The United Nations has begun talks on negotiating a global nuclear weapons ban today,but will be doing so in the face of intense opposition from the United States and several of its main allies, with the Trump Administration setting itself up as leading opposition to any nuclear disarmament deal.
The UN General Assembly agreed back in December to try to negotiate such a deal, but in the face of opposition from the US, along with France, Britain, and Australia, it appears unlikely any deal will be possible. US officials are insisting that whatever sort of deal is reached, the US must retain its own nuclear arsenal.
Exactly how much US pressure is behind the rest of the nations “boycotting” the meeting is unclear, but Australia’s statement on the matter, insisting it needs to keep assurances of being under America’s nuclear umbrella, suggests the US may be playing hardball with any countries backing disarmament.
President Trump has sent mixed signals about his intentions on nuclear weapons, talking up the need for major new expenditures on such weapons, but also at times urging the world to “come to its senses” about the weapons. The Obama Administration was generally pro-disarmament, though they were very publicly opposed to the nuclear-free Middle East program when they realized that Israel was the sole nuclear power in the region.