Sunday, July 21, 2024
09:37 PM (GMT +5)

Go Back   CSS Forums > CSS Optional subjects > Group I > International Relations

International Relations Notes on IR

Reply Share Thread: Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook     Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter     Submit Thread to Google+ Google+    
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Predator's Avatar
Senior Member
Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Academic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason:
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Karachi
Posts: 2,572
Thanks: 813
Thanked 1,975 Times in 838 Posts
Predator is a splendid one to beholdPredator is a splendid one to beholdPredator is a splendid one to beholdPredator is a splendid one to beholdPredator is a splendid one to beholdPredator is a splendid one to behold
Post Nuclear Weapons Proliferation(NPT)

Nuclear Weapons Proliferation

Nuclear Weapons Proliferation, the spread of nuclear weapons to countries or terrorist organizations that formerly did not possess them. Many observers believe that the problem of nuclear weapons proliferation is likely to be one of the most important issues facing the United States and the world for many years to come. The 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) attempted to address the problem, but the number of countries possessing nuclear weapons has grown since the treaty went into effect.

Nuclear weapons were first developed by the United States during World War II (1939-1945) as a result of a massive, secret program known as the Manhattan Project. The United States tested the first nuclear weapon in July 1945 at Alamogordo in the New Mexico desert, and then used two nuclear weapons against the Japanese cities of Hiroshima (August 6, 1945) and Nagasaki (August 9, 1945). These are the only times nuclear explosives have been used as a weapon, although there have been more than 2,000 nuclear weapon tests and more than 100 experiments using nuclear explosives for peaceful purposes, such as excavation.

Today, the United States and seven other countries have openly declared that they possess nuclear weapons and have conducted one or more nuclear test explosions to demonstrate this capability. The countries and the dates of their first nuclear test are: Russia (first test conducted by the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, 1949); Britain (1952); France (1960); China (1964); India (peaceful nuclear explosion, 1974; nuclear weapons test, 1998); Pakistan (1998); and North Korea (2006). Israel is generally believed to possess nuclear weapons, although it has not acknowledged this and is not known to have conducted a nuclear test. Including Israel, the total number of countries generally recognized as possessing nuclear weapons is nine.

A tenth country, South Africa, has also admitted that it developed a small arsenal of nuclear weapons (first weapon completed, 1977), but it dismantled this arsenal in the early 1990s. When the Soviet Union broke apart in 1991, 3 of the 15 newly independent countries, in addition to Russia, had nuclear weapons on their territory. By the mid-1990s, the three countries—Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine—had transferred all of these nuclear weapons to Russia. Virtually all countries of the world—other than the nine nations believed to possess nuclear weapons today—have formally pledged not to manufacture them. This pledge was made under the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which entered into force in 1970. The treaty has been ratified by 187 nonnuclear weapon states. Many nations have expressed concern, however, that one such party to the treaty, Iran, may be actively seeking to develop such weapons.

No terrorist organizations possess nuclear weapons. Al-Qaeda is known to desire them, however, and a Japanese cult, the Aum Shinrikyo, began an effort to develop them in the late 1980s, but was unsuccessful.

The nuclear weapons that the United States developed through the Manhattan Project are known as “atomic” or “fission” weapons because they obtain their energy from the splitting (or fissioning) of certain highly unstable atoms. Two materials have been used as the core of fission weapons: highly enriched uranium and plutonium. Highly enriched uranium is uranium in which one type of unstable uranium atom, an isotope known as uranium 235 or U-235, has been artificially concentrated. In naturally occurring uranium, U-235 makes up only 0.7 percent of a typical uranium sample, but in fission weapons U-235 is concentrated to much higher levels. Concentrations of more than 90 percent U-235 are considered best for fission weapons, but lower concentrations can also be used. The IAEA and virtually all countries, including the United States, treat uranium enriched to more than 20 percent U-235 as potentially usable for weapons. Material enriched above this level is known as “highly enriched uranium” and is protected by special security measures. The process of increasing the concentration of U-235 is performed in a facility known as a uranium enrichment plant.

Irradiating uranium fuel in a nuclear reactor produces plutonium. During the reactor’s operation some uranium atoms absorb an atomic particle known as a neutron, ultimately creating a new element, plutonium. Roughly 1 percent of uranium atoms are transformed into plutonium by this means. The irradiated uranium material is then removed from the reactor in the form of “spent fuel” rods, and chemical processes extract the plutonium from them in a facility known as a reprocessing plant.

To cause a nuclear explosion, the highly enriched uranium or plutonium must be compressed by means of conventional high explosives. The compression causes the nuclear materials to become more dense so as to achieve a supercritical mass that leads to an uncontrolled chain reaction. A nuclear explosion is an uncontrolled chain reaction, whereas the energy generated by a nuclear power plant is a controlled chain reaction. Highly enriched uranium can be detonated by means of a relatively simple, “gun-type” device, in which one quantity of highly enriched uranium is fired into another within a gun-barrel-like cylinder, thereby achieving the necessary supercritical mass. Plutonium must be compressed much more rapidly than highly enriched uranium, however, because plutonium spontaneously emits neutrons that can interfere with the chain reaction that produces the explosion. To detonate plutonium, a much more complicated implosion-type design is required, in which a hollow plutonium sphere is crushed inward with great precision by a series of shaped, high-explosive charges, known as lenses, that surround the plutonium and are detonated at exactly the same moment.

During the Manhattan Project, the United States simultaneously pursued several means for enriching uranium and also produced plutonium. The Manhattan Project scientists had such confidence in the gun-type design that the highly enriched uranium bomb was not tested before it was used against Hiroshima. The scientists were less sure about the more complex implosion design for the Nagasaki bomb, however, and this was the design tested at Alamogordo. Today, nuclear weapons inspectors with the IAEA assume that 25 kg (55 lb) of highly enriched uranium or 8 kg (18 lb) of plutonium would be sufficient to manufacture a nuclear weapon. However, depending on the design of the weapon, considerably less could be used. According to some estimates, it is theoretically possible to develop a nuclear weapon with less than 8 kg of plutonium.

In the late 1940s the United States began to develop a far more potent type of nuclear armament, known as thermonuclear weapons, or the “hydrogen bomb.” These bombs use small fission weapons to create extreme conditions that cause certain types of hydrogen atoms (deuterium and tritium) to fuse together, releasing vast quantities of explosive energy. Some thermonuclear weapons release the equivalent of millions of tons of TNT.
Only five of the states possessing nuclear weapons are known to have developed thermonuclear arms: the United States (first test 1952), Russia (1953), Britain (1957), China (1967), and France (1968). Developing these weapons requires extensive nuclear test detonations. The other, more recent nuclear states have conducted very few (and in some cases no) nuclear tests to avoid calling attention to their nuclear weapon programs, which are often the subject of international criticism. This has slowed their development of thermonuclear weapons.

The most difficult challenge for a country that seeks to build nuclear weapons is obtaining the necessary highly enriched uranium or plutonium. In addition to access to uranium supplies, this requires considerable industrial and scientific capabilities. Even less developed countries, however, such as China, India, North Korea, and Pakistan, have succeeded by concentrating their resources on this effort and, in most cases, by obtaining help from governments or individuals in more advanced countries. For example, China’s nuclear weapon program benefited from early assistance provided by the Soviet Union. India’s program took advantage of Canadian and U.S. assistance provided for peaceful nuclear research, and Pakistan’s program relied on assistance from China, along with technology and equipment secretly obtained from Western European supplier companies. Without such assistance, nuclear weapon programs in these states would have been greatly delayed and might not have succeeded.

A -Enriched Uranium Bombs
Uranium can be enriched using several techniques. The United States nuclear weapons program has relied on the gaseous diffusion method, invented during the Manhattan Project, in which uranium is transformed into a gas (uranium hexafluoride) and pumped through membranes that permit U-235 atoms to pass through slightly more often than other uranium atoms. By repeating this process through many cycles, concentrations of U-235 can be increased to the level needed for nuclear weapons. Britain, France, and China also have relied exclusively on the gaseous diffusion method to produce highly enriched uranium for nuclear weapons. The Soviet Union did so for many years before shifting to the gas centrifuge method.

The gaseous diffusion method uses great quantities of energy. Indeed, during the Manhattan Project, the United States built a hydroelectric dam, under the Tennessee Valley Authority, solely to power the gaseous diffusion enrichment facility at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. A country seeking to develop nuclear weapons secretly would find it difficult to do so using this method today because the energy requirements would be nearly impossible to hide.
Uranium enrichment using high-speed gas centrifuges is far more efficient than gaseous diffusion. In the gas centrifuge process, uranium is also first converted to gaseous uranium hexafluoride. It is then introduced into the centrifuges—rapidly spinning vertical cylinders—where it is swirled at great speed. Under the centrifugal forces created, the bulk of uranium atoms, which are heavier than U-235 atoms, move toward the outside of the centrifuge, allowing product slightly concentrated in U-235 to remain at the center and be drawn off. By linking the gas centrifuges together in what is known as a cascade, this process is then repeated until weapons-usable material is created. Pakistan relies on this method of enrichment for producing highly enriched uranium for nuclear weapons. It is also used in India and, possibly, North Korea. Iran has also built a centrifuge uranium enrichment facility, which it states is intended for its peaceful nuclear energy program.

Other enrichment techniques are the jet nozzle process, used by South Africa, and the electromagnetic isotope separation process, which Iraq used in its unsuccessful effort to enrich uranium before the 1991 Persian Gulf War.
Lasers can also be used to enrich uranium, although to date no country is known to have employed this method for the development of nuclear weapons. In this method, known as laser isotope separation, uranium is transformed into a metal, vaporized, and then targeted with specialized lasers that “excite” U-235 atoms differently from other uranium atoms, permitting a concentrated product to be collected. The process is considered very difficult technically, but it can be conducted in small-scale facilities that can evade detection by the IAEA or foreign intelligence agencies. In 2004 South Korea acknowledged that in 2000 it had conducted secret laser enrichment experiments, creating a tiny amount of very highly enriched uranium. Because it is very hard to detect and can be extremely efficient, the laser enrichment method could pose a significant proliferation risk in the future.

B -Plutonium Bombs
The technology to produce plutonium is technically simpler than that needed to enrich uranium. Nonetheless, plutonium production requires the construction of a series of expensive and relatively complex facilities, including a nuclear research, nuclear power, or plutonium-production reactor; a plant for the manufacture of uranium fuel or targets; and a reprocessing plant. The United States, the Soviet Union (now Russia), Britain, France, and China all produced plutonium for their nuclear weapons programs, in addition to highly enriched uranium. Plutonium is the principal nuclear weapon material used in the Indian, North Korean, and presumed Israeli nuclear weapon programs. Pakistan is also believed to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons.

Because reactors and reprocessing plants, as well as large-scale enrichment plants, are difficult to hide, they may be discovered by other countries, which may attempt to halt their completion by diplomatic pressure or by military attack. In 1981 Israel launched a surprise air strike that destroyed an Iraqi reactor, which Israel feared would be used for plutonium production.
Nonmilitary programs for producing electricity using nuclear power reactors may also employ uranium enrichment and reprocessing. Most nuclear power reactors use uranium fuel that has been enriched to 3 to 5 percent, for example. Today, this material is produced in commercial uranium enrichment plants in Britain, China, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Russia, and the United States. In 2006 Iran declared that its gas centrifuges had enriched uranium to about 3.5 percent. Gas centrifuge enrichment facilities that produce low-enriched uranium for fuel can be reconfigured to produce highly enriched uranium for weapons.

In addition, a number of countries are currently reusing, or plan to reuse, plutonium produced in nuclear power plant fuel. This requires separating the plutonium from the spent nuclear power plant fuel in a reprocessing facility and then mixing the plutonium with unenriched uranium to form new fuel, which is then used in a reactor instead of low-enriched uranium. Britain, France, India, Japan, and Russia are separating plutonium from spent nuclear power plant fuel.

C -Nuclear Bomb Design
Countries seeking to produce nuclear weapons must also develop a reliable design for the weapon. With computer simulations and extensive testing of the nonnuclear components, it is possible for a country to develop a reliable design for a fission weapon without the need for a full-scale nuclear detonation. Some countries also benefit from nuclear weapon design assistance provided by other nations. For example, Pakistan is believed to have received a nuclear weapon design from China in the early 1980s. A senior Pakistani official is known to have provided a copy of this design to Libya and, possibly, Iran and North Korea. A country may wish to forgo a full-scale nuclear test because a test would be clear proof that it was developing nuclear weapons, which, in turn, could lead to international criticism and diplomatic isolation. Israel has adopted this strategy of nuclear ambiguity, as did Pakistan from the late 1980s, when it is believed to have produced its first nuclear weapons, until 1998, when it conducted its first nuclear tests.

Nuclear war would have devastating consequences. Even a conflict that involved only the use of one or two fission weapons could cause many hundreds of thousands of deaths and destroy the centers of major cities. Large-scale nuclear war, involving the use of hundreds of thermonuclear weapons, could cause many millions of casualties, destroy nations, and permanently affect the global environment. Although some scholars argue otherwise, virtually all governments believe that the spread of nuclear weapons to additional states will increase the likelihood of nuclear war.
Many of the nations that possess nuclear weapons or have sought to develop them have long had regional conflicts with each other. For example, India and Pakistan have had a serious border dispute over Kashmīr, China and India had a brief border conflict, Israel has fought several wars with neighboring nations in the Middle East, and Iran and Iraq fought an eight-year-long war. North and South Korea, now separated by a demilitarized zone, fought against each other in the Korean War (1950-1953). These regional conflicts and other potential conflicts provide the fundamental reason for the international community to seek to halt the spread of nuclear weapons.

