chapter  2
25 Pages

The issue of arms control, disarmament, and non- proliferation

Background Since time immemorial, human beings have learned to use weapons to defend themselves from an animal attack or strive among themselves. In October 1648, nation-states were born. At the beginning of this Westphalian system, each country realized the importance of acquiring more (conventional) military power or hardwares in order to remain as a (respected) member or for the sake of expansion or having more clout in the international arena. In recent decades, each country has to think about its comprehensive power capability, such as acquiring non-conventional military power in order to remain as a (respected) member in this world. The finest example has to do with the Republic of India’s launch of the first of its five planned nuclear-powered, 6,000ton submarines, INS Arihant (Destroyer of Enemies), in July 2009, which is armed with torpedos and ballistic missiles, meaning that it possesses the second nuclear strike capability.1 There are more than 40 countries possessing submarines of one type or another, although only the PRC, the United States, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and France have three types of submarines: conventional submarines, nuclear-powered attack submarines, and submarines capable of launching ballistic missiles.2 However, the launching and, more importantly, the operation of an offensive weapon like a submarine, especially armed with nuclear weapons, are issues in themselves, because some countries may feel threatened and even a middle power can be destroyed after being attacked.3 Indeed, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan later branded India’s first nuclear-powered submarine “detrimental” to regional peace and vowed to take “appropriate steps” to maintain a “strategic balance.”4 Tensions remain.