Almost every country tries to extend their military arsenals
Is it possible to say that the world has become a safer place? A person, who stands up and says such a thing, will most likely be considered either a lunatic, or someone, who pursues certain goals. Such situation can be currently observed in the USA, where the incumbent president is represented as a leader within the framework of the election campaign – the leader, who can effectively struggle against terrorism and guarantee safety to Americans. Bush has probably made Americans' lives safer, although it cannot be said so about other countries.
It doesn't, however, go about George W. Bush, or his accomplishments in the anti-terrorist struggle. It was reported last month that the number of wars reduced in the world. Moreover, the number of wars has been going down for a decade already. This conclusion was made by two organizations – the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and the Canadian peace group Project Ploughshares. The research, ordered by the US congress, showed that arms sales were going down in the world, especially as far as poor countries were concerned.
Maybe, it is possible that the amount of local conflicts has reduced, even considerably. However, it does not mean that the number of war casualties has dropped too. Vice versa, the number of victims is constantly growing. Not all experts agree with conclusions of the Swedish and Canadian peace institutes. “There are certain indications of the fact that the arms race is gathering steam again, although it slowed down before. It is becoming dangerous,” Sergey Ordzhonikidze, the Secretary General of the UN Conference on Disarmament, told RIA Novosti.
According to Ordzhonikidze, many states spend a lot of money on accumulating and saving their arsenals instead of accelerating strategic disarmament processes. The secretary general also said that his organization had not made any important decision during seven years of his stay at the position.
Sergey Ordzhonikidze gave the following explanation to the problem: “Most serious decisions on the issues of strategic disarmament were made during the Cold War period. Now the situation has changed. There is no 'cold war,' there are no blocs, the states do not oppose each other strategically, they do not want to destroy each other. The notion of danger has altered to a certain extent. There is no imminent threat to the countries' existence, that is why the attitude to disarmament has changed morally, psychologically and politically,” the official said.
One may come to the following conclusion. The opposition between the USSR and the USA during the Cold War era jeopardized not only the two countries, but the whole world. Now it seems that there is no such danger. However, the world has not become a safer place. Obviously, there is no distinct opposition between the two superpowers and their allies; there is no more counterbalance system. A lot of countries are concerned about their own security and they try to guarantee it with their own efforts, which eventually gave a new turn to the arms race. To put it in a nutshell, everyone arms against everyone – against terrorists, neighbors, the USA, etc.
The humanity has been trying to solve disarmament problems for more than just several years. It started long before the Cold War era. Two peace conferences took place in The Hague at the end of the 19th – in the beginning of the 20th century. The two conferences were devoted to the restriction of armies in the world. All members of the conferences, however, started extending their arsenals afterwards. The world is still inside this vicious circle: the growing spending on arms is followed with a conference on disarmament and ends with a new stage of the arms race. The non-proliferation control can be considered the only accomplishment, albeit it has a lot of nuances too.
One has to acknowledge that the approach to the issue has not changed since the 19th century. The invention of nuclear arms brought more responsibility, of course, but the fear of the total destruction is apparently fading away. Otherwise, the USA would not debate an opportunity to use tactical nuclear arms, and India and Pakistan would not threaten each other with nuclear blows during a recent diplomatic conflict.