The spread of nuclear weapons can also permit aggressor nations to intimidate neighbors and dominate their regions. Iraq under Saddam Hussein, its former president, is believed to have sought nuclear weapons for this purpose prior to the 1991 Persian Gulf War. In addition, nuclear weapons could be used as a threat by a country seeking to advance a global ideological cause, such as the spread of radical Islamic fundamentalism. A growing new danger is that a national government, or senior officials within that government, might provide nuclear weapons or the materials for making them to terrorist organizations whose views they shared. While nations differ on the particulars of such dangers, they generally agree that their own security is best served by curbing the further spread of nuclear arms.
Nuclear proliferation also inevitably increases the risk of accidents involving nuclear weapons—for example, during transport—which could cause great devastation. This risk may be greatest in less technologically advanced countries whose weapons may not include the built-in safety features found in the nuclear weapons of the more advanced nuclear powers. In some countries, nuclear weapon programs can divert scarce financial and technical resources from urgently needed development projects, a challenge that can be severely worsened for states engaged in open-ended nuclear arms races with rivals.

In 1946, in an effort to prevent a nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union and avoid the spread of nuclear weapons to other countries, the United States proposed that all materials usable for nuclear weapons be placed under international control. The Soviet Union, which was not yet a nuclear weapons state, rejected the proposal, known as the Baruch Plan. Fearing that growing interest in nuclear energy would lead nuclear technology to spread uncontrollably, the United States in 1953 launched the Atoms for Peace program. Under the program, the United States offered to share nuclear technology for peaceful purposes with friendly states. U.S. inspections would ensure that transferred items were not diverted for nuclear weapon programs. A new organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), was established in 1957 to take over the inspections. By this time, the Soviet Union had initiated a similar program for its allies, also relying on IAEA inspections.

A -Non-Proliferation Treaty
During the 1960s, as concerns grew that nuclear weapons were continuing to proliferate and as the U.S.-Soviet nuclear arms race accelerated, negotiations began on a global treaty to halt the further spread of nuclear weapons. These negotiations resulted in the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The treaty was opened for ratification in 1968 and entered into force in 1970.The treaty establishes two classes of states: nuclear weapon states and nonnuclear weapon states. Nuclear weapon states are those that had conducted nuclear tests before January 1, 1967—the United States, Soviet Union (now Russia), Britain, France, and China. All other countries are nonnuclear weapon states for the purposes of the treaty.

1 -Terms of the Treaty
Under the treaty, the nuclear weapon states party to the agreement pledge not to transfer nuclear weapons or any other nuclear explosive devices (such as possible peaceful nuclear explosives for large-scale excavations) to any recipient or to “assist, encourage, or induce” any nonnuclear weapon state to manufacture nuclear weapons or any other nuclear explosive devices. The nuclear weapon states are not required by the treaty to give up nuclear weapons.

Nonnuclear weapon states party to the treaty pledge not to manufacture or receive nuclear weapons or any other nuclear explosive devices. To verify that they are complying with these pledges, the nonnuclear weapon states agree to accept IAEA inspections on all of their nuclear activities, an arrangement known as “full-scope safeguards.” All parties to the treaty are prohibited from exporting nuclear equipment or materials to nonnuclear weapon states unless the exported items will be placed under IAEA inspection in the recipient country.

The treaty reaffirms the “inalienable right” of all parties to pursue the peaceful uses of nuclear energy consistent with the prohibition on the development of nuclear explosives and calls on all parties to facilitate the fullest possible sharing of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
The treaty states that all parties shall undertake to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the (U.S.-Soviet) nuclear arms race and to achieve complete and general nuclear disarmament.
Any party may withdraw from the treaty on three months’ notice if it decides that “extraordinary events, related to the subject matter of this Treaty, have jeopardized the supreme interests of its country.”

To persuade the nonnuclear states to agree to the treaty, the nuclear states indicated that they would not use nuclear weapons in an attack on a nonnuclear state unless the state was allied with a nuclear power. However, this pledge was informal and not part of the treaty itself. Since then, Britain and the United States have stated that they might respond with a nuclear attack against a nonnuclear state that used chemical or biological weapons. Some observers believe that preventive war doctrines, such as those articulated by the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush, may have the unintended effect of encouraging some nonnuclear states to develop nuclear weapons for self-protection.

2 -Treaty Limitations
The treaty currently has five nuclear weapon state members and 187 nonnuclear weapon state members. India, Israel, and Pakistan never joined the treaty, thereby reserving the legal right to develop nuclear weapons. North Korea became a party to the treaty in 1985 but renounced it in 2003, exercising its rights under the treaty’s withdrawal provisions. North Korea’s action highlighted one of the treaty’s important limitations.

The treaty’s provision affirming the right of parties to pursue the peaceful uses of nuclear energy can also be exploited by states seeking nuclear weapons. The provision has been interpreted as permitting states to operate nuclear reactors and the facilities needed to fuel them, including enrichment and reprocessing plants, provided they are all placed under IAEA inspection. This arrangement could permit a country to stockpile highly enriched uranium (used in some research reactors) or plutonium while under IAEA supervision and to then withdraw from the treaty on 90 days’ notice. This would leave the country with the materials needed for nuclear weapons. Some countries have expressed concern that Iran, a nonnuclear weapon state party to the NPT, is constructing a uranium enrichment plant with this strategy in mind.

B -Nuclear Suppliers Group
In the early 1970s the NPT Exporters Committee was established to implement the export control provisions of the treaty. In 1974 India conducted a nuclear explosion that it claimed was intended to demonstrate that such explosions could be used for peaceful purposes. India’s test explosion nevertheless underscored the dangers of further proliferation. In 1978 the principal nuclear supplier countries, including states such as France that were not then parties to the NPT, established the Nuclear Suppliers Group to better control nuclear commerce intended for peaceful purposes. In 2004 the group had 40 members and had gradually tightened the group’s common export control rules.

C -Nunn-Lugar Program
The breakup of the Soviet Union in late 1991, which brought an end to the rigid controls of the Soviet internal security apparatus and began a period of social and economic turmoil, introduced a major new proliferation threat. This was the risk that portions of the massive Soviet nuclear weapons arsenal might leak to countries or terrorist organizations seeking nuclear weapons. The Soviet nuclear legacy included tens of thousands of nuclear weapons, hundreds of tons of highly enriched uranium and plutonium not yet incorporated into weapons, and many thousands of scientists with expertise in the production of nuclear arms.

To address this threat, in 1991, the United States launched the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, also known as the Nunn-Lugar Program, after the two U.S. senators who launched the initiative—Democrat Sam Nunn and Republican Richard Lugar. The program, whose budget in the United States is roughly $1 billion annually and which is being matched by similar contributions from other leading industrialized countries, provides monetary and other assistance for Russia. This assistance is intended to help Russia improve security over nuclear weapons and nuclear-weapons material, eliminate excess highly enriched uranium and plutonium, and employ former Soviet nuclear weapon scientists in nonmilitary research activities. Assistance is also provided to other countries of the former Soviet Union to address similar proliferation risks within their borders.

D -Proliferation Security Initiative
In 2003 the United States launched a major new effort to address the threat of nuclear smuggling, the Proliferation Security Initiative. The initiative seeks to aggressively enforce national and international laws to seize cargoes containing equipment and material that could be used to manufacture weapons of mass destruction equipment before they can reach their intended destinations. More than 30 nations are now participating in this effort.

E -UN Resolution 1540 and Other Measures
In April 2004 the United Nations (UN) Security Council adopted Resolution 1540. The resolution requires UN members to implement effective measures to secure within their borders the know-how, equipment, and materials that could be used to make weapons of mass destruction and to adopt effective export controls. This resolution was passed because of growing concerns about terrorist acquisition of weapons of mass destruction and the revelations that a senior Pakistani nuclear scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan, had sold uranium enrichment equipment to Iran, Libya, and North Korea and a nuclear weapon design to Libya and possibly the other states.

Many other measures have helped slow proliferation. Under some military alliances, such as the U.S.-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), for example, nuclear weapon states promise to extend protection to nonnuclear weapon states, making their development of independent nuclear arsenals unnecessary. Concerned nations can also direct intensive diplomatic and economic pressure—including public criticism, breaking off relations, or imposing trade embargoes—against states seeking nuclear weapons. Such efforts have led some target countries to abandon these programs. Libya’s renunciation of weapons of mass destruction in 2004 was partly the result of such efforts.

A-Nuclear Smuggling
Efforts to curb nuclear proliferation face a series of major new challenges. First, the nuclear smuggling network established by Abdul Qadeer Khan demonstrated that proliferation can be actively assisted not only by national governments, as in the past, but also by private, nonstate persons and organizations that have access to key knowledge and equipment. Khan’s sale to Libya of all the key elements needed to build a gas centrifuge uranium enrichment plant and his sale of a proven nuclear weapon design was unprecedented. Khan appears to have transferred most, if not all, of these to Iran and North Korea, as well.

In addition, Khan’s network established machining shops in Malaysia and perhaps in other locations to manufacture key centrifuge components, making these activities extremely difficult to detect for foreign intelligence services seeking to slow proliferation. It is not known whether elements of Khan’s network still survive and how many customers may have received copies of highly sensitive documents. These nonstate actors are far less visible and can be far more difficult to influence than nations, which can be pressured diplomatically, or threatened militarily, to change their behavior.
UN Security Council Resolution 1540 will encourage states such as Pakistan and Malaysia to better control activities related to weapons of mass destruction within their borders and to prevent improper exports. The effectiveness of this new element of the nonproliferation “regime” remains uncertain, however.

The IAEA is also encouraging NPT nonnuclear weapon states to give the agency broader inspection authority under an additional protocol to their basic inspection agreements with the agency. The new authority will give the agency the right to demand access to any site in a country where the agency believes activities related to nuclear weapons development may be taking place. This authority, if widely granted, could significantly restrict future nuclear smuggling networks.

B -Secret Activities
A second challenge is the growing number of cases in which countries have pursued secret activities that violated the NPT and were not detected by the IAEA. In early 2002, for example, the international community first became aware that Iran was pursuing a major gas centrifuge uranium enrichment program, including a pilot enrichment facility, a gas centrifuge manufacturing plant, and early construction of a large-scale enrichment plant. In 2004 Libya’s secret acquisition of uranium gas and of a portion of the equipment for a similar gas centrifuge facility was also revealed. Similarly, in 2004, South Korea’s previous experiments with laser isotope enrichment came to light.
All of these countries were parties to the NPT and were obligated to place all other nuclear materials (and facilities using such materials) under IAEA inspection. They were also required to disclose plans for the construction of new nuclear facilities to permit the agency to verify their design. None of these states, however, complied with these requirements. The IAEA was unaware of this situation, and so apparently were foreign intelligence services. The episodes raise serious questions about the effectiveness of key parts of the international nonproliferation system.

The widespread acceptance of enhanced IAEA inspections by NPT nonnuclear weapon states through the signing of additional protocols could go far toward addressing this challenge. Since the disclosure of its uranium enrichment program, for example, Iran has permitted the IAEA to use the new inspection techniques. This has allowed the IAEA to uncover many new details about the previously secret program. Strict IAEA inspections in that country have been strongly supported by the agency’s member states through the IAEA Board of Governors, an essential element of efforts to enforce IAEA rules, which may bolster the agency in future cases. In late 2004, as the result of information uncovered by IAEA inspectors and strong international pressure, Iran agreed to freeze its uranium enrichment program, under an agreement with the European Union (EU), negotiated by Britain, France, and Germany.

In February 2006, however, Iran announced that it was resuming its uranium enrichment program. In March the United Nations Security Council issued a statement demanding that Iran cease its program. In April Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared that by using a cascade of 164 linked gas centrifuges Iran had succeeded in enriching uranium to about 3.5 percent, which is suitable only for use as nuclear reactor fuel. The IAEA subsequently confirmed this achievement and said Iran was in violation of the Security Council’s demand to cease uranium enrichment. Ahmadinejad also boasted that Iran had developed a more advanced type of gas centrifuge, known as the P-2, which is capable of enriching uranium much more quickly. The IAEA said Iran had refused to provide details about the program, which the IAEA needs to inspect effectively. Iran continued to declare its support for the NPT, but many proliferation experts and officials in other countries worried that Iran might have a secret nuclear weapons program.

Nonproliferation may also be facing a more basic challenge: Some states may believe that they need nuclear weapons to protect themselves against bullying or military intervention by more powerful states. North Korea has justified its development of nuclear arms as a “deterrent” against U.S. aggression. Iran, similarly, may be developing the option to manufacture nuclear weapons out of concern that, without them, it would be vulnerable to U.S. intervention, as Iraq was.

The United States has attempted to address such concerns. In the case of North Korea, the United States has held discussions on a package of arrangements that might include a nonaggression agreement, diplomatic recognition, and economic assistance. The package would be provided in return for North Korea’s giving up its nuclear weapons program under strict verification. In the case of Iran, the United States has emphasized that it seeks a diplomatic solution to limiting Iran’s uranium enrichment program. Iran has emphasized that its nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes and appears reluctant to withdraw from the NPT. This is an indication that the norm of nonproliferation remains a powerful influence internationally.

C -Nuclear Lobbies
Another challenge to nonproliferation comes from individual scientists and nuclear-related organizations within individual countries that are strong champions of nuclear weapons development. Pressure by such groups is believed, for example, to have led India to conduct a series of nuclear tests in 1998, reversing the country’s no-nuclear-test policy of 24 years. In states with existing nuclear arsenals, the desire to sustain budgets and influence can lead organizations to oppose arms reduction initiatives. Advocates of nuclear exports in some states can also lead to governmental decisions that some argue promote proliferation, such as Russia’s decision to help Iran build a nuclear power plant at Būshehr.

In most nations, however, advocates of policies of nuclear restraint counter these pressures. In Libya, for example, those promoting the country’s secret uranium enrichment program were overruled by others who believed it was wiser for the country to renounce weapons of mass destruction and become accepted as a valued member of the international community. Initiatives by outside countries to curb proliferation can take advantage of these different perspectives within nations, by emphasizing the advantages such nations will enjoy by remaining non-nuclear weapon states—and the penalties they may suffer if they pursue nuclear arms.

