Tactical Nuclear Weapons: Time for Control

By Taina Susiluoto | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 8

THE CHALLENGED REGIME ON TACTICAL NUCLEAR
WEAPONS: DEBATE ON LEGAL ASPECTS

Taina Susiluoto 1

The worst terrorist attacks in the history of the United States took place on 11 September 2001. Suicide hijackers turned Boeing 757 and 767 airplanes into guided missiles that struck two economic and military symbols of the United States, the World Trade Center towers in New York and the Pentagon building in Washington. This tragic event brought to an end the illusion of American invulnerability.

The events of 11 September united the world in an unprecedented way. Within hours the United Nations Security Council condemned the attacks. For the first time in the history of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), Article 5, which stipulates that an armed attack against one member is considered as an attack against all members, was invoked. 2 Statements presented at the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva on Thursday, 14 September underscored the fact that these attacks were not directed only against the United States. The Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan contributed an article to the New York Times in which he stated that these terrorist attacks though aimed at one nation wounded an entire world. 3

The current crisis of State-to-State arms control, whether multilateral or bilateral, is also faced with this new threat. As the contribution of arms control to international security is questioned and challenged, the time has come to grasp the momentum and show cooperation beyond traditional boundaries. In the midst of grief and sorrow for lost lives one must not neglect how much worse the situation would have been if weapons of mass destruction had been used. Particular measures are needed for tactical

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