With hostilities continuing to rage in Ukraine and more harsh words are exchanged between the United States and Russia, the world seems to slip ever closer to an all-out escalation that may lead to World War 3. On Thursday, Daniel Hogsta, who serves as the Executive Director of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) sounded the alarm bells for the catastrophic risks that may lie ahead. He said:
In the week we mark a year since Russia launched its full-scale, brutal invasion of Ukraine the world faces a grave risk nuclear weapons could be used for the first time since 1945.
He is most concerned by the inflammatory language being used by Vladmir Putin and Russian officials that is overtly threatening to further push all parties to the brink of drastic measures. He warns:
The likelihood exists of some miscalculation or Russia responding to some perceived threat Moscow sees. The longer Russia decides to continue its invasion, and military operations, the more likely nuclear weapons will become a greater part of this conflict. It's something the world should be taking very seriously.
Most concerning seems to be Russia's abandonment of the arms control treaty they had previously established with the United States. He laments:
President Putin’s decision to suspend Russia's implementation of the New START treaty is dangerous and reckless and needs to be widely condemned. Why President Putin has done this now is a question only he can answer, but it underlines how so-called nuclear deterrence, far from providing security, leaves us at the mercy of the personal decisions of leaders of nuclear-armed countries, like Putin.
Hogsta, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 is quick to pint to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis and the tension it created for the world at large. He now hopes, cooler heads and common sense can prevail. He is once again pushing for more countries to take part in the comprehensive Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. He says:
The TPNW provides the framework for disarmament, and the upcoming G7 summit in Hiroshima provides the perfect opportunity to kickstart a new push to eliminating these weapons. The G7 leaders, who either command nuclear arsenals or support the use of nuclear weapons, need to present a credible plan for how they intend to advance nuclear disarmament and get the leaders of the other nuclear-armed countries to the table.
I think we can all agree to hope that a peaceful solution to hostilities can be found. However, because it is always wise to prepare ahead, you have to be ready when disaster strikes. This is why it is critical for individuals to practice personal responsibility and prepare themselves. A great primer on must-have resources can be found here.
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