D -The Terrorist Threat
Among the most dangerous proliferation challenges is the threat that a terrorist organization might acquire a nuclear weapon or the highly enriched uranium or plutonium that would allow it to manufacture one. Given the unrestrained injury some terrorist groups seek to inflict upon their enemies and their disregard for their own survival, it must be feared that a group, such as al-Qaeda, would use a nuclear weapon, causing catastrophic harm. Preventing this outcome requires rapid completion of efforts to secure nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons materials worldwide, particularly in Russia, through cooperative threat reduction programs.

Nuclear disarmament appears a very distant and, possibly, unachievable, prospect. Nonetheless, at least one country, South Africa, has taken this step, Libya has chosen to end its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, and Iran insists that, although it will pursue its uranium enrichment program, it will not develop nuclear arms. Negotiations with North Korea may ultimately result in the elimination of its nuclear weapons. Thus, despite current challenges, international nonproliferation efforts have accomplished much, even if the record is far from perfect.
No signature...
Reply With Quote
The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Predator For This Useful Post:
Ali1984 (Saturday, April 28, 2012), Almasha Alfarsi (Wednesday, September 09, 2015), maya halepoto (Sunday, September 20, 2015), MoonSaghar (Tuesday, January 15, 2013), pisceankhan (Tuesday, June 24, 2014), s malik (Thursday, December 08, 2011), Weltanschauung (Saturday, August 26, 2017)
Old Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Predator's Avatar
Senior Member
Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Academic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason:
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Karachi
Posts: 2,572
Thanks: 813
Thanked 1,975 Times in 838 Posts
Predator is a splendid one to beholdPredator is a splendid one to beholdPredator is a splendid one to beholdPredator is a splendid one to beholdPredator is a splendid one to beholdPredator is a splendid one to behold
Post Arms Control

Arms Control

Arms Control, attempts through treaties, proclamations, convention, and tacit agreement to limit the destructiveness of war by controlling the acquisition and use of weapons and military technology.
Historically, warfare appears to be an integral part of human affairs. In 3,000 years of recorded history, most historiansbelieve that not a single year has been free of armed conflict. Yet people have always recognized the folly, waste, and inhumanity of warfare and have continually attempted to limit its devastation and the spread of increasingly destructive weapons.

One of the earliest formal attempts to limit the scope of war was organized by the Amphictyonic League, a quasi-religious alliance of most of the Greek tribes, formed before the 7th century BC. League members were pledged to restrain their actions in war against other members. For example, they were barred from cutting a besieged city's water supply. The league was empowered to impose sanctions on violating members, including fines and punitive expeditions, and could require its members to provide troops and funds for this purpose.

A -The Middle Ages
Because arms technology remained nearly static from the 3rd century BC to the Middle Ages, few attempts were made to control the spread of new weapons. In feudal societies, such as those of medieval Europe or Japan, laws and customs developed to keep weapons a monopoly of the military classes and to suppress arms that might democratize warfare. These customs tended to disappear as soon as some power saw a decisive advantage in the use of a new weapon. In medieval Europe the Roman Catholic Church attempted to use its power as a supranational organization to limit both new weapons and the intensity of warfare. The Peace of God, instituted in 990, protected church-owned property, defenseless noncombatants, and the agrarian base of the economy from the ravages of war. In 1139 the Second Lateran Council prohibited the use of the crossbow against Christians, although not against those the church considered infidels.

B -Early Modern Period
Firearms widened the scope of war and increased the potential for violence, culminating in the devastation of central Europe in the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648). Widespread revulsion against the horrors of that conflict led to attempts in many countries to lessen the brutality of warfare by limiting combat to recognized armed forces, by formulating conventions for the humane treatment of prisoners and wounded, and by organizing logistics to end supply by pillage. These rules prevailed throughout the 18th century, making war a relatively limited and civilized “game of kings.” Many utopian plans for the total abolition of war were also formulated during this period by men such as French philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau and Charles Castel, Abbé de Saint Pierre. Frederick the Great, king of Prussia, commented that all these plans needed to succeed was the cooperation of all the kings of Europe. The rise of mass armies during the American Revolution (1775-1783) and Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815) again enlarged the size and devastation of war; yet throughout that period no attempts were made to reduce or limit national arsenals other than those imposed by the victors upon the defeated. The one exception was the Rush-Bagot Treaty (1817), under which Britain and the United States reduced, equalized, and eventually eliminated their naval forces on the Great Lakes.

C -The Hague Conferences
In the 19th century the manufacturing capabilities created by the Industrial Revolution were applied to the production of war matériel. Technological innovation led to the development of rifled artillery, breech-loading rifles, machine guns, and other weapons that revolutionized warfare. The resources of entire nations could now be turned to war, making possible conflicts of unprecedented scale and destructiveness. Although many government leaders saw the arms buildup in Europe as potentially disastrous, nothing was done to reduce armaments until the First Hague Disarmament Conference of 1899.

The First Hague Conference was convened at the initiative of Nicholas II of Russia to control arms development and improve the conditions of warfare. Twenty-six nations attended the conference, which codified the laws and customs of land warfare, defined the status of belligerents, and drafted regulations on the treatment of prisoners, the wounded, and neutrals. It also banned aerial bombardment (by balloons), dumdum (expansion) bullets, and the use of poison gas. Most important, it established the Permanent Court of Arbitration to arbitrate international disputes (although this court had no enforcement powers).

The Second Hague Disarmament Conference of 1907 was marked more by discord than discourse, a sign of the deteriorating world situation. It did further the cause of mediation and arbitration of disputes by establishing additional courts to arbitrate cases involving ships' cargoes seized during war and resolution of international debts. A Third Hague Conference was scheduled for 1915. Ironically, World War I (1914-1918) caused its abandonment.

After the carnage of World War I, the international climate was more receptive to the idea of arms control. During the years between the two world wars, many formal arms-control conferences were held and many treaties were drawn up. The Covenant of the League of Nations established criteria for reducing world armaments. The league's Council was to establish reasonable limits on the military forces of each country and submit them for consideration to the member governments. Members of the league were also called upon to limit the private manufacture of arms and munitions and to exchange information on the size and status of their military establishments and arms industries. The league's lack of enforcement capability, however, made compliance strictly voluntary.

A -Washington Conference
From 1921 to 1922 the Washington Naval Conference was held to establish stable relationships among the naval forces of the various powers. Three treaties were enacted at the conference: the Four-Power Treaty, the Five-Power Treaty, and the Nine-Power Treaty. By the terms of the first, France, Britain, Japan, and the United States agreed to respect the status quo in the fortification of Pacific possessions and promised consultation in the event of a dispute. An associated agreement was signed with The Netherlands regarding the Netherlands Indies (now Indonesia).

The second treaty focused on arms limitations. A 5-5-3-1.75-1.75 ratio was established between United States, British, Japanese, French, and Italian battleships. That is, for every 5 United States and British battleships, Japan was allowed 3 and France and Italy were allowed 1.75. Maximum total tonnage was limited, as well as specification of a maximum single-ship tonnage of 35,000 tons. A ten-year moratorium on battleship building (except to fill out the treaty) and a limit on size and armament were also included. The third treaty was an attempt to accommodate the signatories’ interests in China.

B -Geneva Conference and the Kellogg-Briand Pact
In 1925 a convention in Geneva, Switzerland, banned the use of toxic gas in warfare. By the time World War II began in 1939, most of the Great Powers, except Japan and the United States, were signatories. (Japan signed it in 1970 and the United States in 1974.) This accord has been observed by most of the signatories, although Italy used gas in Ethiopia in 1936. See also Chemical and Biological Warfare. In 1928 the Kellogg-Briand Pact, initiated by France and the United States, was signed by 63 nations. The pact renounced war as an instrument of foreign policy. It made no provisions, however, for enforcing compliance, and many nations only signed it with sweeping qualifications. It had no effect on international affairs.

C -The Fate of Disarmament in the 1930s
In 1930 a naval conference was held in London to amend the Washington Conference treaties. Its most important effect was to change the U.S.-Japanese battleship ratio to 5-3.5. It also extended the battleship moratorium through 1936. In 1932, after nearly ten years of preliminary discussions, a World Disarmament Conference was held in Geneva under the auspices of the League of Nations. The keystone of the conference was the so-called Hoover Plan, which consisted of proposals put forth by the United States based on the concept of qualitative disarmament—that is, the progressive elimination of offensive weapons. The result was to have been an increasingly unfavorable ratio between offensive and defensive power.

Qualifications imposed by many of the major nations, however, diluted the Hoover Plan until little remained but a statement of principles.
A final naval conference was held in London in 1936. There the United States and Britain reaffirmed the naval limitation treaties, with an acceleration clause (that is, one providing for proportional increase in the U.S.-to-British ratio) to counteract any German or Japanese violations. The Japanese, increasingly militaristic and fearful of American and British superiority, withdrew from further negotiations. This was the last major arms-control conference before World War II (1939-1945).

After World War II ended in 1945, considerable support again developed for arms control and for alternatives to military conflict in international relations. The United Nations (UN) Charter was designed to permit a supranational agency to enforce peace, avoiding many of the weaknesses of the League of Nations covenant. Thus, Article 11 of the charter stated that the General Assembly could consider the general principle of disarmament and the regulation of armaments. Article 26 required the Security Council to submit plans for a system of armament regulation. Article 47 established a military staff committee to assist the Security Council in this task.

A -Atomic Arms Race
The development of the atomic bomb by the United States toward the end of World War II brought with it the capability of devastating whole civilizations (see Nuclear Weapons). While the United States still maintained a monopoly on nuclear weapons, it made overtures in the UN for the control and elimination of atomic energy for military purposes. In June 1946, American representative Bernard Baruch presented a plan to the UN Atomic Energy Commission, calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons, international control over the processing of nuclear materials, full sharing of all scientific and technological information concerning atomic energy, and safeguards to ensure that atomic energy would be used only for civilian purposes. The government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) vetoed the Baruch Plan in the Security Council, objecting to the UN’s authority over disarmament and citing the domination of that body by the United States and Western Europe.

In 1949 the USSR exploded an atomic weapon of its own, ending the U.S. monopoly. The possibility of a nuclear war was now present, because relations between the USSR and the West were tense (see Cold War). Both the United States and the USSR were engaged in a race to develop thermonuclear (hydrogen) devices, which have many times the destructive power of atomic bombs. These weapons raised the possibility of ending all life on Earth in all-out war. After 1954, when the USSR exploded its first hydrogen bomb, the primary concern of arms control was to reduce nuclear arsenals and prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons technology

B -Agreements Limiting Nuclear Weapons
In 1957 the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was established to oversee the development and spread of nuclear technology and materials. Two years later a treaty was negotiated to demilitarize the Antarctic and to prohibit the detonation or storage of nuclear weapons there. Both the United States and the USSR were among the signatories.

In 1961 the UN General Assembly passed the Joint Statement of Agreed Principles for Disarmament Negotiations. It was followed in 1963 by a treaty that bound the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union not to test nuclear weapons in space, in the atmosphere, or under water. In 1967 another treaty between the same nations limited the military use of outer space to reconnaissance only. The deployment of nuclear weapons in orbit was expressly prohibited. A second treaty in 1967 banned nuclear weapons from Latin America. One of the most important agreements on arms control was the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty of 1968. Signatories pledged to restrict the development, deployment, and testing of nuclear weapons to ensure that weapons, materials, or technology would not be transferred outside the five countries that then had nuclear weapons (Great Britain, France, China, the United States, and the USSR). In 1995 more than 170 countries agreed to permanently extend the treaty.

In the late 1960s the United States and the USSR initiated negotiations to regulate strategic weapon arsenals. These negotiations became known as the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks. The SALT I negotiations produced two important agreements in 1972: the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM Treaty), which drastically limited the establishment of defensive installations designed to shoot down ballistic missiles, and the Interim Agreement on the Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms. That same year the two superpowers also signed a treaty barring the testing of nuclear weapons on the ocean floor. The SALT II negotiations, which began in 1972, produced another treaty in 1979 that would limit the total number of U.S. and USSR missile launchers. After the USSR invaded Afghanistan in 1979, relations between the United States and the USSR rapidly deteriorated, and the U.S. Senate never ratified the treaty. During the early 1980s controversy surrounded the placement by the United States of ballistic missiles on the territory of some of its Western European allies. Opposition to this within West Germany (which became part of the united Federal Republic of Germany in 1990) played a part in unseating Chancellor Helmut Schmidt in 1982. In 1983 U.S. antinuclear groups rallied to support a bilateral arms freeze, and U.S. Roman Catholic bishops approved a pastoral letter with a similar aim.

Controversy also surrounded the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) introduced by President Ronald Reagan in 1983. This research program for developing a defense against ballistic missiles appeared likely to undermine the ABM Treaty and challenged the assumptions of nuclear strategy since the beginning of the arms race. Since the late 1940s both deployment of nuclear arms by the superpowers and restrictions upon their use had been founded upon a theory of deterrence. According to this theory, the mutual likelihood of destruction in the event of a nuclear confrontation between the United States and the USSR preserved a delicate balance between the two superpowers. Stable relations between the nations required that they possess a roughly equal capacity to harm each other. Critics of SDI believed that efforts to construct a defense against nuclear weapons would destroy that balance and remove the conditions that prevented nuclear weapons from being used.

Despite these concerns, U.S.-Soviet arms negotiations resumed in 1985. At a summit meeting in Washington, D.C., in December 1987, President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which eliminated many nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles that had been deployed throughout Europe and the western Soviet Union. The treaty called for the destruction of all U.S. and Soviet missiles with ranges of about 500 to 5,500 km (about 300 to 3,400 mi) and established a 13-year program to verify compliance. The INF treaty was ratified by the U.S. Senate and the Soviet Presidium in May 1988.

