Danger in the Himalayas

With more than a billion people each, China and India are home to 36 percent of the world’s population. And they are the world’s two fastest-growing economies.

But that’s not what makes me worry when soldiers from these two nations face off in the remote Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. What gives me the shivers is that both China and India possess The Bomb.

And it seems nuclear conflict is no longer unthinkable. With Trump threatening to nuke North Korea and Kim Jong-un threatening to nuke Guam, it is becoming a very real option.

We’re hearing once again about “tactical” nuclear weapons, which are supposed to be “safer” than the kind that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Apparently, these weapons can  be more accurately targeted and radioactive fallout is contained.

This kind of chatter is reprehensible.

With at least nine countries possessing nuclear weapons (click on illustration to enlarge it), there is always going to be danger of someone actually using one. This is a tense world in which rival political philosophies and economic goals are causing constant conflict.

The India-China stand-off, for example, is ostensibly about China building a road in territory belonging to Bhutan but it’s rooted in rivalry for dominance in Asia.

In such a global environment, Trump’s threats to use nuclear force are dangerously irresponsible. While he is probably just bluffing, he is helping to create an atmosphere in which using The Bomb becomes acceptable.

What he and other world leaders should be doing is working to eliminate the 10,000 or more nuclear weapons in the world and promoting the idea that use of nuclear arms is as unacceptable as mustard gas and other chemical weapons.

It’s time for the global population to make their voices heard as so many did in the Sixties. It’s time once again to take to the streets with signs that urge: “Ban the Bomb.”

More on the China-India faceoff

Who has The Bomb

More on use of tactical nuclear arms

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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