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Timeframe: North Korea will escalate this year
Warrick 12-9, [Joby Warrick Washington, D.C. National security reporter covering terrorism, rogue
states, weapons proliferation, Biden’s first foreign-policy challenge could be North Korea testing a
nuclear weapon or an ICBM, experts say, 2020,
Now, with Trump’s impending departure, U.S. analysts fear a return to more brazen North Korean
behavior, perhaps in the earliest days of the new administration. North Korean leaders have shown a
penchant for provoking crises with newly elected U.S. presidents, and many analysts think that
President-elect Joe Biden’s term could start literally with a bang — either a new North Korean nuclear
test, or the test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile, or both.
Such a crisis could present Biden with the first major foreign-policy challenge of his presidency. If it
happens, his advisers will be holding a weaker hand, and confronting a more dangerous adversary, than
when Trump took office four years ago, according to former U.S. officials and experts on North Korea.
More nukes than ever means it’s bigger and spirals
Finnegan 12-31, [ABC, Hot spots to watch: What crises could explode in 2021, 2020,
After four years of President Donald Trump's policies, North Korea has more nuclear weapons and
enhanced ballistic missile capability, which it may show off with a test launch early in President-elect Joe
Biden's term to try to garner some attention and leverage, according to analysts. While the likelihood of
a "fire and fury" response will diminish after Trump's departure, the risk of a skirmish spiraling into allout war remains real, according to analysts.
Decapitates US nukes---World War
Pry 12-7, [Dr. Peter Vincent Pry was chief of staff of the Congressional EMP Commission and served on
the staff of the House Armed Services Committee and at the CIA, A nuclear 'Pearl Harbor' in our future?,
2020, https://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/528844-a-nuclear-pearl-harbor-in-our-future]
A nuclear “Pearl Harbor” may begin, and end, World War III.
Like the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor in 1941, most U.S. nuclear forces today are “sitting ducks.”
Bombers are not nuclear-armed or maintained on strip alert, and most missile submarines (SSBNs)
typically are in port.
A surprise attack on just three bomber bases and two submarine ports could destroy about two-thirds of
the U.S. nuclear deterrent — now within the capability of North Korea.
That turns china war - US troops will be on their border immediately, which happens before they solve
and freaks out china
Korean war draws in China, Russia, and Japan
Medea Benjamin 17, M.A. from Columbia, Co-Founder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK: Women for
Peace, 7/29/17, “Urgent Warning: Time to Hit the Reset Button on US-Korean Policy”, Common Dreams,
The United States has also long held a “pre-emptive first strike” policy towards North Korea. This frightening threat
of an unprovoked US
nuclear attack gives North Korea good reason to want its own nuclear arsenal. North Korea’s leadership also looks at
the fate of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, leaders who gave up their nuclear programs, and conclude that nuclear weapons are their key to
survival. So the
North Korean leadership is not acting irrationally; on the contrary. On July 29, the day after the test, North Korean
President Kim Jong-un asserted that the threat of sanctions or military action “only strengthens our resolve and further justifies our possession of nuclear
weapons.” Given the proximity of North Korea to the South’s capital Seoul, a city of 25 million people, any
outbreak of hostilities would be
devastating. It is estimated that a North Korean attack with just conventional weapons would kill 64,000 South Koreans in the first three hours. A war on
the Korean Peninsula would likely draw in other nuclear armed states and major powers, including China,
Russia and Japan. This region also has the largest militaries and economies in the world, the world’s
busiest commercial ports, and half the world’s population. Trump has few options. His Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has
warned that a pre-emptive strike on the North’s nuclear and missile capabilities could reignite the Korean War.
Trump had hoped that Chinese President Xi Jinping could successfully rein in Kim Jong-un, but the Chinese are more concerned about the collapse of North Korea’s
government and the chaos that would ensue. They are also furious about the deployment of THAAD in South Korea, convinced that its radar can penetrate deep
into Chinese territory. But the Chinese do have another proposal: a freeze for a freeze. This means a freeze on North Korean missile and nuclear tests in exchange
for a halt on US-South Korean war games. The massive war games have been taking place every year in March, with smaller ones scheduled for August. A halt would
alleviate tensions and pave the way for negotiations. So would halting the deployment of the destabilizing THAAD system so disliked by South Korean villagers,
North Koreans and the Chinese. Given
the specter of nuclear war, the rational alternative policy is one of de-escalation
and engagement. President Moon has called for dialogue with the North and a peace treaty to permanently end the Korean War. North Korean diplomats have
raised the possibility of a “freeze for a freeze.” Time has proven that coercion doesn’t work. There’s an urgent need to hit the reset button on US-Korean policy,
before one of the players hits a much more catastrophic button that could lead us into a nuclear nightmare.
Also key to southeast Asian peace – turns the add on
Aziz & Milner 7/31/20 [Anthony Milner is international director at Asialink at the University of
Melbourne. Astanah Abdul Aziz is based at the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; this article reflects
her personal views and is not a statement of the Malaysian government’s position. An earlier and
shorter version of this article was published in the New Straits Times.
US–China, US–China—the commentary goes on and on. Who will be dominant? Must rising powers
always go to war with established powers? Can the US assemble an Indo-Pacific alliance to balance
China? Might the US agree to share primacy?
These are urgent questions—but some recent Asian perspectives (including from a Council for Security
Cooperation in the Asia Pacific survey) suggest a growing impatience with what a Japanese analyst calls
these ‘bilateral dynamics’. There is talk of the need to reinvigorate multilateralism—and one line of
thought suggests that the often-denigrated ASEAN could lead a multilateralism effort that transcends
the US–China contest.
The performance of both China and the US has disappointed. Covid-19 started in China, and Beijing has
been seen as bullying several neighbours. Regarding the US, the ‘appearance of incompetence in
managing the pandemic’ is one factor in the judgement (of a senior Philippines observer) that the ‘post–
Second World War order built around US hegemony … is ending’.
The interesting point, however, comes from Japan. Analyst Tsutomu Kikuchi reminds us that Asia is
‘more than the US and China’—and that numerous countries and institutions in ‘the rest of Asia’ have
‘substantial political, economic, military and sociocultural power’. The continued agency of ‘small and
medium-sized countries’, in fact, is often stressed by regional analysts—and Kikuchi suggests their
‘prime goal’ ought to be ‘to sustain and further enhance the rules-based order’, because such states
tend to be protected by ‘strong binding rules’.
Looking beyond the US and China, who could lead such endeavours? Interestingly, Kikuchi notes the
continuing capacities of ASEAN. It and other multilateral institutions, of course, have received plenty of
criticism. From the United Nations downwards, their handling of the Covid-19 crisis has not impressed.
An experienced Cambodian observer sees ‘individual initiatives at the national level’ but no ‘concrete
actions’ from ASEAN or ASEAN+3. Even the EU has struggled to act in concert—despite the alarming rise
in numbers of infection and mortality among its members.
This said, the current crisis has highlighted not sidelined multilateralism. As the Cambodian observes,
the virus ‘crosses national borders, and a regional response makes a lot more sense’. A Chinese
commentator adds that the actual ‘methodology necessary in responding to Covid-19 demands a level
of international cooperation more comprehensive than we have achieved before’.