C -No nuclear Weapons Agreements
Agreements to restrict or eliminate the production and use of biological and chemical weapons date back to the Geneva Convention of 1925. In 1972 the United States, the USSR, and most other nations signed a convention prohibiting development, production, and stockpiling of biological and chemical weapons. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Iraq’s use of chemical weapons against Iran during the Iran-Iraq War, and in subsequent attacks on its own Kurdish population, prompted renewed international efforts to ban the use of such weapons. In 1993 representatives from 160 nations approved the Chemical Weapons Convention. This agreement banned production, use, sale, and storage of all chemical weapons. It also mandated destruction of existing stocks of weapons by the year 2005. The United States ratified this convention in 1997, despite concerns about the proliferation of chemical weapons among nations such as Libya, Syria, Iraq, and North Korea that were not signatories to the agreement.

Conventional weapons such as booby traps and land mines also possess enormous destructive capacity. Land mines are especially troubling because they retain their destructive power for indefinite periods of time. The International Committee of the Red Cross estimates that nearly 2 million land mines around the world kill or maim nearly 15,000 civilians every year. Global sentiment against land mines led more than 120 countries to sign a treaty in 1997 banning the use, production, transfer, and stockpiling of the weapons. The effectiveness of the ban was called into question, however, by the refusal of major powers such as the United States, Russia, Turkey, and China to sign the agreement.

As the 1990s began, the United States and the USSR continued to negotiate arms-control accords. In May 1990 Gorbachev and U.S. president George H. W. Bush approved a treaty to end production and reduce stockpiles of chemical weapons. In 1991 the United States and the USSR signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I), requiring both nations to reduce their strategic nuclear arsenals by about 25 percent. Both sides also moved to reduce conventional weapons and to continue phased withdrawal of their forces from Europe.

The collapse of the USSR in late 1991 raised complex new problems. The location of strategic nuclear weapons at multiple sites in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus raised concerns about the safety and security of these weapons. The U.S. Congress appropriated $1.5 billion to help these former Soviet states dismantle nuclear weapons and develop safe storage of weapons-grade nuclear materials. In 1992 these countries and the United States agreed to abide by the terms of the 1991 START I agreement.
In 1993 President Bush and Russian president Boris Yeltsin signed the START II treaty. This treaty called for the elimination of almost two-thirds of the nuclear warheads and all the multiple-warhead land-based missiles held by the United States and the former Soviet republics. In January 1996 the U.S. Senate ratified the START II treaty, but the Russian parliament never approved the accord. The START II treaty never went into effect, and in 2002 it was replaced by a new strategic arms reduction agreement known as the Treaty of Moscow.

In September 1996 leaders of the five major nuclear powers—the United States, Russia, China, France, and Britain—and dozens of other countries signed the landmark Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which banned most types of nuclear weapons testing. In order to take effect, however, the treaty must be formally approved, or ratified, by all nations believed to be capable of producing nuclear arms. In 1999 the U.S. Senate rejected the treaty by a vote of 51 to 48. China, Israel, Pakistan, and India are among other known nuclear powers that have not ratified the treaty.
The Senate vote against the treaty drew criticism from many U.S. allies, including Britain, Germany, and France. Senate opponents of the treaty argued that it was unenforceable, and they raised concerns that the treaty left open the possibility that rogue powers, such as Iraq or North Korea, could stockpile nuclear weapons, while at the same time it blocked the United States from upgrading its nuclear arsenal.

The Senate’s refusal to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty came on the heels of another setback. In mid-1998 India conducted a series of underground tests of nuclear weapons. About two weeks later, India’s archrival, Pakistan, detonated its own nuclear devices to demonstrate that it also possessed the powerful weapons. Both nations were internationally condemned for the tests. The United States, the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, and individual nations imposed economic sanctions on India and Pakistan in retaliation. Roughly a year later India tested a ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to any target within Pakistan, and days later Pakistan responded by testing a missile with similar capabilities. In 2002 tensions between the two nations over the disputed territory of Kashmīr raised fears of a nuclear war.

Meanwhile, the United States under the administration of President Bill Clinton reached an important arms control arrangement with North Korea in 1994. Although relations between the United States and North Korea remained tense, under the arrangement North Korea agreed to freeze all work on the infrastructure of reactors and reprocessing plants needed to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons. In exchange, Japan, South Korea, and the United States agreed to provide fuel oil and other economic aid to North Korea.

In 2002, however, this arrangement began to unravel. United States intelligence agencies reported that while being paid not to produce plutonium, there was evidence that North Korea might be at work to enrich uranium or to create the facilities needed to enrich uranium, the other way of obtaining nuclear weapons. That triggered North Korea’s inclusion in the “axis of evil” cited by U.S. president George W. Bush in his State of the Union speech in January 2002. The United States also responded to this intelligence report by halting supplies of fuel oil to North Korea. In October 2002 a U.S. official reported that a North Korean official had admitted that North Korea had a uranium enrichment program. North Korean officials, however, subsequently denied that North Korea had a covert program to develop nuclear weapons with enriched uranium. In January 2003 North Korea expelled United Nations (UN) monitors with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and withdrew from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

In April 2003 North Korea told U.S. officials that it possessed nuclear weapons, and in October 2003 North Korean officials said they were extracting plutonium from spent nuclear fuel rods to produce nuclear weapons. In November 2003 the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency repeated its belief that North Korea possessed at least one and possibly two nuclear bombs. However, other former and current U.S. intelligence officials said they were skeptical that North Korea had the technological know-how to produce nuclear weapons. In February 2004 North Korea entered talks with China, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and the United States to discuss an agreement that would end North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. In October 2006 North Korea tested a nuclear weapon. In February 2007 the six-nation talks resulted in an agreement in which North Korea pledged to shut down its main nuclear reactor at Yongbyon, which produces plutonium as a byproduct, in exchange for aid. That agreement led to a subsequent North Korean pledge in October 2007 to disable its Yongbyon reactor by the end of the year in exchange for 950,000 metric tons of fuel oil or its equivalent in economic aid. North Korea also agreed to disclose all of its nuclear programs and promised not to transfer its “nuclear materials, technology, or know-how beyond its borders.”

As the world entered the 21st century, both progress and setbacks occurred in arms control. In 2001 the administration of U.S. president George W. Bush announced that it would unilaterally withdraw from the ABM Treaty, laying the groundwork for the deployment of defenses against long-range ballistic missiles. For the first time the U.S. government also announced a policy that under extreme circumstances it would consider using nuclear weapons against a nonnuclear state that employed biological or chemical weapons. The Bush administration, however, also pursued an arms reduction agreement with the Russian Federation, and the two nations signed a treaty in 2002 to deactivate about 75 percent of their strategic nuclear arsenals.
Under the 2002 agreement, both nations were to reduce their active inventories of strategic nuclear warheads from about 6,000 each to about 2,200 warheads each by the year 2012. The agreement, known as the Treaty of Moscow, required ratification by both the U.S. Senate and the Russian Duma (parliament) before it could go into effect. Once ratified the new treaty was to replace the previous START II treaty.

Observers noted that the new treaty contained a number of escape clauses. Either side could withdraw from the treaty with only three months’ notice, and the reductions did not have to take effect until 2012, the same year the treaty expires. The treaty also enabled both nations to place the deactivated warheads in storage or to set them aside as “operational spares” that could be quickly reactivated. Critics of the agreement argued that the deactivated warheads should be destroyed, rather than stored, because of the danger that terrorists could obtain access to stored weapons, which are presumably less well guarded than those in active service.

A -Spread of Nuclear Weapons Technology
In February 2004 Pakistan’s leading nuclear scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan, admitted that he and other Pakistani scientists shared nuclear weapons technology with several other nations for more than a decade, from 1989 to 2000. The countries were identified as Iran, Libya, and North Korea. In a nationally televised address, Khan apologized for his actions. The next day Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf pardoned Khan, whose ties to Pakistan’s leading nuclear weapons laboratory had been severed in 2001 due to financial irregularities.

The initial evidence against Khan came from the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and various Western intelligence agencies, including the United States. The evidence included the discovery of documents detailing designs for nuclear weapons and equipment built to enrich uranium for making nuclear weapons. Iranian and Libyan officials themselves turned over some of the evidence to the IAEA. In addition, the United States seized a ship in August 2003 that was bound for Libya with parts for making specialized gas centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium. Khan had assembled a vast network for sharing nuclear weapons technology that included intermediaries in Dubai, Germany, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and The Netherlands. Khan was reportedly motivated by his desire to see other Muslim nations obtain nuclear weapons, both to help the Islamic cause and to deflect attention from Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program. He was also reportedly motivated by money and had grown enormously wealthy, despite a modest government salary.

Although the disclosure of Khan’s network added more knowledge about the extent of the secret nuclear weapons programs maintained by Iran and Libya, the IAEA concluded that neither Libya nor Iran were close to building a nuclear weapon. The IAEA did find, however, that Iran’s program was more advanced than Libya’s. Libya in 2004 renounced its program to develop weapons of mass destruction, and Iran agreed to an additional protocol with the IAEA to give its weapons experts greater authority to inspect Iran’s territory and facilities. In 2006 Iran announced that it had demonstrated the ability to enrich uranium for use in nuclear power plants, and this ability was confirmed by the IAEA. The UN Security Council subsequently imposed limited economic sanctions on Iran for violating the terms of an earlier agreement. Iran’s leaders also said they intended to set up 3,000 gas centrifuges in a cascade, which would demonstrate an ability to enrich uranium on an industrial scale. Iran continued to insist that its nuclear program was only for peaceful purposes. In August 2007 the IAEA verified that Iran had been able to set up a cascade of about 2,000 centrifuges, well short of its goal of 3,000 centrifuges. The IAEA said Iran was enriching uranium at levels that could only be used for generating electricity.

B -New U.S. Research Program
In late 2003 the United States began funding a research program that could lead to a new type of nuclear weapon known as a mininuke. The mininuke would be the equivalent of 5 kilotons, or 5,000 tons of TNT. By comparison, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, had an explosive power equivalent to 15 kilotons. The purpose of the mininuke is to destroy underground command-and-control bunkers, underground arms depots, and other underground facilities. The research is aimed at developing a nuclear weapon that could penetrate the layers of steel and concrete designed to protect such bunkers without exploding on impact. Some arms control advocates objected to the research, saying it would lead to a new type of nuclear weapon, which would violate the intent of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
No signature...
Reply With Quote
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Predator For This Useful Post:
Almasha Alfarsi (Wednesday, September 09, 2015), MoonSaghar (Tuesday, January 15, 2013), pisceankhan (Tuesday, June 24, 2014), prieti (Tuesday, December 04, 2007), s malik (Thursday, December 08, 2011), sharp mind (Friday, October 02, 2015)
Old Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Predator's Avatar
Senior Member
Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Academic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason:
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Karachi
Posts: 2,572
Thanks: 813
Thanked 1,975 Times in 838 Posts
Predator is a splendid one to beholdPredator is a splendid one to beholdPredator is a splendid one to beholdPredator is a splendid one to beholdPredator is a splendid one to beholdPredator is a splendid one to behold
Post Poverty


Poverty, condition of having insufficient resources or income. In its most extreme form, poverty is a lack of basic human needs, such as adequate and nutritious food, clothing, housing, clean water, and health services. Extreme poverty can cause terrible suffering and death, and even modest levels of poverty can prevent people from realizing many of their desires. The world’s poorest people—many of whom live in developing areas of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe—struggle daily for food, shelter, and other necessities. They often suffer from severe malnutrition, epidemic disease outbreaks, famine, and war. In wealthier countries—such as the United States, Canada, Japan, and those in Western Europe—the effects of poverty may include poor nutrition, mental illness, drug dependence, crime, and high rates of disease.

Extreme poverty, which threatens people’s health or lives, is also known as destitution or absolute poverty. In the United States, extreme poverty is traditionally defined as having an annual income that is less than half of the official poverty line (an income level determined by the Bureau of the Census). Extreme poverty in developing nations, as defined by international organizations, means having a household income of less than U.S.$1 per day. Relative poverty is the condition of having fewer resources or less income than others within a society or country, or compared to worldwide averages. In developed countries, relative poverty often is measured as having a family income less than one-half of the median income for that country.

The reasons for poverty are not clear. Some people believe that poverty results from a lack of adequate resources on a global level—resources such as land, food, and building materials—that are necessary for the well-being or survival of the world’s people. Others see poverty as an effect of the uneven distribution of resources around the world on an international or even regional scale. This second line of reasoning helps explain why many people have much more than they need to live in comfort, while many others do not have enough resources to live.

Poverty has been a concern in societies since before the beginning of recorded history. According to sociologists and anthropologists, social stratification—the division of a society into a hierarchy of wealth, power, and status—was a defining characteristic of the earliest civilizations, including those of ancient Egypt, Sumer in the Middle East, and the Indus Valley of what is now India. The rulers and other powerful or wealthy members of these civilizations frequently mistreated the poor, sometimes subjecting them to hard labor or enslaving them.

Babylonian, Talmudic, and early Christian writings from later times entreat people with resources and good fortune to relate to the poor with compassion. As the powerful nations of Western civilization became established, they codified relationships between the poor and nonpoor into law, as was done in Babylonia (see Code of Hammurabi). The present-day welfare systems of the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada evolved from a 17th-century British legal act known commonly as the Poor Laws.

The rise of civilizations also led to stratification among nations and territories around the globe. Powerful and wealthy nations maintained and increased their power and wealth and built empires by using the labor and resources of less powerful regions. This dynamic took on a new form in the era of colonialism (see Colonialism and Colonies). Through two colonial periods—from the 15th century to the early 19th century and from the early 19th century to the mid-20th century—countries in western Europe, and later the United States and Japan, laid claim to territories and created colonies and new countries in Asia, Africa, and the Americas. These were areas where people still lived directly off the land and where natural resources were plentiful. Colonizers variously sought to acquire new resources and productive land, to spread religion, to find religious freedom, and to gain strategic positions against rival nations in political and military confrontations.

