[eDebate] Sending out a trial ballon on proliferation as a 2007 topic area

scottelliott at grandecom.net scottelliott
Mon Oct 16 13:42:22 CDT 2006

This actually goes against my personal interest. I still fully support genetic
engineering and nanotechnology as a great topic area. And, perhaps I am just
being influenced by the N. Korean and Iranian news. However, the IAEA just
published a report that THIRTY more countries could proliferate within the next
few years. I think that a proliferation/counterporliferation topic area may be

I see two primary drawbacks that may make this topic area a non-starter:

(1) last year's China topic had a section on non-proliferation
(2) the 2001 or 2002 high school topic was "adopt a foriegn policy"...reduce
proliferation of waepons of mass destruction.

So, there is some overlap.

my vision of a topic /resolution would be something to the effect of:

Resolved: the United States Federal Government should substantially decrease or
reverse the proliferation of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons of mass


Resolved: the United States Federal Government should substantially decrease or
reverse the international or non-state actor proliferation of chemical,
biological or nuclear weapons of mass destruction.


Resolved the United States Federal Government should substanitally increase its
non-proliferation or counterproliferation efforts.

Some may say "biological or nuclear weapons of mass destruction" is redundant.
However, my recollection is that "weapons of mass destruction" allowed people
to run racism, AIDS, landmines and poverty. Simply saying "chemical,
biological, and nuclear weapons" would allow people to run cases banning pepper
spray, or perfume in the workplace, or other (relatively) trivial items.



here is an article on the subject:

Today: October 16, 2006 at 11:0:16 PDT

30 More Countries Could Have Nukes Soon

VIENNA, Austria (AP) - The head of the U.N. nuclear agency warned Monday that as
many as 30 countries could soon have technology that would let them produce
atomic weapons "in a very short time," joining the nine states known or
suspected to have such arms.

Speaking at a conference on tightening controls against nuclear proliferation,
Mohamed ElBaradei said more nations are "hedging their bets" by developing
technology that is at the core of peaceful nuclear energy programs but could
quickly be switched to making weapons.

ElBaradei, chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, called them "virtual
new weapons states."

The warning came amid heightened fears that North Korea's nuclear test explosion
and Iran's defiance of a U.N. Security Council demand that it suspend uranium
enrichment could spark a new arms race, particularly among Asian and Middle
Eastern states that feel threatened.

ElBaradei did not single out any country in his warning, but was clearly
alluding to Iran and other nations that are working to develop uranium
enrichment capability, such as Brazil.

Other nations, including Australia, Argentina and South Africa, have recently
announced that they are considering developing enrichment programs to be able
to sell fuel to states that want to generate electricity with nuclear reactors.

Canada, Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Switzerland, Taiwan, Spain, Hungary, the Czech
Republic, Slovakia and Lithuania are among nations that either have the means to
produce weapons-grade uranium if they chose, could quickly build such
technology, or could use plutonium waste for weaponization. All are committed
non-nuclear weapons states, and no one has suggested they want to use their
programs for arms.

Japan also says it has no plans to develop atomic weapons, but it could make
them at short notice by processing tons of plutonium left over from running its
nuclear reactors. South Korea also has spent reactor fuel and was found a few
years ago to have conducted small-scale secret experiments on making highly
enriched uranium that would be usable in warheads.

Other countries considering developing nuclear programs in the near future are
Egypt, Bangladesh, Ghana, Indonesia, Jordan, Namibia, Moldova, Nigeria, Poland,
Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam and Yemen, U.N. officials say.

There are five formally declared nuclear weapons states - the United States,
Russia, China, France and Britain - and four others are known or thought to
have such arms - India, Pakistan, Israel and now North Korea.

North Korea developed its capacities from what it had portrayed as a peaceful
nuclear energy program, and there are widespread suspicions Iran may be trying
to obtain arms through its enrichment program, despite Tehran's insistence it
seeks only to produce fuel for reactors to generate electricity.

North Korea's nuclear weapon test a week ago sparked widespread condemnation and
led the Security Council to agree on broad sanctions. On Iran, the council plans
this week to discuss possible selective penalties for Tehran ignoring its demand
to stop enrichment by Aug. 31.

Much of ElBaradei's comments were directed at the potential for misuse of
uranium enrichment, which can generate both low-enriched, reactor-grade uranium
and highly enriched material for nuclear bombs.

"The knowledge is out of the tube ... both for peaceful purpose and
unfortunately also for not peaceful purposes," ElBaradei said.

"It's becoming fashionable for countries to try to look into possibilities of
shielding themselves ... through the possibility of nuclear weapons," he said,
adding: "Another 20 or 30 would have the capacity to develop nuclear weapons in
a very short time."

Indirectly criticizing nuclear weapons states, ElBaradei said it was illogical
for them to maintain their atomic arsenals while urging others not to acquire
such arms.

He also obliquely took some of them to task for not signing or ratifying the
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, suggesting their endorsement of the 1996 pact
"would have changed the behavior of North Korea, maybe."

The treaty, which prohibits all nuclear explosions, will not take effect until
it has been ratified by 44 states that possess either nuclear reactors for
power-generation or research. So far 34 have ratified it. Holdouts include the
U.S., China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea.

ElBaradei said more money and international commitment are needed for his
agency's verification efforts, describing the $120 million annually budgeted as
"a drop in the ocean."

"It's important that the system continues to be ahead of the game," he said. "We
cannot continue to do business as usual."


IAEA site on nations with nuclear reactors: http://www.iaea.org/programmes/a2

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