Mixed with criticism of ASEAN, Kikuchi is not alone in expressing a degree of optimism. Some analysts
even believe the pandemic might inspire an ambitious ‘reset’.
A review of ASEAN’s potential does seem warranted—especially as there are no other obvious
candidates likely to build a consensual regional order. Various ASEAN-led institutions do, after all,
encompass the entire Asia–Pacific region. Also, the organisation’s track record throughout the
challenging post–Cold War period is better than its many critics suggest. Recall that the East Asia
Summit, which includes every serious player in the region, was an ASEAN initiative, as were the widemembership security forums—the ASEAN Regional Forum and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting
Plus. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which seeks to promote open trade and
investment, was launched in 2012, again by ASEAN—and incorporates every country in Southeast and
Northeast Asia, as well as Australia and New Zealand.
The point is often made that ASEAN is no match for China. This would be hard to deny. In the South
China Sea, the Southeast Asians are merely small countries invoking the rule of law to buttress their
sovereignty. It is also true, however, that the ASEAN–China relationship contains positive elements—
including investment inflow, and the fact that ASEAN became China’s largest trading partner in 2020.
Also, as former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad often pointed out, Southeast Asians are
used to negotiating with a powerful China—and they believe that China, unlike the US, is invested in
their region for the long haul.
There is pride in the careful way Southeast Asia embraced communist China, commencing in the
1970s—and in the part ASEAN played in rehabilitating China internationally following the Tiananmen
Square massacres of 1989. The initiation of the Asian-centric ASEAN+3 process in 1997, after decades of
US presence and support of the economies of Southeast Asia, highlights ASEAN’s agency in engaging a
multiplicity of players judged to be able to benefit the region. As leading Thai analyst Kavi
Chongkittavorn has pointed out, the ‘Plus Three’ element was also an ASEAN contribution to bridgebuilding between the large, mutually hostile states of Northeast Asias (China, Japan and South Korea).
Initiatives from ASEAN, therefore, would not be interpreted automatically in the framework of US–
China rivalry. Even a greater ASEAN engagement with Japan and South Korea would not need to be
viewed as Cold War alliance-building. Over the past year there have been various reports of improved
relations between China and its Northeast Asian neighbours—and Kavi insists that although ‘historical
grievances and border disputes will not disappear overnight’ the Covid-19 crisis has provided an
opportunity to benefit from ‘shared anxieties and worries’.
Such a shift in Northeast Asian sentiments could be a game-changer across the Asian region. At the
least, more relaxed interstate relations in Northeast Asia—fostered, in part, by ASEAN—would provide a
more favourable setting for the further development of ASEAN-led rules-based regional building.
The fact that the Southeast Asian states (with the partial exception of Indonesia) are small in Asian
terms is not a deterrent to ASEAN agency. It helps ASEAN to appear non-threatening; also, over many
centuries, Southeast Asians have become accustomed to functioning in state-to-state hierarchies,
developing strategies to handle those above them. Even a state growing in strength was not necessarily
seen as a threat—was not automatically resisted or balanced against. Such a state might rather be
embraced or socialised—in a manner beneficial to both sides.
Historically, this was the approach to China. With such a heritage of valuing agency while operating in a
hierarchy, ASEAN may be better qualified than most in ‘the rest of Asia’ to promote a multilateral rulestructure—a structure that will not immediately be viewed as antagonistic to China, but may help to
restrain China or any other major power capable of disrupting this region of the world. What is needed
now from the ASEAN states is the creative leadership they have on occasion demonstrated in the past.
1. Early months key
Green and Poling 20, [Michael J. Green is senior vice president for Asia and Japan Chair at the Center
for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and director of Asian Studies at the Edmund A. Walsh
School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Gregory B. Poling is senior fellow for Southeast Asia
and director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at CSIS, November 13, 2020,
The early months of the administration will present an opportunity to assuage Southeast Asian
anxieties, signal that the United States is in the region to stay, and prepare the ground to compete more
effectively with China. But early signals will have to be designed for consistency and sustained
SCS cred is the backbone of cooperation.
Also says American will pursue containment inevitably, but effectiveness determines alliance defections
and heg decline, which non-UQs containment bad.
Ward 17 [Mr. Daniel E. Ward is a former US Coast Guard officer. His work experience includes
maritime and riverine operations, protective services and security operations, as well as criminal
investigations. He has spent several years in Latin America and the Middle East, and has extensive work
experience training indigenous forces. He holds a BS in civil engineering, and is currently pursuing a
master’s degree in Defense and Strategic Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso. "Strengthening
Ties with Vietnam as a ‘South China Sea Ally’." https://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/strengthening-tieswith-vietnam-as-a-%E2%80%98south-china-sea-ally%E2%80%99]
The U.S. will continue to be concerned with developments in the South China Sea, and will actively seek to
check China’s maneuvers to solidify itself as the central regional power through its acquisition of island territories. Simply
stated, “what was once a maritime territorial dispute involving China, Vietnam, and the other littoral ASEAN states has become something more disturbing for the
peace and stability of the Western Pacific” [33]. The U.S. must
have regional partners, and one which also is actively
seeking to check China could serve as a strong counterpart. At sea, “since 2009, when China submitted a nine-dash map to the United Nations and
asserted its control over much of the South China Sea, Vietnam has begun to see the maritime domain as its most
important security challenge” [34]. This serves as an opportunity for both Vietnam and the U.S. to
improve relations focused upon common cause. Joshua Kurlantzick writes “…a maritime crisis between Vietnam and China could
theoretically serve U.S. interests in Asia” in that “a crisis that stemmed primarily from aggressive Chinese action, and that
was met with a U.S. response that prompted China to back down but averted conflict, could lead Asian
nations to strengthen military relationships with the United States” [35]. The converse is true in that “if a maritime crisis
erupted and a U.S. response was ineffective, prolonging the conflict and failing to prevent China from
retreating, even close U.S. partners could seek to bolster ties with China at the expense of military
relations with Washington” [36]. The objective is to avoid military action. This is done through diplomacy
and application of the full spectrum of DIME elements. However, far from home, the U.S. needs local support
upon which joint action can be based and linked to leverage alliances in coordinated efforts to balance
power, and discourage Chinese aggression against its neighbors. In the past, a nation such as the Philippines would have been the ‘go-to’
choice. In the current construct, the U.S. could truly do no better than working with Vietnam.
Independently, c/a lawless from deterrence – allies splinter, some binding to China
and some to the US – countries like the phillippines, Thailand, or Burma all have
incentives – that would also trigger the link because it would split asean along the
lines of US-China conflict which ruins it for the neutrality reason above – means they
cause a decline into spheres of influence
Presence is credible and assuring ASEAN now so the link turns case but not the other
way around Ward 17 [Mr. Daniel E. Ward is a former US Coast Guard officer. His work experience includes
maritime and riverine operations, protective services and security operations, as well as criminal
investigations. He has spent several years in Latin America and the Middle East, and has extensive work
experience training indigenous forces. He holds a BS in civil engineering, and is currently pursuing a
master’s degree in Defense and Strategic Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso. "Strengthening
Ties with Vietnam as a ‘South China Sea Ally’." https://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/strengthening-tieswith-vietnam-as-a-%E2%80%98south-china-sea-ally%E2%80%99]
The U.S. needs local support in the South China Sea if we are truly committed to countering extensive
development of China’s military footprint, which could effectively make the South China Sea a nonpermissive area based on their control of several islands. Diplomacy and negotiation are bolstered by
actual ability; and without a strong presence in the region the U.S. does not have a formidable position
from which to engage China in diplomacy. Another regional ally would greatly help this cause, and
Vietnam is the best candidate.