During the first period of colonialism, several western European countries—led by Portugal, The Netherlands, Spain, France, and Britain—used their colonial territories to provide them with goods for consumption and trade. In the late 18th century, the Industrial Revolution brought mechanized production to many nations and ushered in a second period of colonialism. Industrialization began in Britain and soon spread to North America, much of western Europe, and some Pacific nations, such as Japan. Industrialized countries could produce much larger quantities of goods and resources than had previously been possible. To achieve this level of production they relied on colonies to provide raw materials for building and powering machines and for supplying their factories. The industrialized countries, and many of the people living in them, experienced increases in wealth and ease of access to essential resources, including clothing, building materials, and staple foods.

The colonies in Africa, South and East Asia, and what is now Latin America did not share in these gains. Often, the resources of the colonies were exploited by the colonizing countries, especially geographically smaller ones such as Britain and The Netherlands, to supply raw materials such as metal ores for smelting or sugarcane for the production of rum. In the colonies, the production of food and raw materials for manufacturing diverted indigenous peoples from doing subsistence work, such as gardening or tending livestock. Others were simply displaced from their land. Native Africans, Asians, and Americans had been self-sufficient as farmers, herders, or hunter-gatherers; now they became dependent, for the first time, on outsiders for their basic needs, and many became poor. An exception to this pattern occurred in two of the world’s largest countries, Russia and China. These countries used primarily their own hinterlands to obtain resources.

In other cases, colonies were centers of trade in slaves (see Slavery: Modern Period). Many European nations, including Portugal, Britain, Spain, France, The Netherlands, and Denmark, set up outposts in West Africa from which they shipped slaves to the colonies of the Americas and the Caribbean. These countries also used slaves for free labor in their own lands. Slaves suffered a total loss of home, land, and livelihood.
The economies of the former colonies in Africa, Asia, and Latin America began to change only in the mid-20th century when they gained political independence. Most former colonies came to be known as developing countries or, collectively, as the Third World. The Third World is home to the world’s poorest people. The countries of eastern Europe—which were formerly part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the Communist bloc—and the People’s Republic of China are sometimes referred to as the Second World. These countries have vast rural territories and a legacy of state-owned property, facilities, and equipment (as for farming) from the years of Communist rule. They have become industrialized but many still have high levels of poverty. The former colonizing countries, which have highly industrialized and postindustrial (service- and information-based) economies, have become known generally as developed countries.

The unequal distribution of wealth and resources generated in the colonial period has become even more pronounced in the postindustrial or information age. Members of societies with access to good educational opportunities and advanced technology profit far more from the emerging global economy than do members of less developed societies.

Poverty has many causes, some of them very basic. Some experts suggest, for instance, that the world has too many people, too few jobs, and not enough food. But such basic causes are quite intractable and not easily eradicated. In most cases, the causes and effects of poverty interact, so that what makes people poor also creates conditions that keep them poor. Primary factors that may lead to poverty include (1) overpopulation, (2) the unequal distribution of resources in the world economy, (3) inability to meet high standards of living and costs of living, (4) inadequate education and employment opportunities, (5) environmental degradation, (6) certain economic and demographic trends, and (7) welfare incentives.

A -Overpopulation
Overpopulation, the situation of having large numbers of people with too few resources and too little space, is closely associated with poverty. It can result from high population density (the ratio of people to land area, usually expressed as numbers of persons per square kilometer or square mile) or from low amounts of resources, or from both. Excessively high population densities put stress on available resources. Only a certain number of people can be supported on a given area of land, and that number depends on how much food and other resources the land can provide. In countries where people live primarily by means of simple farming, gardening, herding, hunting, and gathering, even large areas of land can support only small numbers of people because these labor-intensive subsistence activities produce only small amounts of food.

In developed countries such as the United States, Japan, and the countries of western Europe, overpopulation generally is not considered a major cause of poverty. These countries produce large quantities of food through mechanized farming, which depends on commercial fertilizers, large-scale irrigation, and agricultural machinery. This form of production provides enough food to support the high densities of people in metropolitan areas.

A country’s level of poverty can depend greatly on its mix of population density and agricultural productivity. Bangladesh, for example, has one of the world’s highest population densities, with 938 persons per sq km (2,430 persons per sq mi). A large majority of the people of Bangladesh engage in low-productivity manual farming, which contributes to the country’s extremely high level of poverty. Some of the smaller countries in western Europe, such as The Netherlands and Belgium, have high population densities as well. These countries practice mechanized farming and are involved in high-tech industries, however, and therefore have high standards of living.

At the other end of the spectrum, many countries in sub-Saharan Africa have population densities of less than 30 persons per sq km (80 persons per sq mi). Many people in these countries practice manual subsistence farming; these countries also have infertile land and lack the economic resources and technology to boost productivity. As a consequence, these nations are very poor. The United States has both relatively low population density and high agricultural productivity; it is one of the world’s wealthiest nations.

High birth rates contribute to overpopulation in many developing countries. Children are assets to many poor families because they provide labor, usually for farming. Cultural norms in traditionally rural societies commonly sanction the value of large families. Also, the governments of developing countries often provide little or no support, financial or political, for family planning (see Birth Control); even people who wish to keep their families small have difficulty doing so. For all these reasons, developing countries tend to have high rates of population growth. Most developed countries provide considerable political and financial support for family planning. People tend to limit the number of children they have because of the availability of this support. Cultural norms in these countries also tend to affirm the ideal of small family size. Recently, however, some developed countries with declining population levels have begun experimenting with incentives to increase the birth rate. See also Population: World Population Growth and Distribution.

B -Global Distribution of Resources
Many experts agree that the legacy of colonialism accounts for much of the unequal distribution of resources in the world economy. In many developing countries, the problems of poverty are massive and pervasive. In recent decades most of these countries have tried to develop their economies with industry and technology with varying levels of success. Some nations have become fairly wealthy, including the Republic of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand. Many developing countries, however, lack essential raw materials and the knowledge and skills gained through formal education and training. They also often lack the infrastructure provided by, for example, transportation systems and power-generating facilities. Because these things are necessary for the development of industry, developing countries generally must rely on trade with developed countries for manufactured goods, but they cannot afford much.

Some social scientists argue that wealthier developed countries continue to practice a form of colonialism, known as neocolonialism. The affluence of these countries is based to a large extent on favorable trade with the developing world. Developed countries have been able to get inexpensive natural resources from poorer countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, including oil for power, ores and minerals for manufacturing durable goods, and manufactured goods made by low-wage workers in factories operated by multinational corporations. This practice contributes to the dependency of poorer countries while not raising their standards of living.

C -High Standards of Living and Costs of Living
Because people in developed nations may have more wealth and resources than those in developing countries, their standard of living is also generally higher. Thus, people who have what would be considered adequate wealth and resources in developing countries may be considered poor in developed countries. People in the United States, for example, may expect to make, on average, about $30,000 each year. They also probably expect to rent an apartment or own a house with electricity and running water, to be able to afford to eat and dress well, and to receive quality health care. In addition, many people aspire to afford discretionary expenses—that is, purchases unessential to survival, such as cars, higher-priced foods, and entertainment.

In contrast, people in developing countries may consider themselves to be doing well if they have productive gardens, some livestock, and a house of thatch or mud-brick. In rural areas, people may be accustomed to not having plumbing, electricity, or formal health care. By the standards of developed countries, such living conditions are considered hallmarks of poverty.
Developed countries also tend to have a high cost of living. Even the most basic lifestyle in these countries, with few or no luxuries, can be relatively expensive. Most people in the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, western European nations, and other developed countries cannot obtain adequate food, clothing, and shelter without ample amounts of money. In some areas, even people with jobs that pay the legal minimum wage may not be able to cover their basic expenses. People who cannot find or maintain well-paying jobs often have no spare income for discretionary or emergency expenses, and many rely on government welfare payments to survive.

D -Inadequate Education and Employment
Illiteracy and lack of education are common in poor countries. Governments of developing countries often cannot afford to provide for good public schools, especially in rural areas. Whereas virtually all children in industrialized countries have access to an education, only about 60 percent of children in sub-Saharan Africa even attend elementary school. Without education, most people cannot find income-generating work. Poor people also often forego schooling in order to concentrate on making a minimal living. In addition, developing countries tend to have few employment opportunities, especially for women. As a result, people may see little reason to go to school.

Even in developed countries, unemployment rates may be high. When people do not have work, they do not make any money; thus, high unemployment leads to high levels of poverty. Availability of employment also tends to fluctuate, creating periods of high joblessness (see Business Cycle). Countries such as Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Switzerland, and Luxembourg have managed at times to keep unemployment as low as 2 percent. Unemployment figures during the 1990s in the United States and most of Europe, on the other hand, ranged from about 5 percent to more than 20 percent. In countries with high populations, unemployment levels of only a few percentage points mean that millions of working-age people cannot find work and earn an adequate income. Because unemployment figures indicate only the number of people eligible to work who have no job but are seeking employment, such figures are not necessarily an accurate indicator of the number of people living in poverty. Other people may not be able to find enough work or may earn wages too low to support themselves.

E -Environmental Degradation
In many parts of the world, environmental degradation—the deterioration of the natural environment, including the atmosphere, bodies of water, soil, and forests—is an important cause of poverty. Environmental problems have led to shortages of food, clean water, materials for shelter, and other essential resources. As forests, land, air, and water are degraded, people who live directly off these natural resources suffer most from the effects. People in developed countries, on the other hand, have technologies and conveniences such as air and water filters, refined fuels, and industrially produced and stored foods to buffer themselves from the effects of environmental degradation.

Global environmental degradation may result from a variety of factors, including overpopulation and the resulting overuse of land and other resources. Intensive farming, for instance, depletes soil fertility, thus decreasing crop yields. Environmental degradation also results from pollution. Polluting industries include mining, power generation, and chemical production. Other major sources of pollution include automobiles and agricultural fertilizers.

In developing countries, deforestation has had particularly devastating environmental effects. Many rural people, particularly in tropical regions, depend on forests as a source of food and other resources, and deforestation damages or eliminates these supplies. Forests also absorb many pollutants and water from extended rains; without forests, pollution increases and massive flooding further decreases the usability of the deforested areas.

F -Economic and Demographic Trends
Poverty in many developed countries can be linked to economic trends. In the 1950s and 1960s, for example, most people in the United States experienced strong income growth. Taking inflation into account, average family income almost doubled during this period. However, between the early 1970s and the early 1990s typical incomes, adjusted for inflation, grew little while the cost of living increased. Periods of economic recession tend to particularly affect young and less-educated people, who may have difficulty finding jobs that pay enough to support themselves.

Changes in labor markets in developed countries have also contributed to increased poverty levels. For instance, the number of relatively high-paying manufacturing jobs has declined, while the demand for workers in service- and technology-related industries has increased. Historically, people have learned the skills required for jobs that involve manual labor, such as those in manufacturing, either on the job or through easily accessible school vocational programs. As these jobs are replaced by service- and technology-related jobs—jobs that usually require skills taught at the college level—people who cannot afford a college education find it increasingly difficult to obtain well-paying work.

In many developed nations the number of people living in poverty has increased due to rising disparities in the distribution of resources within these countries. Since the 1970s, for instance, the poorest 20 percent of all U.S. households have earned an increasingly smaller percentage of the total national income (generally less than 5 percent) while the wealthiest 5 percent of households have earned an increasingly greater percentage (about 45 percent of the total). During most of this period, those in the middle and the bottom of the income distribution have become progressively worse off as the cost of living has risen.

Some researchers also cite demographic shifts (changes in the makeup of populations) as contributing to increases in overall poverty. In particular, demographic shifts have led to increases in poverty among children. In the United States, for instance, typical family structures have changed significantly, leading to an increase in single-parent families, which tend to be poorer. Single-parent families with children have a much more difficult time escaping poverty than do two-parent families, in which adults can divide and share childcare and work duties. In 1970 about 87 percent of children lived with both of their parents, but by the turn of the century this figure had dropped to 69 percent. The divorce rate in the United States more than doubled between 1960 and 1980, although it stabilized in the 1980s and fell somewhat in the 1990s. More importantly, perhaps, the proportion of children born to unmarried parents grew from about 5 percent in the early 1960s to more than 33 percent by 2000.

G -Individual Responsibility and Welfare Dependency
There are differing beliefs about individual responsibility for poverty. Some people believe that poverty is a symptom of societal structure and that some proportion of any society inevitably will be poor. Others feel that poverty results from a failure of social institutions, such as the labor market and schools. These people feel that poverty is beyond the control of those who experience it, but might be remedied if appropriate policies were enacted. Other people feel that the poor intentionally behave in ways that cause or perpetuate their poverty. For instance, if people voluntarily choose to use drugs and this leads them to poverty, it can be argued that they are to blame for their situation. However, such an argument cannot completely explain cases in which poverty leads to drug dependence.

In addition, many people in developed countries blame cycles of poverty, or the tendency for the poor to remain poor, on overly generous welfare programs. Supporters of this position, including some politicians, argue against government spending and initiatives to help the poor. They believe that these programs provide incentives for people to stay poor in order to continue receiving payments and other support. This argument also suggests that welfare discourages work and marriage. In the United States and other developed countries, getting a job results in reduced welfare support; the same is true when a single parent gets married. However, cash welfare benefits for the typical poor U.S. family with children fell in value by half between the early 1970s and the mid-1990s, taking inflation into account. Such benefits may have been too meager to motivate people to stay on welfare or to avoid work or marriage.

In the United States, the belief that cash welfare assistance actually encouraged personal decisions leading to poverty dominated policy discussions of the 1990s. In response, in 1996 the U.S. Congress created a new welfare program called Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). This program ended the guarantee of cash benefits for poor families with children, shifted more control to the states, and established stricter work requirements for recipients. The numbers of poor families with children receiving cash welfare fell dramatically, from 4.6 million in 1996 to 2.1 million at the end of 2001. The poverty rate for children also fell during the 1990s, from more than 20 percent in the early part of the decade to about 16 percent by the end of the decade. Experts disagree, however, on what drove the reductions in both welfare caseloads and poverty: changes in welfare policy or the dynamic economy that prevailed during most of this period.

