Political Edge

In recent years, there has been a growing obsession with global warming. Doing your part to help has become the height of fashion, with the Toyota Prius becoming the celebrity ‘it’ car, despite Jeremy Clarkson’s dismay. The phrase ‘environmentally friendly’ has become the ultimate marketing tool.

However, in the midst of all this scaremongering and do-goodery, there is a far scarier and more pressing concern. A nuclear attack or incident is a strong possibility, said Richard Garwin, a physicist who helped to design the Hydrogen Bomb. He told the American Congress that ther was a “20 percent per year probablilty of a nuclear explosion with American and European cities included. The threat from nuclear weapons comes not only from rogue states such as Iran, but also terrorist groups, in particular Al Qaeda. The lax security surrounding nuclear weapons in many countries makes the theft of a nuclear bomb a disturbing possibility.

By ignoring the threats of terrorism and nuclear attack, the government is playing a delicate game of chance

In Pakistan, a country with nuclear arms, the army is currently fighting against the Taliban and other insurgent forces. If the Pakistani government were to collapse the consequences could be immense.

Despite the volatility, the British Government is cutting counter-terror spending in real terms to Pakistan. The revelation comes one day after Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced that the area surrounding the Pakistan-Afghanistan border was a “number one security priority”. By ignoring the threats of terrorism and nuclear attack, the Government is playing a delicate game of chance.

Iran also poses a significant security threat, and 2010 will see the opening of the first nuclear plant in the country. It is claimed that any nuclear material in the plant will be sold to Russia so that it cannot be used to create nuclear weapons. This has done little to allay the fears of neighbouring Israel, a nuclear armed state and not well known for pulling punches. Any conflict between Israel and Iran, whether nuclear weapons are used or not, has serious consequences for security world-wide.

Governments need to stop prioritising the green revolution and  halt the endless march towards nuclear proliferation before it is too late.

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