Biden’s middle ground solves unity now
Kurlantzick 20, [Joshua Kurlantzick is senior fellow for Southeast Asia at the Council on Foreign
Relations, What Will the Biden Administration Mean for Southeast Asia?, November 30,
When it comes to Biden’s approach to Southeast Asia, persistent tensions in the U.S. relationship with China are a major factor. While
perhaps less openly confrontational toward China than Trump has been, many of the Democratic Party’s foreign policy
experts have become much more distrustful of Beijing in recent years and convinced that the United States’ previous strategies have failed. The
incoming Biden administration probably will
recognize that, to pursue a tough approach against China, the U.S. cannot
afford to alienate critical partners in Southeast Asia, the way the Trump administration has done. Biden is also likely to
reinvest in some areas of American power that were neglected under Trump, from diplomacy to a renewed focus on
nontraditional security threats like climate change, which will appeal to Southeast Asian states.
Many countries in the region are growing more distrustful of China as well, given its increasingly aggressive
behavior and its expansive territorial claims in the South China Sea, but Southeast Asia cannot divorce itself
from Beijing. China is the region’s biggest trading partner and the largest aid donor to several Southeast Asian states. Still, countries like
Singapore and Vietnam, and even to some extent Malaysia and Indonesia, have grown increasingly concerned
about China’s heavy-handed approach to the region and have quietly applauded some of the Trump
administration’s tough measures toward Beijing.
As president, Biden’s approach to the region will in some respects resemble Trump’s. He likely will continue to rebalance the U.S. military
toward the Asia-Pacific, boosting regional military cooperation with allies in the region and continuing to harden U.S. defenses and those of its
allies. Like Trump, Biden will also need to find ways to counter Chinese influence activities in the U.S. and elsewhere, and will continue
pressuring other countries to keep Chinese firms like Huawei out of their new 5G telecommunications networks, though he will have less
success with this strategy in Asia than in Europe.
Yet Biden might diverge in how he tries to attract other countries to support his China policy. Trump’s trade disputes with many Southeast
Asian countries made it harder for them to align with Washington on other issues. For example, the Trump administration repeatedly criticized
Vietnam for its high trade surplus with the United States and is investigating Vietnam for currency manipulation. It also recently suspended
duty-free access for some $800 million in Thai imports because Thailand has not opened up enough to U.S. agriculture, and seemed to threaten
tough trade action against Indonesia earlier this year if it bought weapons from Russia and China. (Indonesia caved and did not follow through
with the purchases.)
While some of these trade-related complaints may have merit, the Biden administration will probably want to ease the pressure on Southeast
Asia when it comes to trade policy. It will likely go easier on Vietnam and Indonesia, both of which are important security partners for the U.S.,
and on Thailand, a treaty ally. After all, to court Southeast Asian states that are caught between the United States and China, it makes little
sense to also tighten the trade screws on these very same countries.
Beyond its dealings with individual countries, Biden’s overall approach to trade and investment in the region might be constrained by domestic
politics. Trump won election in 2016 while railing against giant multilateral trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which he withdrew
from as soon as he took office. Subsequently, he focused primarily on bilateral trade agreements, even as East Asian countries forged ahead
with major regional deals like the reconstituted TPP, now known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the
recently signed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
It will be difficult for Biden to reengage with Asia’s regional trade integration efforts in a meaningful way. Major segments of the U.S.
population are skeptical of new trade deals, perhaps even more than in 2016, when even Hillary Clinton, Trump’s Democratic opponent in that
year’s election, disavowed the TPP, a deal she had once praised. Moreover, Biden will likely enter office with Republicans in control of the
Senate—unless the Democrats somehow manage to sweep both Senate seats in Georgia that will be decided in runoffs in January. Even with a
slim Democratic majority in the Senate, though, Biden will have little political capital to expend on trade.
We can also expect a renewed U.S.
focus on nontraditional security issues under Biden, which are important in
Southeast Asia. While the Trump administration has mostly eschewed multilateral cooperation on COVID-19, Biden has pledged to
work more closely with other countries on strategies to contain the pandemic. Since some countries in
Southeast Asia, like Thailand and Vietnam, have had the most successful responses to COVID-19, the new
administration could seek out their guidance. More broadly, Biden has tasked his new administration with
broadening the definition of national security to include not only public health, but also climate change and other
issues. That shift will be welcomed in Southeast Asia, one of the regions of the world most endangered by rising
sea levels.
Biden recommits to ASEAN by demonstrating reliability. China containment’s
inevitable but Biden stops escalation
Bhaskaran 20, [Manu Bhaskaran is CEO of Centennial Asia Advisors, My Say: Asean will gain from a
Biden presidency, November 16, 2020, https://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/my-say-asean-will-gainbiden-presidency]
Biden will be tough on China. Remember that Vice-President Biden was in office when President Xi promised
President Barack Obama that China would not militarise the territories in the South China Sea that it had
seized. The Americans believe that even as Xi spoke, the Chinese military was already developing military facilities on those reefs and rocks.
Thus, Biden will be wary of China and Xi. We cannot see him reversing the higher tariffs that Trump
imposed on China or retreating from the harsh restrictions on Chinese technology firms. Biden will
probably renegotiate Trump’s trade deal with China, using Trump’s tariffs to extract more concessions
on market access and the like. There will be no let-up in US pressure on Chinese tech. Biden is also likely to continue
the Trump administration’s stepped-up freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea to demonstrate to China that the US will not
accept China’s attempts to assert control in that disputed area. The
American defence build-up, which will eventually see
a larger deployment of American naval assets in East Asia, will also continue.
In some areas, though, Biden may offer some changes in strategy affecting Asia.
First, he is likely to be more cautious on Taiwan, unlike the Trump team’s increasing embrace of Taiwan in military and
economic fields. Biden will want to ensure that the US does not encourage independence-minded leaders in
Taiwan to provoke China with rash acts and thus unwittingly cause a crisis or even a war. At the same time, he likely appreciates
that the Chinese threat to eventually take over Taiwan by force if necessary is not just rhetoric — he will want to signal firmly to China that the
US would respond forcefully in such circumstances.
Second, Biden seems to understand that the relationship with China cannot be entirely competitive, that
there are areas where both sides can cooperate profitably. One area will be North Korea’s development
of nuclear and missile technology, which could threaten the US. Collaborating with China would give the US a greater
likelihood of success in dealing with North Korea. Similarly, the US under Biden will probably be willing to cooperate with
China on developing global strategies to mitigate climate change.
Third, Biden
was part of the Obama administration, which showed a greater recognition of Asean’s
position. It was under Obama that the US first established a dedicated Mission to Asean in Jakarta,
appointing its first resident Ambassador to Asean in 2011. Obama’s term saw the US participate at a high level in major
Asean meetings, demonstrating its commitment to the region, which has clearly flagged in recent years.