Poverty has wide-ranging and often devastating effects. Many of its effects, such as poor nutrition and physical health problems, result directly from having too little income or too few resources. As a result of poor nutrition and health problems, infant mortality rates among the poor are higher than average, and life expectancies are lower than average. Other effects of poverty may include infectious disease, mental illness, and drug dependence. Some effects of poverty are not as easily understood. For example, studies link poverty to crime, but by no means are all poor people also criminals. In many cases, the primary effects of poverty lead to other problems. Extended hunger and lack of employment, for instance, may lead to depression, which may sometimes contribute to criminal behavior.

The relationship between poverty and personal or social problems is very complex. For example, studies of mothers on welfare reveal that those with multiple problems—such as depression, substance abuse, and being a victim of domestic violence—are much less likely to find work and escape poverty. What is less clear, however, is whether these problems result from the disadvantages of poverty.

A -Malnutrition and Starvation
Malnutrition is one of the most common effects of poverty. In developing countries, the poorest people cannot obtain adequate calories to develop or maintain their appropriate body weight. In Ethiopia, for example, it is estimated that almost half of all children under the age of 5 suffer from malnutrition. Poor children in developing countries often suffer the most, commonly from a deficiency known as protein-energy malnutrition. In these cases, children lack protein in their diets, especially from an insufficient amount of mother’s milk. Protein-energy malnutrition leads to a variety of problems, including gastrointestinal disorders, stunted growth, poor mental development, and high rates of infection. Prolonged malnutrition can lead to starvation, a condition in which the body’s tissues and organs deteriorate. Long-term starvation almost always results in death.

In addition to caloric malnutrition, most poor children and adults suffer from severe vitamin and mineral deficiencies. These deficiencies can lead to mental disorders; damage to vital organs; failure of the senses, such as poor vision; problems conceiving or delivering babies; and gastrointestinal distress.
Even in the major cities of developed nations, the poor often have unhealthful diets. Resulting in part from a lack of health care and nutritional education and in part from the lower availability and higher cost of better-quality foods, the urban poor tend to eat too much of the wrong kinds of foods. The urban poor commonly eat foods that are fatty or fried, high in sugar and salt, and made of mostly processed carbohydrates. Their diets are often high in low-grade fatty meats, chips, candies, and desserts and low in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and high-quality lean meats and fish. Such diets commonly cause obesity and hypertension, both of which can contribute to heart disease and other ailments.

B -Infectious Disease and Exposure to the Elements
In addition to the effects of malnutrition, the poor experience high rates of infectious disease. Inadequate shelter or housing creates conditions that promote disease. Without decent protection, many of the poor are exposed to severe and dangerous weather as well as to bacteria and viruses carried by other people and animals. In the tropics, monsoons and hurricanes can destroy the flimsy shelters of the poor. Once exposed, people are vulnerable to fluctuations in temperature that lower their resistance to disease. They also are more likely to become infected with diseases carried by insects or rodents. For instance, mosquitoes carry malaria, a debilitating disease that is common in the tropics. In arid regions, drought leaves the poor without clean water for drinking or bathing. In temperate climates, including in the major cities of developed countries, homelessness is a growing problem. Many of the homeless poor are harmed by or die of exposure to extreme winter cold.
Inadequate sanitation and unhygienic practices among the poor also lead to illness. Inadequate sanitation almost always accompanies inadequate shelter. Because the poor in developing nations commonly have no running water or sewage facilities, human excrement and garbage accumulate, quickly becoming a breeding ground for disease. In cities, especially in ghettoes and shantytowns that house only poor people, overcrowding can lead to high transmission rates of airborne diseases, such as tuberculosis. The poor are also often uneducated about the spread of diseases, notably sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). As a result—and because prophylactic devices such as condoms may be hard to obtain or afford, especially in developing countries—STD rates are high among the poor. In particular, the incidence of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) among poor people is higher than average.

Along with the problem of a high incidence of disease, developing countries also have shortages of doctors. Medicine and treatment are often both scarce and too expensive for the poor. For example, only 18 percent of children in Somalia had been immunized against diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus in 1999; the comparable rate in the United States was 96 percent. In addition, many people who live in rural areas of developing countries cannot get to doctors located in urban areas. In developed countries, the poor may have no health insurance, making the costs of health care unaffordable.

C -Mental Illness and Drug Dependence
In most developed countries, rates of mental illness are highest among the poor. The most common disorders associated with poverty are depression and anxiety disorders. Without meaningful, well-paying work and the resources and social affirmation that come with it, many poor people develop low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness. People who are stressed by the uncertainty of where they will get their next meal or spend the night often develop high anxiety. Because the poor experience high rates of severe mental illness, they also have high rates of suicide.

Some poor people attempt to relieve feelings of anxiety and depression associated with poverty through the use of mind-altering drugs. A common drug among the poor is alcohol, which is legal and affordable. Many of those who drink develop alcoholism, becoming physically and emotionally dependent on drinking. Others use and often become addicted to more dangerous and often illegal drugs, including heroin, methamphetamines, and cocaine. Of these drug users, those who take drugs intravenously (by injection into a vein) and share needles with others also suffer from high rates of diseases transmitted through blood and other bodily fluids, including AIDS.

Mental illness and drug dependence demonstrate the difficulties of distinguishing between poverty’s causes and its effects. Mentally ill and drug-dependent people tend to have trouble holding steady jobs and maintaining relationships, causing them to fall into poverty. They may also have difficulty lifting themselves out of poverty. At the same time, in some cases poverty itself appears to promote mental illness and drug dependence.

D -Crime and Violence
Some experts believe that poverty leads people to commit acts of violence and crime. Anger, desperation, and the need for money for food, shelter, and other necessities may all contribute to criminal behavior among the poor. Other experts caution that the link of cause and effect between poverty and crime is unclear. In some cases, poverty undoubtedly motivates people to commit crimes, although it may not be the only factor involved. Other problems associated with poverty are often linked to crime. For example, to obtain money some poor people commit the crime of selling illegal drugs; others may steal to obtain the money to buy drugs on which they are dependent.

E -Long-Term Effects
People who grow up in poverty may experience lifelong problems because of it. They are at a disadvantage in things such as education because they have limited income and resources. All children also need adequate nutrition and health care for good physical and mental development, and poor children are often malnourished and sick from a young age. Studies have shown that people who grow up in persistently poor households experience more difficulties throughout their lives than those raised in households that are above the poverty level. Overall, they do not do as well in school, have more difficulties in marriage, and more frequently become single parents. In addition, poverty tends to perpetuate itself. In many cases, those who had poor parents are poor themselves, earning lower-than-average incomes. They may also have learned a mindset that keeps them from getting out of poverty. All of these negative long-term effects are much more likely to occur if children experience prolonged poverty, an unfortunate circumstance much more likely to affect minority children.

Many developing nations experience severe and widespread poverty, which often leads to disease epidemics, starvation, and deaths. In the past few decades, millions of people have starved and died as a result of famine in such countries as Bangladesh, Ethiopia, North Korea, Somalia, and Sudan. As recently as 1998, almost one person in four (23 percent) residing in developing countries lived on less than $1 a day.
Poverty disproportionately affects women, children, the elderly, and people with disabilities. In many developing nations, women have low social status and are restricted in their access to both education and income-generating work. Without adequate income, they commonly depend on men for support, but often get little. In some developing countries, including in Southeast Asia and eastern Europe, poor women seeking to work or immigrate to other countries are tricked and sold into prostitution or indentured servitude. They receive little or no pay, and are forced to stay to pay off debts incurred through their immigration. Many women end up in sweatshops—illegal factories, usually for making clothing, that have poor working conditions and long hours. Asian countries such as China, India, Korea, and Thailand have been widely accused of permitting or encouraging poor families to kill their female babies, a practice known as female infanticide. These countries are overpopulated, and their cultures promote the belief that men contribute more to economies and bring more wealth to their families than do women.
People who do not work—such as young children, the elderly, and many people with disabilities—depend on families and other support networks for basic necessities. However, neither poor families nor the governments of many developing countries can adequately support the nonworking. Poor children in particular suffer the consequences. Children have underdeveloped immune systems, and they easily acquire diseases in unsanitary living conditions. Thus the poorest countries have high rates of child morbidity (disease) and mortality. Children also have very low social status, and often suffer from parental neglect and abuse because they are not considered important. Like women in many developing countries, children may be exploited as prostitutes or as workers for little or no pay.

Throughout the developing world, ethnic and racial minorities experience prejudice from majority groups and have difficulty attaining an average standard of living. For example, under the system of apartheid, enforced in South Africa from 1948 to the early 1990s, the government systematically denied rights, fair treatment, and educational and employment opportunities to nonwhites, leaving them in massive poverty. Migrants and refugees, who have left their native land and settled elsewhere, also experience high degrees of poverty. Migrants commonly lose the immediate economic support of their families and enter into societies in which they may have difficulty finding good work, especially if they do not speak the language (see Migration).

A -Africa
Africa includes some of the poorest countries in the world. In much of Africa south of the Sahara, harsh environmental conditions exacerbate the conditions of poverty. Dry and barren land covers large expanses of this region. As the poor try to eke out livings through farming and other subsistence practices, they exhaust the land, using up the soil nutrients needed to grow crops. Over time this has led to desertification, a process in which once fertile land turns to desert. During the late 20th century, desertification contributed to famines in a number of African nations, including Somalia, Ethiopia, and Mali. Political instability and wars in many sub-Saharan countries have also contributed to poverty. As a result of such factors, the number of people living in extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa grew from 217 million in 1987 to more than 300 million in 1998.

B -South and East Asia
In 1998 Asia (including South Asia, East Asia, and the Pacific region) accounted for about two-thirds of the world’s 1.2 billion poorest people. These people all lived on less than $1 per day. South Asia—that is, the Indian subcontinent, which includes India, Nepal, and Bangladesh—had about 522 million people living in extreme poverty in 1996. India had the greatest number of poor of any country in the world—more than 300 million people, more than one-third of its population. The caste system associated with Hinduism, the dominant religion in India, helps perpetuate some of this poverty. This system keeps many families poor from generation to generation by assigning certain groups of people to low status.

Approximately 267 million people in East and Southeast Asia lived on less than $1 per day in 1998. China has very large numbers of poor due to the great size of its rural population. Such Southeast Asian countries as Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia also rank among the world’s poorest.
Several wars have contributed to poverty in South and East Asia. World War II (1939-1945) and the wars in Korea (1950-1953) and Vietnam (1959-1975) damaged land, crops, and forests; prevented many people from making a living; and killed and dislocated millions. In the late 20th century, governments and industries around these regions sponsored massive deforestation, mining, and damming projects that damaged or hindered access to forests, fields, and water resources. Such projects also forced many people to abandon their homes and fields, making them more susceptible to poverty.

C -Latin America
In Latin America (Central America, South America, and the Caribbean), the poorest people are commonly Native American, people of African ancestry, and mestizos (persons of mixed Native American and European ancestry). People of European descent who live in Latin America generally have higher standards of living. Political instability has contributed to poverty in many Latin American countries, including Chile, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Panama. These countries have gone through long periods of military rule or dictatorship in which leaders have hoarded land and natural resources and impaired people’s ability to make an adequate living. For many years the Caribbean country of Haiti has suffered economically from the effects of both political upheaval and environmental degradation. Brazil has the greatest number of people living in poverty in all of Latin America. This is in part because of its size, but also because of encroachment by urban populations on the land and forest resources of its many native peoples. Large-scale urban poverty, marked by crowded and unsanitary slums, plagues cities such as Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and Mexico City. It is estimated that slightly more than 60 million people in this region of the world lived in extreme poverty in 1998.

D -Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Many countries formerly part of the Communist bloc (the Communist countries of eastern Europe), including those of the former Soviet Union, have relatively high levels of poverty. Historians and economists blame the legacy of Communism for much of the poverty in these countries. Communist governments owned and distributed most of their countries’ property and resources. Leaders of these governments proclaimed the benefits of this centralized system, but many people who lived under Communism experienced lower standards of living than people who lived in countries with democratic governments and free-market economies, such as the United States and the nations of western Europe.

Since the fall of Communism in 1989, poverty in much of eastern Europe and Central Asia has increased. The number of people living in extreme poverty in these areas grew from 1.1 million in 1987 to an estimated 17.6 million in 1998. The fall of Communism ended a political and economic system in which all people had been virtually guaranteed jobs and basic needs, such as food and housing. Sudden uncertainty about the future led to decreases in the value of currencies in all formerly Communist countries. Wars and instability ravaged many of these countries. In the most devastating conflict, the former Yugoslavia erupted in violent civil war in 1991 (see Yugoslav Succession, Wars of). In several formerly Communist countries, political and economic upheaval has led to a wide array of problems, including a dramatic increase in the number of orphaned children. The high number of orphans has stretched the capacity of orphanages, and many orphans live in extreme poverty and suffer from malnutrition, disease, and starvation.

The nature of poverty in the developed world differs greatly from that in the developing world. In developed countries, the majority of people commonly earn over 200 times the per capita (per person) income of the poorest developing countries. For this reason, developed nations usually measure the income level of poverty as a portion of average income or as an amount below which a person or family cannot afford basic needs, including housing. For people with low or no income, poverty often takes the form of homelessness; those in less extreme poverty often live in substandard and sometimes dangerous housing. Many of the poor in developed countries are also exposed to high levels of violence associated with drug dealing, spouse or child abuse, and other crime.

For reasons that are only partly understood, the United States has higher rates of poverty than most other developed countries. A study of 16 developed nations conducted in the early 1990s used a single measure for comparison: Poverty was defined as earning below half the median (middle) of all incomes. The results showed that about 19 percent of the U.S. population lives in some degree of poverty. The rates were between 10 and 15 percent in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Japan, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Many of the other countries of western Europe—including Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, and the Scandinavian countries (Finland, Norway, and Sweden)—all had poverty rates of between 5 and 8 percent.

