When most people talk of a world free of nuclear weapons, they generally focus discussion on the states that possess nuclear weapons. Ninety-five percent of the world, however, has decided not to pursue nuclear weapons, and they overwhelming view the bomb as inherently dangerous and destabilizing.
What if Americans were the ones without nuclear weapons and a well-stocked Iran was insisting that the United States couldn't have such weapons?
As Washington wrestles with several nuclear issues, it would be useful to view the nuclear issue from the perspective of countries who have never possessed, let alone used, nuclear weapons. The question for Americans to consider in that light is, what do nonnuclear weapon states want?
This month, the 189 countries party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1970 are meeting at United Nations headquarters for the NPT Review Conference. The conference, held every five years, aims to assess progress toward implementation of the NPT and to determine how the nonproliferation regime can be strengthened.