It is reasonable, therefore, to expect Biden’s administration to revert to the policy of prioritising close
ties with Asean nations and demonstrating that commitment in deed as well as in word
ASEAN regional food cooperation is key to prevent food wars
Marzeda-Mlynarska 17 (Katarzyna, assistant professor at the Maria Curie-Sklowdowska University
in Lublin, former adjunct professor at the Jan Zamoyski School of Humanities and Economies, former
researcher for the Department of International Relations at the Maria Curie-Sklowdowska University,
and PhD in International Relations. “Food Security Governance in the Southeast Asia Region: from
National to Regional Governance.” Historia i Politikya Journal, No. 20, Pgs. 31-48. 2017. Web. 18 August,
2018. http://cejsh.icm.edu.pl/cejsh/element/bwmeta1.element.desklight-17545b0d-3294-4543-8fc76718eceec346/c/Marzeda.pdf)
The second vision of food security governance – regional – supplements the national approach by addressing issues which cannot be effectively
dealt with at the national level. Regional governance does not substitute national governance, however, but rather constitutes an area where
regional priorities can be addressed. Closer
cooperation at the regional level can contribute positively to food
availability, access and stability by accelerating trade, creating food reserves, or in general accelerating
economic growth through closer integration. While it is impossible to adopt a common ASEAN agriculture policy based on the
EU model, there is a broad space within ASEAN for closer cooperation in other ways in the food security
ASEAN and ASEAN Plus Three represent the institutional dimension of Southeast Asian regional food security governance. ASEAN was created
in 1967 in the common desire to create a platform for regional cooperation based on similar goals and purposes. These include: facilitating the
acceleration of economic growth, social progress and cultural development; promoting regional peace and stability; and active collaboration in
different fields. As a regional structure ASEAN addresses the “internal” dimension of regional food security by offering its member states a
forum where regional as well as national interests can be fulfilled. It consists of two governance mechanisms: ASEAN regulations on trade,
services, and investments that indirectly address the problem of food security, and initiatives designed to target food security directly.
The ASEAN Plus Three (APT) addresses the external dimension of regional food security. The process was initiated in
1997 and includes cooperation between ASEAN and China, Japan and South Korea in the areas of politics and security, economics and finance,
environment and climate change, and socio-cultural and development. Food
security as a part of the economic and finance
area represents an issue of high interest as evidenced by concrete initiatives.
The normative dimension of ASEAN
regional food security governance is addressed by the ASEAN Economic Community
Initiative, which is treated as both a necessary impetus for intraregional food trade and a mechanism
facilitating flow of staples such as rice from “surpluses states” to “shortages” ones (Teng et al., 2015). Its aim is
to improve the effectiveness of regional supply chains through tariff reduction, simplifying border
procedures, reducing the cost of transportation, ensuring food safety (standards harmonization) and enhancing
The functional dimension of ASEAN regional food security includes concrete initiatives addressing food
security. It should be emphasized, however, that food, agriculture and forestry have been an area of special
ASEAN interest since 1993, when the ASEAN Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry identified “strengthening food security in the
region” as the first of the seven areas of cooperation in that sector. Three initiatives play key roles in regional food security governance: first,
ASEAN Integrated Food Security Framework (AISF) and the Strategic Plan of Action on Food Security, 2015–2020, which seeks to sustain
increased food production, promote conducive markets and trade for agricultural commodities and inputs, and ensure food supply stability to
improve the livelihoods of farmers and ensure long-term food security and nutrition (FAO, 2015). Second, the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency
Rice Reserve (APTERR) and third, the ASEAN Food Security Information System. Both AIFS and APTERR were ASEAN’s responses to the
2007/2008 food crisis.
The fundamental goal of the AIFS Framework is to “improve and support the livelihoods of farmers and to ensure regional food security over
the long term” (Belesky, 2014). The ASEAN leaders pledged at the 14th ASEAN Summit in Thailand in 2009 to embrace food security as high
priority policy and to review ASEAN’s commitment to the objectives of the World Food Summit and the MDGs. They have adopted the ASEAN
Integrated Food Security Framework and the Strategic Plan of Action on Food Security in ASEAN. The AIFS
Framework consists of five
components and nine strategic thrusts. The first component concerns food security emergency/shortage relief and consists
of one thrust, to strengthen food security arrangements. The second component is devoted to sustainable food trade
development and consists of one thrust, to promote conducive food markets and trade. The third component concerns the integrated
food security information system and consists of one thrust, to strengthen Integrated Food Security System. The fourth component
is devoted to agro-innovations and consists of three thrusts: promoting sustainable food production, encouraging greater
investment in food and agro-based industry, and identifying and addressing emerging issues. The fifth component is devoted to nutrition-
enhancing agricultural development and consists of three thrusts: utilizing nutrition information to support evidencebased
food security and agriculture policies, indentifying policies and governance mechanisms for nutrition-enhancing agricultural development,
and, third, to develop and strengthen nutrition-enhancing agriculture policies/programs and build capacity for their implementation,
monitoring and evaluation (ASEAN, 2014).
The ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve was approved in 2009 and became operational in 2012. The idea of regional food reserves is
based on the assumption that storage of staple foods which “have sociopolitical and economic significance and are culturally appropriate in
particular region – rice in Asia” (Belesky, 2014) is critical to food security and especially food availability. Food
reserves are treated as
a governance tool especially in emergency or crisis situations. Under the current initiative, thirteen countries have
pledged to make a total of 787 thousands of tons of rice available in case of instability in the supply or production due to conflicts, natural
disasters and calamities (Belesky, 2014).
The above mentioned initiatives are supplemented by the ASEAN Food Security Information System (AFSIS), established in 2002 by the
Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry of the ASEAN member states plus China, Japan and Korea. It was designed to strengthen food security in
the region through systemic collection, analysis and dissemination of food security related information. It was divided into phases. The first
took place from 2003 to 2007 and was devoted to enhancing the regional food security information system and increasing the capacities of
member states in providing required information. The second was designed for five years, from 2008 to 2012, and extended to three elements:
Early Warning information, Agricultural Commodity Outlook and Technical Cooperation (AFSIS, 2016).
The EU example shows that close regional cooperation in agriculture can bring positive results, such as assuring food security and
independence from food imports. While it is impossible to replicate the EU patterns, ASEAN, through its regional initiatives, proved
have great potential to become food secure and build sound regional food security governance. What is
more, the shift from national to regional food security governance can be observed in the ASEAN context, although it is still far from fully
integrated regional food security governance.
