An Award for the Collapse of Nuclear Disarmament

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October 9, 2017
Jeffrey Lewis

The following is an excerpt from Foreign Policy

ICAN launch in Melbourne (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) has won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. The award was given to ICAN “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons.”

I have nothing but sincere and heartfelt congratulations for ICAN — and not just because Beatrice Fihn, ICAN’s executive director, has been a guest on the Arms Control Wonk podcast. (Although it helps.)

My reaction, though, seems to be in the minority. The United States, of course, isn’t going to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which pretty much aims to do what its name says. And there are legitimate reasons to worry that the treaty, which ICAN was instrumental in developing, represents a desultory end to the world’s enthusiasm for nuclear disarmament, rather than some new dawn of a better age.

And yet for the all the reasons one might have for skepticism about ICAN’s win, I see something else in the sneering responses — something familiar, something ugly.

Read the full article at Foreign Policy

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