Poverty rates in some developed countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, are higher among racial minorities. Indigenous people in developed countries also tend to suffer from very high rates of poverty. In the United States, many Native Americans live and work on economically depressed Native American reservations and experience high rates of joblessness and alcoholism. In Australia, many Aboriginal people live in similar conditions (see Aboriginal Australians).

A -The United States
In 2001 the Census Bureau reported about 33 million residents living in poverty in the United States, or about 12 percent of the total population. About 6.8 million families, or 9 percent of all U.S. families, lived in poverty in 2001. These poverty rates were similar to those of the 1970s, but were about half of the historically high rates of the early 1960s. While little seems to have changed in aggregate, or total, levels of U.S. poverty since the 1970s, the composition of the people living in poverty has changed significantly. That is, the probability of being poor has changed significantly across demographic groups, which are based on age, race, family status, and geographic location. Some groups of people are now much more likely to be poor than in the past while other groups are less likely to be poor.
The census divides the total U.S. population into three basic age groups: children (up through 17 years of age), prime-aged adults (18 years to 64 years), and the elderly (65 years of age and over). About 16 percent of children were poor in 2001, more than in any other age group. Poverty among prime-aged adults, who generally work, has fluctuated with changes in the U.S. economy. In 1996, when the economy was performing well, about 10 percent of prime-aged adults lived in poverty. The numbers of elderly living in poverty dropped dramatically between 1959 and 2001, from over 30 percent to around 10 percent.

An estimated 8 percent of whites of all ages (not including those of Hispanic origin) were poor in 2001. By contrast, more than one in five blacks (23 percent) and about the same proportion of Hispanics (21 percent) lived in poverty. Blacks and Hispanics are the largest U.S. minority groups, and most smaller groups, including Asians, experience less poverty. However, because of the different sizes of these groups in the United States, whites make up the largest percentage of the poor overall. In 2001 about 6 percent of all married couples were poor. On the other hand, 35 percent of single-mother households lived in poverty at this time. Rates were even higher for Hispanic (43 percent) and black (42 percent) single-mother households.
Higher percentages of people are poor in the southern and western parts of the country than in the Northeast and Midwest. One reason for this difference may be that the South and West contain more, and more sparsely populated, rural areas, which have fewer higher wage jobs. Poverty is more prevalent in rural areas, and also in central cities, than it is in suburbs. Although pockets of high poverty exist, poor people live in all areas of the United States.

B -Other Developed Countries
There are many factors that might account for the differences in rates of poverty among developed countries. Some countries, such as the United Kingdom, have greatly imbalanced income distributions. In these countries, a relatively small proportion of the population has a large share of money, property, and other resources. This imbalance can make the overall median income fairly high, with the result that more people earn less than the median. In many developed countries, the wealthiest people have money and other resources that might otherwise be available to the rest of society. The great ethnic and racial diversity of countries such as Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom may also contribute to high poverty rates because minority groups tend to have low social and economic status. The Scandinavian countries, which have the lowest poverty rates of all developed countries, have fairly homogenous populations.

Differences in the history and scope of social welfare systems among developed countries also may contribute to differences in their poverty rates. For instance Spain and Japan have welfare systems that are not well established or expansive; the poverty rates in these countries are moderate. On the other hand, most of the countries of western Europe and, in particular, the Scandinavian countries, have mature, large social welfare systems that provide a great deal of support for people who have inadequate income. The Scandinavian countries, whose unemployment rates are generally far higher than their poverty rates, have both substantial social welfare systems and relatively equal distributions of income. For example, in the mid-1990s, the estimated child poverty rate in the United States was about seven times the rate measured in Sweden.

How people and institutions portray and try to cope with poverty depends to a considerable extent on how poverty is measured. The differences between relative poverty (having less than others) and absolute poverty (not having enough to survive) are great. However, there are a wide variety of options for measuring wealth and well-being and for establishing lines that separate the poor from the nonpoor. Economists have traditionally chosen income as the basis for measuring and defining poverty, but even that choice allows for a multitude of options. While no one measure is necessarily correct, experts argue that some are better than others.

A -International Measurements
In international economics, such as in statistics kept by the United Nations (UN), the measure of a country’s wealth is generally based on its gross domestic product (GDP). GDP measures the aggregate yearly monetary income of all of a country’s people and businesses. For the purposes of figuring poverty levels, GDP figures are usually calculated as GDP (sometimes referred to as income) per capita. If two countries have the same aggregate GDP, the one with a smaller population will have a higher GDP per capita. In other words, each person in the smaller country has a greater share of the total national income.

In the 1990s developed countries typically enjoyed average per capita yearly incomes in excess of $15,000 and often $20,000. At the other extreme, the poorest countries often had per capita yearly incomes substantially under $1,000. For example, according to one figure, the per capita income in Mozambique, a country in southeastern Africa and one of the world’s poorest countries, was about $100 at the end of the 1990s. While people with such low incomes might be able to produce or obtain some food and other basic needs, they generally have difficulty providing for themselves.
Levels of poverty also depend on how income and resources are distributed. Countries with high GDPs can have low levels of poverty if people have relatively equal amounts of income and resources, such as in Scandinavia. On the other hand, countries with equally high GDPs will have higher poverty rates if a few people have far more income and resources than the rest. The United States is such a country.

B -U.S. Poverty Measurements
Each year the Bureau of the Census publishes the official poverty figures of the United States. People are said to be poor if their incomes fall below a certain level called a threshold, also known as the poverty line. In this definition, the poor do not have enough income to purchase or have easy access to basic goods and services, such as food, clothing, housing, transportation, and education. The official U.S. poverty rate equals the number of people whose incomes fall below the poverty threshold divided by the number of people counted in the census. Rates are also determined for various groupings within the population, such as sex, age, and race.
A staff economist in the Social Security Administration (SSA), Mollie Orshansky, established the first U.S. poverty thresholds in the early 1960s. They were calculated as the cost of a minimum adequate diet (the least expensive of four nutritionally adequate food plans developed by the U.S Department of Agriculture) multiplied by three to account for other expenses, such as clothing, housing, and medical costs. Since then, the thresholds have only been updated to account for inflation in the prices of basic goods and services (see Inflation and Deflation).

The poverty line does not, however, change in real dollars (value in terms of what the dollar can purchase). In principle, the 2001 threshold of $17,960 for a family of four (two adults and two children) represents the same purchasing power as the 1963 threshold value of about $3,100 for the same type of family. Also, in contrast with the governments of most developed countries, the U.S. government does not adjust poverty thresholds up or down with changes in overall average income.

The government determines poverty status by comparing an individual’s or family’s income to a threshold limit. This calculation defines income as money earned before taxes, plus transfers (grants to the poor) of cash from the government. Welfare payments, therefore, can put people above the poverty level. The thresholds vary according to family size, people’s age, and family composition. They do not change, however, across geographic regions, even though the costs of living in different parts of the country can vary widely.
The government uses Census Bureau figures to determine how many people qualify for public assistance programs for the poor. Different poverty thresholds apply to people in different living situations. For example, the U.S. poverty threshold in 2001 was $8,494 for a single individual under the age of 65 with no dependents, rising to $39,223 for a nine-person household. The official poverty threshold for a typical struggling family of a single mother with two children was $14,269 in 2001.

In 1995 an expert panel organized by the National Academy of Sciences proposed many changes in the way the U.S. government measures poverty. Foremost among these changes was a plan to gauge poverty each year according to how much the average person or family spends on goods and services. The existing measurement relies on government definitions of basic goods and services developed in 1967. A new measurement would be a step toward defining U.S. poverty based on standards of living rather than only on costs of living. No changes have yet been implemented.

C -Other Concepts of Poverty
Several other options exist in addition to definitions of poverty based on GDP per capita or on threshold income. Some developed countries, such as most nations of the European Union, define poverty as having significantly fewer resources than average, generally less than half of typical earnings or income. This definition bases the poverty figure on mean (average) or median (the middle) income. These types of measurements contrast with the U.S. poverty line, which is derived from the value of basic consumption rather than from average incomes. For example, the U.S. poverty line for an individual amounted to only about 36 percent of typical earnings in 1996.
Another measure of poverty defines it in terms of human capital—that is, a person’s earning potential (generally related to work skills). From this perspective, people with relatively high earning potentials are not poor because they should be able to easily find work. People can increase their skill levels and earning potentials in a variety of ways, such as by attending college, entering an apprenticeship program, or participating in an on-the-job or workplace-sponsored training program. If the job market changes, new skills may become valuable and old ones less in demand, as has happened with the introduction of computers to the workplace. Some governments have considered human capital problems in their attempts to reduce poverty. Changes in the U.S. welfare system in 1996, for example, included a mandate to take money that had previously been budgeted for welfare transfers and channel it to job-training programs.

While income and skills can be measured fairly easily, other definitions of poverty are based on more subjective concepts. A basic subjective definition of poverty is that people are poor if they believe they do not have enough resources. Studies have shown, for example, that when people say they are poor, they tend to spend more on basic goods, such as food, and less on discretionary items, such as televisions or cars. Other subjective definitions of poverty focus on people’s quality of life. Quality-of-life measures might include the opportunity to freely choose professions and lifestyles, the right to receive a full and free education, and freedom from political oppression. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) annually publishes The Human Development Report, which ranks the degree of poverty in different countries using quality-of-life measures such as these.

National governments use poverty measurements to develop programs that provide assistance to the poor. All developed countries have extensive antipoverty programs, primarily in the form of social security and welfare systems. Most developing countries have some form of social security, but these programs typically do not provide enough to keep many people out of poverty. International organizations also use poverty measurements to decide how much money to give to national governments and how to advise countries on strategies for reducing poverty.

A -Fighting Poverty in Developing Countries
The governments of most developing countries provide limited assistance to prevent some poverty. Most have at least minimal social security programs, which provide benefits during periods of unemployment, illness, or disability; at retirement; and to the families of deceased workers. These programs usually provide support only for people who are employed full-time—a very small percentage of the population in most developing countries. Some countries, such as Bangladesh and Nepal, provide mandatory full support only to government employees. A variety of organizations support antipoverty programs in developing countries. They include (1) international government organizations, such as the UN, (2) aid agencies run by developed countries, (3) nongovernmental (mostly nonprofit) organizations, and (4) private development banks.

A1 -International Government Organizations
Many international governmental organizations have antipoverty programs. These include many regional organizations, such as the Organization of American States and the European Union, as well as the UN, which encompasses countries around the world. The UN operates many of the largest antipoverty programs through its branch agencies. The UN Development Program runs a variety of programs in developing countries to increase literacy rates, create jobs, share technologies from developed countries with developing countries, protect the environment and natural resources, and ensure women’s rights. Other UN agencies involved in alleviating poverty in the developing world include the United Nations Children’s Fund, which provides food, medicine, and education programs for children worldwide, and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, which supports increased agricultural productivity and improved food distribution and nutrition.

A2 -Government Aid Agencies
The governments of all developed nations have agencies devoted to international economic assistance. These agencies lend or grant money to developing countries and also operate antipoverty programs in those countries. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), an arm of the State Department, sponsors many efforts similar to those run by the UNDP. Economic and other kinds of assistance given to one nation by another, known as bilateral aid, have humanitarian as well as political and economic aims. For instance, AID designs many of its programs to reduce human suffering from poverty; the same programs may also aim to decrease the power of unfriendly and undemocratic governments and to increase free trade, which are politically and economically beneficial goals for the United States. Multilateral aid, such as that provided jointly by the many countries belonging to the UN, has more directly humanitarian aims. For instance, the UN and its member countries support democratic governments based essentially on the belief that democracy improves people’s well-being.

A3 -Nongovernmental Organizations
Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) operate with support from private citizens and foundations, volunteer workers, and government grants. Developing countries themselves run some NGOs. Other NGOs operate out of developed countries and are often associated with large church organizations. International NGOs that work to alleviate poverty in the developing world include Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere, Inc. (CARE), Oxfam International, and Catholic Relief Services, all of which sponsor programs that provide health services, food, education, and economic support. Doctors Without Borders and the Red Cross both provide medical assistance in poor countries, especially during crises such as famines, wars, and disease epidemics.

A4 -Private Development Banks
Private development banks provide loans on favorable terms to governments or citizens of developing countries. They do not give grants or charitable donations. Like NGOs, some of these banks operate within developing countries. Bangladesh’s Grameen Bank, one of the best-known small private development banks, has made small loans to thousands of citizens experiencing hardship, including women who would otherwise have difficulty accessing funds because of their social status. The World Bank (see International Bank for Reconstruction and Development), the best-known large private development bank, operates internationally and has its headquarters in the United States. The World Bank makes large loans to governments of developing countries to finance projects intended to strengthen the economies of these nations. World Bank-financed projects have included building roads, dams for power generation, and industries.

B -U.S. Antipoverty Programs
A number of U.S. government agencies use poverty statistics to decide how much to spend on welfare programs and transfers of money, goods, and services to help the poor. Federal programs that aim directly at helping poor people in the United States include Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which provides short-term cash benefits to many unemployed adults with children; Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which provides extra income to poor people who are elderly, have disabilities, or are visually impaired (see Social Security); Medicaid, which provides health care to those unable to afford to buy health insurance (see Medicare and Medicaid); the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which reduces the amount of federal tax owed by low-income working families and can result in a refund check for those who owe no taxes; and the Child Tax Credit, which provides tax credits of $600 per eligible child and may result in a refund check for poor families. The U.S. government also has invested heavily in strengthening the child support enforcement system, resulting in increased collections of child support from parents not living with their children.

In addition to the Census Bureau’s official poverty thresholds used for guiding welfare programs, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) publishes a set of poverty guidelines. For 2002, in the continental United States, HHS poverty guidelines allowed targeted (restricted) benefits to go to individuals with incomes below $8,860 and families with incomes lower than that figure plus $3,080 for each additional person in the family. These guidelines are simplifications of the Census Bureau thresholds and are used for determining eligibility in a number of programs targeted to low-income groups. Such targeted programs include Head Start, a supplemental education program for young children of poor families; Food Stamps, a program that provides vouchers for the purchase of food; the National School Lunch Program, which pays for poor students’ meals in public schools; and the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program, which subsidizes the expense of electric and heating bills for poor people. For more information on U.S. antipoverty programs and their history, see Welfare: Early Welfare Programs in the United States and Welfare: Development of the Modern U.S. Welfare System.