The problem of states’ readiness to shift decision-making power to a higher level (regional or global) has been discussed since the 1970s. In the
early works on this issue (Cox, Jacobson, 1973), it was argued that states are only willing to transfer part of their authority to a higher level if
the relevant problems were technical in nature, were not politicized and did not touch upon their interests. When it comes to food security, the
problem is embedded in a socio-economic and political nexus that makes it a very complicated and sensitive issue for nation states. There is,
however, another second side of the coin. The
increasingly transnational character of threats to food security
makes regional cooperation essential. The interplay between national and regional food security
governance in the ASEAN context can be assessed through identification of its opportunities and
Opportunities for regional food security governance. Objectively, ASEAN
is a food surplus region but with seasonal and
spatial food insecurity in certain countries/areas. The enhancement of regional governance could improve food distribution
among ASEAN member states and help avoid seasonal food shortages. The next argument for closer cooperation is localization. All ASEAN
members are located in an area that makes them equally exposed to the consequences of climate
change, especially extreme weather conditions. Regional food security governance can provide them
with “food insurance” in case of natural catastrophes or calamities. What is more, due to rapid
urbanization and demographic growth, some countries will face supply problems while others are able
to increase production of staples such as rice. The divide between surplus and shortage countries can
work as an argument for closer economic integration and creation of a common food market. The
completion of the ASEAN Economic Community project and building a real single market can be treated as
the biggest opportunity to enhance regional food security governance as well as assure food security in
the region.
Constraints to regional food security governance. The
existential character of food security makes it a highly political
issue. States are not inclined to relinquish their authority over certain issues when they touch national security and survival. Food insecurity
at the beginning of the 21st century poses threats not only to human security but also traditional security. A World Bank prognosis suggests
that within the next 15 years, the world could face food wars (The Guardian, 2014). eThe perception of food insecurity as
a threat to national security makes unilateral solutions more attractiv. Relying on an external mechanism especially trade, proved ineffective in
the face of the 2007/2008 food crisis, when import-dependent states were not able to satisfy their needs. Many of them have changed their
food policy and switched from food imports to production of food abroad (buying or leasing large land in other countries). What is more, the
strong attachment to the state sovereignty within ASEAN makes all attempts to create a regional food policy similar to the European Union’s
CAP unlikely. This is due not only to the prevailing conviction of ASEAN member states that national governance is critical to achieve food
security, but also to the contradictory interests of their national food and agriculture policies. The
key factor for the further
development of regional food security governance remains the level of political will of ASEAN member
Severe food shortages are coming now – they will ensure multiple paths to extinction
Heneghan 15 [Carolyn, freelance writer with experience in food and agriculture systems around the
world, “Where food crises and global conflict could collide” Fooddive 1/22/15,
World War III is unimaginable for many, but some experts believe that not only is this degree of global
conflict imminent, but it may be instigated not by military tensions, oil and gas, or nuclear threats, but
instead by, of all things, food. As it stands, countries across the globe are enduring food crises, and the U.N.’s Food & Agriculture
Organization (FAO) estimates that about 840 million people in the world are undernourished, including the one in four children under the age
of 5 who is stunted because of malnutrition. Assistant director-general of U.N. FAO Asia-Pacific Hiroyuki Konuma told Reuters that
and political unrest, civil wars, and terrorism could all be possible results of food crises, and “world
security as a whole might be affected.” Such consequences could happen unless the world increases its
output of food production 60% by mid-century. This includes maintaining a stable growth rate at about
1% to have an even theoretical opportunity to circumvent severe shortages. These needs are due to the growing
global population, which is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050 while demand for food will rise rapidly. Where the problems lie
Exacerbating this issue is the fact that the world is spending less on agricultural research, to the
dismay of scientists who believe global food production may not sustain the increased demand.
According to American Boondoggle, “The pace of investment growth has slowed from 3.63 percent per year (after inflation) during 1950–69, to
1.79 percent during 1970–89, to 0.94 percent during 1990– 2009.” Decreased
growth in agricultural research and
development spending has slowed across the world as a whole, but it is even slower in high-income
countries. Water scarcity is another problem, including in major food-producing nations like China, as well as climate change. Extreme
weather events are having a severe effect on crops, which have been devastated in countries like Australia, Canada, China, Russia, and the U.S.,
namely due to floods and droughts. An Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change recently warned that climate change may result in “a 2%
drop each decade of this century,” according to RT. Rising food costs also contribute to poor food security across the world as prices remain
high and volatile. Higher food costs inhibit lower socioeconomic people’s access to food, which contributes to the FAO’s disturbing figure of
global malnutrition. In addition to an inability for people to feed themselves, poverty can also reduce food production, such as some African
farmers being unable to afford irrigation and fertilizers to provide their regions with food. Still another issue for decreased food production is
the fact that many farmers are turning crops like soy, corn, and sugar into sources for biofuel rather than edible consumption, which means
these foods are taken away from people to eat. Could these shortages lead to a major global conflict? Studies
suggest that the food
crisis could begin as early as 2030, just a short 15 years from now, particularly in areas such as East Asia and SubSaharan Africa. Both regions have significant problems with domestic food production. Some experts believe
that, to secure enough food resources for their populations, countries may go to war over the increasingly
scarce food supply. This could be due in part to warring parties blocking aid and commercial food
deliveries to areas supporting their enemies, despite the fact that such a practice breaks international
humanitarian law. Conflict also leads to lack of food supply for populations as people become displaced and forced from their homes,
jobs, and income and thus cannot buy food to feed themselves. Displaced farmers are also unable to produce their normal crops, contributing
still more to food shortages in certain countries. Food
insecurity is a major threat to world peace and could
potentially incite violent conflict between countries across the world. Thus, the U.N. and other
governmental bodies are desperately trying to find ways to solve the problem before it becomes
something they cannot control.
And ASEAN is key to address Southeast Asian cyber threats
Parameswaran 18 (Dr. Prashanth Parameswaran is a Senior Columnist at The Diplomat and a fellow
at the Wilson Center’s Asia Program. “ASEAN Cybersecurity in the Spotlight Under Singapore’s
Chairmanship.” The Diplomat, May 02, 2018. https://thediplomat.com/2018/05/asean-cybersecurity-inthe-spotlight-under-singapores-chairmanship/)
While there were a whole range of security issues discussed at the 32nd ASEAN Summit held in Singapore over the weekend, one area that got
significant emphasis was the cyber domain. The focus
on cybersecurity reflects both the growing regional and
international attention to the issue as well as the city-state’s ongoing efforts to boost bilateral and regional collaboration on
this front, especially as the holder of the annually rotating ASEAN chairmanship this year.
As I have noted before, Southeast
Asian states as well as ASEAN as a grouping have been grappling with a
growing cyber threat. ASEAN’s cyber challenge is immense as states try to balance the opportunities
afforded by the digital economy – which is a significant driver of economic and technological progress –
with the challenges due to the increased sophistication of cyber threats in an increasingly networked
world and their links to other challenges such as terrorism and fake news (See: “Winning Asia’s War on Fake
There already are a variety of national, bilateral, and regional arrangements, mechanisms, and forums
that Southeast Asian states have put in place over the past few years to manage challenges in the cyber
realm focused on areas like incident response, confidence-building, and cyber capacity-building. Several
countries have set up new cyber agencies at home, new regional initiatives have been introduced – from the the ASEAN
Cyber Capacity Program (ACCP) advanced in 2016 to the new ASEAN Cybersecurity Cooperation Strategy adopted in 2017
– and other regional partners and international organizations such as Interpol and the United Nations have also been working with Southeast
Asian states on cyber issues as well (See: “Singapore Unveils New ASEAN Cyber Initiative”).
Yet, at the same time, much more
remains to be done given the sheer scale of the threat as well as the
significant challenges that Southeast Asian states continue to face due to a range of issues including
capacity constraints and ideological differences over how to advance the agenda.
