more. If a biological attack were to occur, due to the uncontrolled nature of an attack, who knows how many would die? Infections and diseases are already the 2nd highest cause of death in the world [4]. Even before the invention of genetically modified superviruses and bacteria, disease almost wiped out the Native Americans and wiped out almost half of Europe during the black plague.

*National Sovereignty*

Nations have rights. If individuals have rights, then nations receive their rights from the consent of the people. People would be better off governed then in anarchy, and thus individuals give up their rights for the state's right to govern them. A nation needs to provide security to its people. This includes defense against foreign threats. Nuclear weapons are part of this defense. Even if a nation is under a dictatorship, the people can still rebel.

*NPT Supports Nuclear Weapons*

This point is very relevant. The nuclear non proliferation treaty allows these countries to own nuclear weapons. Thus, the treaty states it is not bad for these nations to own them. Con's excuse is that it would be impossible for these countries to disarm, even though he does not explain why. Disallowing other countries from owning nuclear weapons is hypocritical and bad. Nuclear strikes would be more likely to occur if only a few countries own them, proven by the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Not to mention this leaves other nations weak and defenseless against the nuclear club.


CON does not address that enforcing the NPT would only cause nations to hide their nuclear weapons programs, not discourage creation. Nuclear weapon programs could easily be disguised as nuclear energy or research programs.

Trade sanctions are designed to devastate civilians and will always punish them unfairly. If they didn't, they would not be effective.

If peaceful diplomatic channels have failed in the past, why would they would work now? CON tries to find *peaceful* ways to enforce the NPT, however one cannot and these polices are not strict.[1][2][3]
Debate Round No. 3


==Nuclear Peace==
Con misses the point here. I don't think leaders such as Kim Jong Il and Ahmadinejad are foolish enough to use nukes, I think that they're crazy/evil/whatever. Iran threatens to "wipe Isreal off the map", then wants nukes. Maybe that isn't a serious threat, maybe they won't actually do it. But that isn't something we can just take chances with.

It doesn't matter that the US also aided terrorists. The US is a stable, 1st-world democracy. Pakistan is aiding terrorists, and is nearly a failed state. The US government is not in danger of collapsing any time soon; the Pakistani government is.

==Other WMDs==
"I would assume, that based on this debate, you would also be for the restriction of other WMDs." Correct. But, the resolution is only about nukes, so this is outside the scope of the resolution.

==National Sovereignty==
The governments mentioned do not have the "consent of the people."
The individuals in those countries never gave up their rights to their governments. In Iran, when given the choice, they threw out Ahmadenijad--but the government rigged the election and violently cracked down on anyone that protested. That is not consent.

==Supports Nuclear Weapons==
"Thus, the treaty states it is not bad for these nations to own them"
No, it does not. As I said, the treaty says nothing about those nations--it is nuetral on the issue. Maybe they should have nukes, maybe they shouldn't. But it doesn't matter--this issue is out of the scope of the treaty and this debate.

If the treaty is enforced, countries could not hide their nukes--that's the point of the treaty. The idea is to get UN inspectors in to make sure they can't hide weapons as nuclear energy research programs, as Iran is doing now.

Trade sanctions do not necessarily devastate civilians--poorly executed ones just have in the past. They can be targetted to not ban essentials. In addition, I offered alternatives--using carrots instead of sticks, diplomatically. Instead of punishing those that don't go along with the treaty, we can reward those that do, or a combination of the two.


Thanks again to LasseizFaire for participating in the debate tournament, the judges, and a special thanks to Johnicle. Remember only judges can vote.

==Nuclear Peace==
"I don't think leaders such as Kim Jong Il and Ahmadinejad are foolish enough to use nukes."
My opponent has conceded. My main point was that nations would be unlikely to use the nuclear weapons.

