Monthly Archives: March 2015

The new nuclear arms race: Why is it that governments are re-investing in nuclear weapons and capabilities, that are broadly futile for inner-state and asymmetrical conflicts?

Hardly anybody talks about it, but nation states are again investing a lot of money in their nuclear capabilities. After the end of the Cold War, nukes were apparently losing their fatal attraction. Now this has been reversed. The U.S., China and Russia are all introducing new attack weapons, but also BMD (ballistic missile defense) systems. Dozens of billions of dollars are invested here for modernization and upgrading.
If this is compatible with the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which commits the member states to eliminate nukes or to at least show good faith to eliminate them, is doubtful. In addition, the club of the five nuclear states after WW2 is expanding, and keeps expanding (Israel, Pakistan, India, North Korea, possibly Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, etc.).
No wonder that the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has just moved their famous “doomsday clock” (symbolically telling us how far we are from total destruction) two minutes closer to midnight. It´s now three minutes to midnight – the closest since 1983.

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How can we explain the disastrous handling of MH370 by applying International Relations theories?

Exactly a year ago, MH370, the doomed flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, disappeared. Not delayed, so far not destroyed, it just got lost.

Among anger and sorrow from friends and relatives of the 239 passengers and crew that disappeared, the performance of the governments involved in solving the puzzle hasn’t looked good – Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, and China. Stuff happens. A catastrophe of such magnitude without any clues is truly exceptional, and therefore also, obviously, ripe with conspiracy theories.

So our question for this week is: putting aside technical matters, conspiracies and wild speculations, how can we explain such a disastrous handling of an event by applying International Relations theories?

Image credit: Flickr user Paul Rowbotham

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