As Singapore took over the ASEAN chairmanship this year, officials had made clear that cyber issues would be a priority given the importance of
the issue for Singapore and the region. That came as no surprise. As a developed, highly-networked country which relies on its reputation for
security and stability to serve as a hub for businesses and attract talent, as well as a recognized regional leade within ASEAN, Singapore has
been undertaking a series of measures on its own and with regional states and outside partners in the cyber domain.
During Singapore’s chairmanship, the city-state has continued advancing the agenda around several areas, from increasing capacity-building
and coordination to shaping basic norms in cyberspace. Singapore officials had indicated at the outset that its tagline of “resilience and
innovation” would include a focus on cyber issues as well as related areas such as e-commerce and the digital economy. The key, Singapore’s
Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan had said in a lecture outlining Singapore’s ASEAN priorities last December at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak
Institute, was to boost cyber security as “the flip side” of achieving greater prosperity in the digital economy.
Cybersecurity was once again the spotlight during the 32nd ASEAN Summit over the weekend. Though there was also attention to a range of
other security issues within the ASEAN political-security community pillar, from transnational crimes to counterterrorism to maritime security,
as was expected, regional states paid particular attention to cyber issues. Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong emphasized the
importance of cyber issues in both his remarks at the summit dinner as well as opening remarks at a press conference customarily given by the
ASEAN chair, noting that deeper regional cooperation and coordination needed to “keep up” with the rapid pace of digitalization.
Substantively, the main deliverable in this respect was the ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on Cybersecurity Cooperation. Not unlike other ASEAN
statements of this ilk, the Leaders’ Statement mostly reiterated steps already being taken by Southeast Asian states on their own, regionally,
and with external partners. But it called for a series of further steps, including the identification of a concrete list of voluntary, practical norms
of state behavior in cyberspace and the need to synergize undertakings across ASEAN to avoid duplication (a common problem across issue
To be sure, realizing
all of this will not be easy given a whole host of reasons including the scale of the
challenge, the constraints Southeast Asian states face, and the differences within ASEAN as a grouping.
This will continue to play out through the rest of the year as we see routine meetings take place at the regional level as well as more headlines
around select cyber-related developments, such as progress on the new ASEAN-Japan Cyber Center (See: “What’s Behind the New ASEANJapan Cyber Center?”). Yet there
is little doubt that Southeast Asian states are becoming more aware about the
urgency needed to tackle cyber issues, and Singapore’s chairmanship this year provides still more evidence of that.
That’s key to nuclear security in Southeast Asia
Lim 20 (Jonathan Lim is a Young Leader Fellow with Pacific Forum, a solicitor at WiseLaw, and former
East Asia Fellow with Young Australians in International Affairs. His expertise spans Chinese foreign
policy, cyber warfare, and space law. “Get your act together: Cyber security and nuclear energy in
Southeast Asia.” Southeast Asia Globe, JUNE 24, 2020. https://southeastasiaglobe.com/cyber-securityand-nuclear-energy-southeast-asia/)
Despite growing competence in the implementation of “hard” cyber security measures to boost cyber resilience and
counter information, communications, and technology (ICT) threats across nuclear industrial control systems, cyber and AI remain a
constant threat to nuclear safety and security across Southeast Asia and the wider Asia Pacific.
In early February, the Nuclear Energy Experts Group (NEEG) assembled in Singapore to consider and debate over ongoing efforts among
Southeast Asian nations to facilitate the responsible procurement and use of nuclear technologies, and their support of collaborative initiatives
in advancing energy policy in the region through improved nuclear governance measures.
In recent years, Southeast
Asian nations have expressed a growing interest in the capabilities and
opportunities offered by nuclear power to their developing economies. This has been highlighted under the ASEAN
Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation 2016-2025, wherein civilian nuclear energy was highlighted as one of the seven programme areas to
develop, and within the 2018 Pre-Feasibility Study on the Establishment of Nuclear Power Plant in ASEAN. The latter represents ASEAN’s latest
account on the nature of civilian and commercial nuclear power development in the region.
Nuclear energy has increasingly been seen as a sustainable energy option by ASEAN members, with
Southeast Asia set to readily adopt nuclear solutions between 2030 and 2040. However, the adoption of nuclear energy has faced prior
difficulties, given public opinions surrounding notable international nuclear safety incidents. During the 1970s, the Philippines constructed its
first nuclear power plant (NPP) in the mid-1970s at Bataan, only to never activate if following the 1979 Three Mile Island incident.
Likewise, Vietnam had previously sought procurement of the region’s first operational commercial NPP, until abandoning the idea in 2016 due
to rising costs and safety concerns following the Fukushima disaster in Japan.
Regardless, both Indonesia and the Philippines are presently actively considering nuclear energy as a means of
meeting their developing energy requirements through the procurement of small modular nuclear reactors – both land-based and floating.
The intersection between nuclear energy and cyber security has its origins within the conveniences offered by promising new technological
developments in increasing user safety, reducing errors, and reducing operating costs through increased automation. Indeed, the use of digital
data and analytics within power plants has been observed in reducing operations and maintenance costs, improving power plant and network
efficiency, reducing unplanned outages and downtimes and extending the operational lifetime of assets.
Accordingly, the specific application of AI and cyber within nuclear infrastructure is evident in the use of robotic systems to operate in
hazardous conditions in nuclear power plants, the use of AI technology to detect cracks and structural defects in nuclear reactors, and in the
efficient operation of pressurised water reactors.
Security and safety concerns have long been considered by governments as foremost in the adoption and use of nuclear energy technologies.
This includes active measures to address the theft, trafficking and sale of illicit nuclear materials through regional cooperation under the Global
Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT), and the Interpol nuclear security program.
While these efforts by the Southeast Asian community have proven effective at addressing traditional physical threats, the
utilisation of digitally-interconnected systems and Internet of Things (IoT) devices across national critical
infrastructure poses a novel and significant threat to the safety and security of a nation’s nuclear
Within ASEAN, government ministers are increasingly concerned with cybersecurity and counterterrorism, but the lack of discussion on nuclear
security during the June 2019 Ministerial Meeting in Bangkok highlights the absence of thought on the intersection between nuclear and cyber
security. This lack of concern may be explained by the absence of a nuclear energy power plant in the region, and the still developing state of
digital infrastructure across the majority of ASEAN members.
Consequently, ASEAN possesses an incomprehensible structure of consultative, networking, and technical assistance bodies on cyber security –
wherein some bodies consider nuclear security, but not in an exclusive context. This includes the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore, and
Indonesia’s establishment of a nuclear cyber security doctoral programme.
Nonetheless, a
number of high-profile international cyber security incidents targeting various nations’
critical infrastructure over the past decade has elicited concern over the cyber security vulnerabilities
present in nuclear facilities globally, and shed light on the anticipated risks posed to the nascent nuclear
energy industry in Southeast Asia.
Chief among this is the October 2010 Stuxnet incident, wherein a cyber security attack upon the Iranian Natanz nuclear facility demonstrated
the cyber capabilities of a determined state actor to sabotage and damage physical systems in nuclear facilities. The incident involved the
introduction of a complex piece of malware into the Natanz facility, designed to interfere with Siemens Industrial Control Systems – specifically
the modern supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and PLC systems, present in nuclear facilities globally.