PRO's statement about Pakistan as a failed state and collapsing is unsubstantiated. Pakistan has a medium human development index and improving in development, not failing[1]. Aiding terrorism means nothing, since the US does it all the time. PRO has not provided logical evidence that terrorist would likely steal a bomb. This issue of terrorist accessing nuclear weapons is refuted.

==Other WMDs==
I have shown why this is relevant, since banning nuclear weapons would cause countries to build other WMDs. Extend analysis that there will always be a demand for WMDs. Biological weapons can be hidden easier the nuclear programs and can cause more damage.

==Supports Nuclear Weapons==
It allows these 5 nations to own nuclear weapons. It's in the treaty. That's very relevant to this debate, since we are discussing the nuclear NPT. Extend my analysis that the nuclear NPT is hypocritical. Allowing 5 arbitrary nations to own nuclear weapons is bad. These nations can inflict terror on non-nuclear nations. Also extend analysis that if only a small amount of nations own nuclear weapons, nuclear warfare is more likely to occur.

==National Sovereignty==
However, given the choice between anarchy and an unelected leader, people would choose an unelected leader. I might prefer steak instead of bologna; however I would prefer bologna instead of no food at all. PRO has not refuted my analysis that nations prefer security, and nuclear weapons ensure security from foreign threats.

Enforcement does not guarantee nations won't hide their nukes. Drug smuggling is enforced, yet that does not mean it does not occur. The whole purpose of trade sanctions is to devastate a civilian population. That's the purpose. Enforcement involves punishment. Punishment must in some way cause harm.
Providing monetary incentives to end nuke programs would be devastatingly expensive to be effective. The opportunity cost for nations to own nuclear weapons is at least in the billions, perhaps trillions. This would encourage nations to start nuclear programs, in order to receive bribe money to stop the program. Also, why wouldn't a country just take the money and continue the nuclear program?

PRO does not refute important statements. He describes them as irrelevant, even though I have clearly emphasized their importance.
The nuclear NPT is detrimental to the world's security at large. Nuclear weapons prevent warfare and nations would not be foolish enough to use them. My opponent even agreed with this statement. The treaty undermines what is in the best interest of other nations, and its people. The treaty is hypocritical and does not deter nuclear weapons at all. It creates incentives for nations to create WMDs that are more dangerous.

Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by gavin.ogden 5 years ago
Great debate, both of you. Thanks a lot.

Conduct: DRAW. No ad hom or unfavorable conduct.
Spelling/Grammar: DRAW. Maybe a mistake here or there, but nothing worthy of a point swing.
Arguments: PRO. The proof is in the pudding. He is correct when he states that these men have proved they cannot be trusted, and also pro asserted that these codes need to be enforced diplomatically. Con's arguments were reasonable, but did not overshadow Pro's logic.
Sources: PRO. After reviewing the sources and relating them to their corresponding arguments, I estimate that Pro's sources were the most reliable and/or unbiased.

Again, thanks Guys.
Posted by darkkermit 5 years ago
sorry, but the last source got cut off, even though i still had a very characters remaining. The correct source for the last is:

not a unicyclist community.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: The tournament being over a long while ago, I am assuming the voting is open now. I think the strongest argument here was that Con showed that the NPT is hypocritical in allowing only 5 states to possess nuclear weapons and hence that the treaty was flawed in that aspect which justifies not strictly enforcing it. Pro's contentions about irrational leaders were countered by Con showing that Russia had irrational leaders as well and also that some states having nukes is harmful as shown by the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Pro's arguments about the US being a first world democracy fell apart when countered by the fact that the US is the only state to fire nuclear weapons and pakistan didn't. This wasn't mentioned in the debate but I would have liked to have seen more debate about India since none of Pro's objections would apply to it. It would be interesting to see how Pro justifies not strict enforcement of the NPT on India.
Vote Placed by ExNihilo 5 years ago
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Vote Placed by Sieben 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Obvious troll is obvious. Obvious counter troll is obvious.
Vote Placed by gavin.ogden 5 years ago
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