The U.S. cannot take exception to the non-proliferation regime



The Chinese Foreign Ministry participated in the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) on August 29 while its diplomats endorsed the upholding of non-proliferation principles despite a lack of consensus among foreign governments. Upholding nuclear security is a global responsibility, but Washington is undermining it and contributing to greater instability worldwide.

Upholding the 52-year-old nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and related technologies has to be a collective mission to embrace among all nations. Additionally, no single state can take exception to the rules of non-proliferation.

The global security architecture will be threatened if a rules-based order gets replaced by promoting the so-called 'exceptionalism' doctrine, which favors narrow-minded geopolitical interests that oppose support for the NPT. Trends indicate that Washington is imperiling global security. The Biden administration maintains an estimated stockpile of close to 3,708 nuclear warheads for delivery by both aircraft and ballistic missiles in 2022. Biden's policy in 2022 is to allows for the "first use" of nuclear weapons as offensive rather than defensive posturing.

Washington continues to claim it remains committed to upholding non-proliferation norms while berating non-NPT signatory states including Pakistan and India for boosting the global arms race. The contradictions have become more obvious. Apparently, Washington is the single most important threat to the global non-proliferation regime in 2022 by prioritizing its parochial national interests rather than upholding global peace.

Take the successive nuclear posture reviews undertaken by the Obama and Trump administrations. Trump's 2018 NPR followed up on Obama's 2010 doctrine of modernizing America's entire nuclear arsenal. The Biden's NPR is not dissimilar from the Trump doctrine, which assumes a confrontational and assertive posture while embracing great powers' competition in 2022.

This stands in stark contrast to China, which is advancing the international nuclear arms control process and upholding the spirit of the NPT. Proposals, such as the Global Security Initiative or Global Development Initiative, did not came from the Biden administration. And to ensure that America's plans under successive NPRs can be ready for operationalization, the U.S. armed forces have conducted several nuclear related exercises in 2021 and 2022. This is not a recipe for peace either.

It's unfortunate that a member of the United Nations has not learned from its controversial history, but has undermined the international security order repeatedly.

The Clinton administration signed the Presidential Direction Directive 60 concomitantly with an American commitment to reduce nuclear weapons at the NPT Extension Conference in 1997. The Presidential Directive ensured that Washington will rely on nuclear weapons as a cornerstone of its national security for its "indefinite future." Meanwhile, the Biden administration has not signaled any intent to preserve the global strategic balance of security but has opted for offensive posturing.

Although the Biden administration cancelled an order to build nuclear armed sea-launched cruise missiles as proposed by Trump, Biden still approved modernization programs such as constructing new strategic bombers and intercontinental ballistic missiles as part of its arsenal.

Washington's record has proven that no state should be permitted to undermine non-proliferation principles. International peace will be undermined, if countries with legitimate security concerns do not maintain a consistent and responsible approach to their respective nuclear strategies. Upholding the central tenets of the NPT is a collective global responsibility and the duplicity conducted by Washington is a huge impediment to it.