While countries such as the US have implemented cyber security programmes since 2002 to protect digital assets and the information they
contain from malicious use, there has been a number of notable cyber incidents involving nuclear facilities over the past several decades, most
recently the 2019 cyberattack on India’s Kudankulam nuclear power plant involving North Korean malware designed for data extraction.
These incidents have demonstrated the changing and dynamic nature of attacks targeting national nuclear facilities. Threat vectors have drifted
away from traditional physical threats to such facilities, and now include attacks on third parties, social engineering techniques and other
innovative methods.
With the elementary state of the nuclear sector in Southeast Asia, the NEEG determined that discussions concerning nuclear safety and cyber
security would be beneficial in pre-empting cyber security risks, allowing the implementation of security measures within commercial nuclear
facilities. To avoid vulnerabilities, regional governments would be wise to immediately initiate and engage in dialogue over the specific cyber
security risks posed at nuclear facilities around the globe.
As Singapore ranks as one of the top ten best cyber security countries best prepared for cyber-attacks, it stands positioned as the leading
ASEAN member able to provide knowledge and guidance on the proper standards to be adopted in creating a stable and secure environment
for nuclear development.
But given
the apparent safety and security requirements, standard technical cybersecurity solutions are
insufficient for nuclear facilities. This necessitates the devising of innovative approaches in technology and
the development of human resources to drive a reduction in cyber risk to nuclear facilities – encompassing cybersecurity-bydesign, real-time event management, and deployment of cryptography on industrial networks.
Additionally, promoting
transparency and confidence building measures between ASEAN members is
crucial in building trust, enabling cooperation, and in promoting the wide adoption of minimum cyber
security standards. Reducing risk is a fundamentally transnational issue involving multilateral dialogue
and cooperation, one which can be supported through the use of science diplomacy in reducing conflict
and tensions, and which will facilitate data sharing and joint training exercises.
Drell 12 (Professor emeritus of theoretical physics at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at
Stanford University, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Member of the President's Foreign
Intelligence Advisory Board and Science Advisory Committee, THE NUCLEAR ENTERPRISE HighConsequence Accidents: How to Enhance Safety and Minimize Risks in Nuclear Weapons and Reactors,
pg. 1-3)
We live in dangerous times for many reasons. Prominent among them is the existence of a global nuclear
enterprise made up of weapons that can cause damage of unimaginable proportions and power plants at which accidents can have
severe, essentially unpredictable consequences for human life. For all of its utility and promise, the nuclear
enterprise is unique in the enormity of the vast quantities of destructive energy that can be released
through blast, heat, and radioactivity. We addressed just this subject in a conference in October 2011 at Stanford University's Hoover
Institution. The complete set of papers prepared for the conference is reproduced in this book. The conference included experts on weapons, on power plants, on
regulatory experience, and on the development of public perceptions and the ways in which these perceptions influence policy7. The reassuring outcome of the
conference was a general sense that the U.S. nuclear enterprise currently meets very high standards in its commitment to safety and security. That has not always
been the case in all aspects of the nuclear enterprise. And the unsettling outcome of the conference was that it will not be the case globally unless governments,
international organizations, industry7, and media recognize and address the nuclear challenges and mounting risks posed by a rapidly changing world. The
acceptance of the nuclear enterprise is now being challenged by concerns about the questionable safety and security of programs primarily in countries relatively
new to the nuclear enterprise, and the potential loss of control to terrorist or criminal gangs of fissile material that exists in such abundance around the world. In a
number of countries, confidence in nuclear energy production was severely shaken in the spring of 2011 by the Fukushima nuclear reactor plant disaster. And in the
military sphere, the doctrine of deterrence that remains primarily dependent on nuclear weapons is seen in decline due to the importance of non-state actors such
When risks and
consequences are unknown, undervalued, or ignored, our nation and the world are dangerously
vulnerable. Nowhere is this risk-consequence equation more relevant than with respect to the nucleus
of the atom. The nuclear enterprise was introduced to the world by the shock of the devastation produced by two atomic bombs hitting Hiroshima and
as al Qaeda and terrorist affiliates that seek destruction for destruction's sake. We have two nuclear tigers by the tail.
Nagasaki. Modern nuclear weapons are far more powerful than those early bombs, which presented their own hazards. Early research depended on a program of
atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons. In the early years following World War II, the impact and the amount of radioactive fallout in the atmosphere generated by
above-ground nuclear explosions was notfully appreciated. During those years, the United States and also the Soviet Union conducted several hundred tests in the
atmosphere that created fallout. The recent Stanford conference focused on a regulatory weak point from that time that exists in many places today, as the
Fukushima disaster clearly indicates. The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) was initially assigned conflicting responsibilities: to create an arsenal of nuclear
weapons for the United States to confront a growing nuclear-armed Soviet threat; and, at the same time, to ensure public safety from the effects of radioactive
fallout. The AEC was faced with the same conundrum with regard to civilian nuclear power generation. It was charged with promoting civilian nuclear power and
simultaneously protecting the public. Progress came in 1963 with the negotiation and signing of the Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT) banning all nuclear explosive
testing in the atmosphere (initially by the United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom). With the successful safety7 record of the U.S. nuclear weapons
program, domestic anxiety about nuclear weapons receded somewhat. Meanwhile, public attitudes toward nuclear weapons reflected recognition of their key role
in establishing a more stable nuclear deterrent posture in the confrontation with the Soviet Union. The positive record on safety of the nuclear weapons enterprise
in the United States—there have been accidents involving nuclear weapons, but none that led to the release of nuclear energy—was the result of a strong effort
and continuing commitment to include safety as a primary criterion in new weapons designs, as well as careful production, handling, and deployment procedures.
The key to the health of today's nuclear weapons enterprise is confidence in the safety7 of its operations and in the protection of special nuclear materials against
theft. One can imagine how different the situation would be today if there had been a recognized theft of material sufficient for a bomb, or if one of the two fourmegaton bombs dropped from a disabled B-52 Strategic Air Command bomber overflying Goldsboro, North Carolina, in 1961 had detonated. In that event, just one
switch in the arming sequence of one of the bombs, by remaining in its "off position" while the aircraft was disintegrating, was all that prevented a full-yield nuclear
explosion. A close call indeed! In the twenty-six years since Chernobyl, the nuclear power industry has strengthened its safety practices. Over the past decade,
growing concerns about global warming and energy independence have actually strengthened support for nuclear energy in the United States and many nations
around the world. Yet despite these trends, the
civil nuclear enterprise remains fragile. Following Fukushima, opinion polls gave stark
evidence of the public's deep fears of the invisible force of nuclear radiation, shown by public opposition to the construction of new nuclear power plants in close
proximity. It is not simply a matter of getting better information to the public but of actually educating the public about the true nature of nuclear radiation and its
risks. Of course, the immediate task of the nuclear power component of the enterprise is to strive for the best possible safety record with one overriding objective:
no more Fukushimas. Another issue that must be resolved involves the continued effectiveness of a policy of deterrence that remains primarily dependent upon
nuclear weapons, and the hazards these weapons pose due to the spread of nuclear technology and material. There is growing apprehension about the
determination of terrorists to get their hands on weapons or, for that matter, on the special nuclear material—plutonium and highly enriched uranium—that fuels
them in the most challenging step toward developing a weapon. The
global effects of a regional war between nuclear-armed
adversaries such as India and Pakistan would also wield an enormous impact, potentially involving radioactive
fallout at large distances caused by a limited number of nuclear explosions. This is true as well for
nuclear radiation from a reactor explosion—fallout at large distances would have a serious societal impact
on the nuclear enterprise. There is little understanding of the reality and potential danger of consequences
if such an event were to occur halfway around the world. An effort should be made to prepare the public by providing information on how to
respond to such an event.
Even a limited nuclear exchange causes extinction
Trevithick and Rogoway 19 [Joseph and Tyler; February 27; Military Analyst, M.A. in Conflict
Resolution from Georgetown University, B.A. in the History and Policy of International Relations at
Carnegie-Mellon University; Defense Journalist; The Drive, “Yes, India And Pakistan Could End The World
As We Know It Through A Nuclear Exchange,” https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/26674/yesindia-and-pakistan-could-end-the-world-as-we-know-it-through-a-nuclear-exchange; RP]
A global threat India and Pakistan's nuclear arsenals are tiny compared to those of the United States and
Russia, and these weapons are focused primarily on deterring each other, but that does not mean
they're purely regional threats. Unlike conventional weapons, nuclear weapons create lasting and farreaching effects that scientists have posited could upend life on Earth if warring parties were to use
them in sufficient numbers. In 2012, Alan Robock, a distinguished professor in the Department of
Environmental Sciences and Associate Director of the Center for Environmental Prediction at Rutgers
University, and Owen Brian Toon, a professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
and a research associate at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of
Colorado, Boulder, argued that it might not take a large amount of nuclear weapons to create a scenario
commonly known as "Nuclear Winter." In general, this hypothesized event occurs when smoke and soot
from nuclear explosions block significant amounts of sunlight from reaching the earth's surface, leading
to a precipitous drop in temperatures that results in mass crop failure and widespread famine. Robcock
and Toon summarized their findings, which were based in part on their previous work, in an article in
the Bulletin of The Atomic Scientists, writing: "Even a 'small' nuclear war between India and Pakistan,
with each country detonating 50 Hiroshima-size atom bombs -- only about 0.03 percent of the global
nuclear arsenal's explosive power -- as airbursts in urban areas, could produce so much smoke that
temperatures would fall below those of the Little Ice Age of the fourteenth to nineteenth centuries,
shortening the growing season around the world and threatening the global food supply. Furthermore,
there would be massive ozone depletion, allowing more ultraviolet radiation to reach Earth's surface.
Recent studies predict that agricultural production in parts of the United States and China would decline
by about 20 percent for four years, and by 10 percent for a decade. The bomb the United States
dropped on Hiroshima Japan, known as Little Boy, was an inefficient and essentially experimental design
with a yield of around 15 kilotons. The reported results from Indian and Pakistani nuclear testing
indicate that both countries can meet this threshold and both countries' weapons programs have
almost certainly matured in the decades since. In previous studies, Robcock, working with others,
postulated that temperature changes could begin within 10 days of a limited nuclear exchange and the
effects from the detonations of 100 nuclear weapons in the 15-kiloton class would directly result in the
deaths of at least 20 million people. The second order impacts would be even worse in the years that
followed. In 2014, Michael Mills and Julia Lee-Taylor, both then working at the federally-funded National
Center for Atmospheric Research's (NCAR) Earth System Laboratory, authored another paper with
Robcock and Toon. This study concluded again that detonation of 100 15-kiloton yield bombs in a purely
regional conflict would result in "multi-decadal global cooling" and "would put significant pressures on
global food supplies and could trigger a global nuclear famine." It is important to note that critics have
questioned whether the Nuclear Winter concept relies on too many assumptions and would ever
actually occur. At the center of many of these rebuttals are debates about whether the nuclear
explosions would truly create the amount of smoke and soot necessary for major climate change, as well
as the specific conditions for those particles to remain in the atmosphere for a prolonged period of time.
The studies here do indicate significant impacts based on a relatively limited number of nuclear
detonations of smaller yield devices, though. But even if the impacts are less pronounced than projected
in this particular scenario, they could be far more severe if India and Pakistan were to use a larger
number weapons and/or ones of higher yields, which both belligerents readily have. In addition,
Nuclear Winter is just one of the potential things that might happen following a nuclear exchange
between the longtime foes. A detonation of dozens of nuclear weapons, even small ones, would throw
hazardous nuclear fallout into the air that, depending on the weather pattern, could carry that material
far and wide, causing both near- and short-term health impacts. The various ground zeroes themselves
would be irritated and potentially hazardous for many years to come. Depending on where the
detonations occur, a nuclear exchange could potentially cut people off from critical water and food
supplies, putting increased and potentially unsustainable strains on uncontaminated areas. After the
Chernobyl nuclear power plant, situated in Ukraine, melted down and exploded in 1986, authorities
established a 1,000 square mile restricted access "exclusion zone" that remains in place today. There
would also be a major danger of second-order "spillover" effects, as individuals fled affected areas,
putting economic and political strains on neighboring regions. This could inflame existing tensions not
directly related to the inter-state conflict between India or Pakistan or lead to all new and potentially
violent competition for what might already be limited resources. India has already threatened to
weaponize water access in its latest spat with the Pakistanis. Any serious impacts on food and water
supplies, or other economic upheavals as a direct or indirect result of the conflict, would have cascading
impact across South Asia and beyond, as well. The very threat of a potential India-Pakistan war of any
kind already caused some negative reactions in regional financial markets. Those markets would
certainly collapse after an unprecedented nuclear exchange actually occurred, and that is before the
long-term physical impacts of such an event would even manifest themselves. Overall, we are talking
about a sudden and dramatic geopolitical, financial, and environmental shift that would change our
reality in a matter of hours. Even then, the darkness, both figuratively and literally, that could propagate
over the weeks, months, and years would be far more damaging. How great is the risk? So far, India and
Pakistan have not made any clear indications that the fighting is close to crossing their nuclear
thresholds. Pakistan's warnings about the risks of escalation seem more calculated to try and prompt
India to back down. India itself has a so-called "no first use" policy, which means it has publicly pledged
to use its nuclear weapons only in retaliation to a nuclear strike. However, experts have increasingly
called into question whether this is truly the case and whether India might be developing delivery
systems more suited to a first strike should there be a need to shift policies. Pakistan, however, does
not have a no first use policy and has insisted on its right to employ nuclear weapons to defend itself
even in the face of purely conventional threat. Pakistani officials have, in the past, specifically cited this
policy as way of deterring India, which has a much larger and in some cases more advanced
conventional force, and preventing larger wars. The concern, then, is that this policy appears to have
failed, at least to some degree, with India's strike on undisputed Pakistani territory on Feb. 26, 2019.
India, however, did not target Pakistani forces in that instance and exchanges between the two
countries have been limited, at least so far, to the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region, where violent
skirmishes occur semi-regularly without precipitating a larger confrontation. We can only hope that the
two countries will find a diplomatic solution to this latest conflict and avoid any further escalation. If
things were to spiral out of control and lead to the use of nuclear weapons, it would be something that
would threaten all of humanity.