In addition to government programs, many NGOs in the United States provide aid to the poor at local, state, and national levels. One of the largest national NGOs addressing the problems of poverty is the United Way, which provides a variety of types of assistance to people in need. Habitat for Humanity, another NGO with programs throughout the country, recruits volunteers to build affordable housing for the poor.
No signature...
Reply With Quote
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Predator For This Useful Post:
Almasha Alfarsi (Wednesday, September 09, 2015), maya halepoto (Sunday, September 20, 2015), MoonSaghar (Tuesday, January 15, 2013), pisceankhan (Tuesday, June 24, 2014), s malik (Thursday, December 08, 2011)
Old Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Predator's Avatar
Senior Member
Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Academic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason:
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Karachi
Posts: 2,572
Thanks: 813
Thanked 1,975 Times in 838 Posts
Predator is a splendid one to beholdPredator is a splendid one to beholdPredator is a splendid one to beholdPredator is a splendid one to beholdPredator is a splendid one to beholdPredator is a splendid one to behold
Post Kyōto Protocol

Kyōto Protocol

Kyōto Protocol, international treaty adopted in 1997 that sets concrete targets for developed countries to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming, also known as climate change. The Kyōto Protocol is a supplementary treaty to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and went into force in February 2005. More than 130 countries are party to it, with this figure set to rise; so far, however, the United States has refused to ratify the treaty.

Under the Kyōto Protocol, developed, or industrialized, countries are subject to legally binding commitments to curb their emissions of the six main greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride. The targets are based mostly on the emission levels of these pollutants in 1990. In general the treaty calls for industrialized nations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 5 percent below 1990 levels. The target goals must be accomplished by 2012, and commitments to start achieving the targets begin in 2008. Developing countries—that is, most countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America—are only subject to general commitments.

The Kyōto Protocol is a flexible treaty, allowing individual governments to decide what specific policies and reforms to implement to meet their commitments. It also allows countries to offset some of their emissions by increasing the carbon dioxide absorbed, or sequestered, by trees and other vegetation. However, eligible sequestration activities, and the amount of offsetting allowed, are tightly controlled. In addition, the Kyōto Protocol established three market-based mechanisms to help bring down the costs of lowering emissions. These mechanisms are known as joint implementation, the clean development mechanism (CDM), and emissions trading. Under joint implementation and the CDM, a country can invest in a project to curb emissions in another country, where it is cheaper to do so, and thereby acquire the resulting credit to offset against its own target. Under emissions trading, a country that exceeds its own target of lowering emissions can transfer the surplus credits to another country that is finding it more difficult to reduce its emissions. Developing countries can participate, but only through the CDM. Safeguards are in place to ensure that emission credits are genuine.

Developed countries are subject to stringent reporting requirements, and a compliance committee considers any suspected noncompliance. Countries commit to achieve a certain level of their target goal beginning in 2008. Any country that fails to meet its emissions target may be penalized by having to meet a proportionally higher target for the following commitment period and by having to prepare an action plan to show how emissions will be reined in.

The entry into force of the Kyōto Protocol was delayed for several years while countries finalized its details. A package of decisions, known as the Marrakech Accords, was finally agreed to in 2001, setting out in detail how the protocol’s rules and mechanisms will work. Implementation is now underway, with the CDM already operational. Many businesses are especially keen to participate in the market mechanisms, and the European Union (EU) launched a regional emissions trading system in January 2005. Meeting the protocol’s targets, however, will be a challenge for many countries.

Talks are due to start soon on next steps in the international effort to control climate change. Key controversial issues will include when and how to negotiate stronger commitments for developing countries, and how to secure the participation of the United States. Under the administration of Democratic president Bill Clinton, the United States supported the protocol but never submitted it to Congress for ratification because of opposition from the Republican Party. When Republican George W. Bush became president in 2001, the United States withdrew its support for the protocol. Bush claimed that the treaty would harm the U.S. economy and was unfair to industrialized nations because developing countries were not required to control their emissions.
No signature...
Reply With Quote
The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Predator For This Useful Post:
Almasha Alfarsi (Wednesday, September 09, 2015), Altamash Qureshi (Sunday, March 09, 2008), maya halepoto (Sunday, September 20, 2015), MoonSaghar (Tuesday, January 15, 2013), Noman (Thursday, December 13, 2007), pisceankhan (Tuesday, June 24, 2014), s malik (Thursday, December 08, 2011)
Old Friday, April 18, 2008
Predator's Avatar
Senior Member
Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Academic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason:
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Karachi
Posts: 2,572
Thanks: 813
Thanked 1,975 Times in 838 Posts
Predator is a splendid one to beholdPredator is a splendid one to beholdPredator is a splendid one to beholdPredator is a splendid one to beholdPredator is a splendid one to beholdPredator is a splendid one to behold
Post Association Of Southeast Asian Nations



The Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok by the five original Member Countries, namely, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Brunei Darussalam joined on 8 January 1984, Vietnam on 28 July 1995, Lao PDR and Myanmar on 23 July 1997, and Cambodia on 30 April 1999.

As of 2006, the ASEAN region has a population of about 560 million, a total area of 4.5 million square kilometers, a combined gross domestic product of almost US$ 1,100 billion, and a total trade of about US$ 1,400 billion.


The ASEAN Declaration states that the aims and purposes of the Association are:

(1) to accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region and

(2) to promote regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the rule of law in the relationship among countries in the region and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter.

The ASEAN Vision 2020, adopted by the ASEAN Leaders on the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN, agreed on a shared vision of ASEAN as a concert of Southeast Asian nations, outward looking, living in peace, stability and prosperity, bonded together in partnership in dynamic development and in a community of caring societies.

In 2003, the ASEAN Leaders resolved that an ASEAN Community shall be established comprising three pillars, namely, ASEAN Security Community, ASEAN Economic Community and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community.


ASEAN Member Countries have adopted the following fundamental principles in their relations with one another, as contained in the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC):

mutual respect for the independence, sovereignty, equality, territorial integrity, and national identity of all nations;

* the right of every State to lead its national existence free from external interference, subversion or coercion;

* non-interference in the internal affairs of one another;

* settlement of differences or disputes by peaceful manner; renunciation of the threat or use of force; and

* effective cooperation among themselves.


Through political dialogue and confidence building, no tension has escalated into armed confrontation among ASEAN Member Countries since its establishment more than three decades ago.

To build on what has been constructed over the years in the field of political and security cooperation, the ASEAN Leaders have agreed to establish the ASEAN Security Community (ASC). The ASC shall aim to ensure that countries in the region live at peace with one another and with the world in a just, democratic and harmonious environment.

The members of the Community pledge to rely exclusively on peaceful processes in the settlement of intra-regional differences and regard their security as fundamentally linked to one another and bound by geographic location, common vision and objectives. It has the following components: political development; shaping and sharing of norms; conflict prevention; conflict resolution; post-conflict peace building; and implementing mechanisms. It will be built on the strong foundation of ASEAN processes, principles, agreements, and structures, which evolved over the years and are contained in the following major political agreements:

* ASEAN Declaration, Bangkok, 8 August 1967;

* Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality Declaration, Kuala Lumpur, 27
November 1971;

* Declaration of ASEAN Concord, Bali, 24 February 1976;

* Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, Bali, 24 February 1976;

* ASEAN Declaration on the South China Sea, Manila, 22 July 1992;

* Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone, Bangkok, 15 December 1997;
* ASEAN Vision 2020, Kuala Lumpur, 15 December 1997; and

* Declaration of ASEAN Concord II, Bali, 7 October 2003.

In recognition of security interdependence in the Asia-Pacific region, ASEAN established the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in 1994. The ARF’s agenda aims to evolve in three broad stages, namely the promotion of confidence building, development of preventive diplomacy and elaboration of approaches to conflicts.

The present participants in the ARF include: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Canada, China, European Union, India, Indonesia, Japan, Democratic Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea (ROK), Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the Russian Federation, Singapore, Thailand, the United States, and Viet Nam.

The ARF discusses major regional security issues in the region, including the relationship amongst the major powers, non-proliferation, counter-terrorism, transnational crime, South China Sea and the Korean Peninsula, among others.


The ASEAN Economic Community shall be the end-goal of economic integration measures as outlined in the ASEAN Vision 2020. Its goal is to create a stable, prosperous and highly competitive ASEAN economic region in which there is a free flow of goods, services, investment and a freer flow of capital, equitable economic development and reduced poverty and socio-economic disparities in year 2020.

The ASEAN Economic Community shall establish ASEAN as a single market and production base, turning the diversity that characterises the region into opportunities for business complementation and making the ASEAN a more dynamic and stronger segment of the global supply chain. ASEAN’s strategy shall consist of the integration of ASEAN and enhancing ASEAN’s economic competitiveness.

In moving towards the ASEAN Economic Community, ASEAN has agreed on the following:

* institute new mechanisms and measures to strengthen the implementation of its existing economic initiatives including the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (AFAS) and ASEAN Investment Area (AIA);

* accelerate regional integration in the following priority sectors by 2010: air travel, agro-based products, automotives, e-commerce, electronics, fisheries, healthcare, rubber-based products, textiles and apparels, tourism, and wood-based products.

* facilitate movement of business persons, skilled labour and talents; and

* strengthen the institutional mechanisms of ASEAN, including the improvement of the existing ASEAN Dispute Settlement Mechanism to ensure expeditious and legally-binding resolution of any economic disputes.
Launched in 1992, the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) is now in place. It aims to promote the region’s competitive advantage as a single production unit. The elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers among Member Countries is expected to promote greater economic efficiency, productivity, and competitiveness.

As of 1 January 2005, tariffs on almost 99 percent of the products in the Inclusion List of the ASEAN-6 (Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand) have been reduced to no more than 5 percent. More than 60 percent of these products have zero tariffs. The average tariff for ASEAN-6 has been brought down from more than 12 percent when AFTA started to 2 percent today. For the newer Member Countries, namely, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam (CLMV), tariffs on about 81 percent of their Inclusion List have been brought down to within the 0-5 percent range.

Other major integration-related economic activities of ASEAN include the following:

* Roadmap for Financial and Monetary Integration of ASEAN in four areas, namely, capital market development, capital account liberalisation, liberalisation of financial services and currency cooperation;

* trans-ASEAN transportation network consisting of major inter-state highway and railway networks, including the Singapore to Kunming Rail-Link, principal ports, and sea lanes for maritime traffic, inland waterway transport, and major civil aviation links;

* Roadmap for Integration of Air Travel Sector;

* interoperability and interconnectivity of national telecommunications equipment and services, including the ASEAN Telecommunications Regulators Council Sectoral Mutual Recognition Arrangement (ATRC-MRA) on Conformity Assessment for Telecommunications Equipment;

* trans-ASEAN energy networks, which consist of the ASEAN Power Grid and the Trans-ASEAN Gas Pipeline Projects;

* Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) focusing on infrastructure, human resource development, information and communications technology, and regional economic integration primarily in the CLMV countries;

* Visit ASEAN Campaign and the private sector-led ASEAN Hip-Hop Pass to promote intra-ASEAN tourism; and

* Agreement on the ASEAN Food Security Reserve.


The ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community, in consonance with the goal set by ASEAN Vision 2020, envisages a Southeast Asia bonded together in partnership as a community of caring societies and founded on a common regional identity.

The Community shall foster cooperation in social development aimed at raising the standard of living of disadvantaged groups and the rural population, and shall seek the active involvement of all sectors of society, in particular women, youth, and local communities. ASEAN shall ensure that its work force shall be prepared for, and benefit from, economic integration by investing more resources for basic and higher education, training, science and technology development, job creation, and social protection.

ASEAN shall further intensify cooperation in the area of public health, including in the prevention and control of infectious and communicable diseases. The development and enhancement of human resources is a key strategy for employment generation, alleviating poverty and socio-economic disparities, and ensuring economic growth with equity.

Among the on-going activities of ASEAN in this area include the following:

* ASEAN Work Programme for Social Welfare, Family, and Population;
* ASEAN Work Programme on HIV/AIDS;
* ASEAN Work Programme on Community-Based Care for the Elderly;
* ASEAN Occupational Safety and Health Network;
* ASEAN Work Programme on Preparing ASEAN Youth for Sustainable
Employment and Other Challenges of Globalisation;

* ASEAN University Network (AUN) promoting collaboration among seventeen member universities ASEAN;

*ASEAN Students Exchange Programme, Youth Cultural Forum, and the ASEAN Young Speakers Forum;

* The Annual ASEAN Culture Week, ASEAN Youth Camp and ASEAN Quiz;

* ASEAN Media Exchange Programme; and

* Framework for Environmentally Sustainable Cities (ESC) and ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution.


The ASEAN Vision 2020 affirmed an outward-looking ASEAN playing a pivotal role in the international community and advancing ASEAN’s common interests.
Building on the Joint Statement on East Asia Cooperation of 1999, cooperation between the Southeast and Northeast Asian countries has accelerated with the holding of an annual summit among the leaders of ASEAN, China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea (ROK) within the ASEAN Plus Three process.

ASEAN Plus Three relations continue to expand and deepen in the areas of security dialogue and cooperation, transnational crime, trade and investment, environment, finance and monetary, agriculture and forestry, energy, tourism, health, labour, culture and the arts, science and technology, information and communication technology, social welfare and development, youth, and rural development and poverty eradication. There are now thirteen ministerial-level meetings under the ASEAN Plus Three process.

Bilateral trading arrangements have been or are being forged between ASEAN Member Countries and China, Japan, and the ROK. These arrangements will serve as the building blocks of an East Asian Free Trade Area as a long term goal.

ASEAN continues to develop cooperative relations with its Dialogue Partners, namely, Australia, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Japan, the ROK, New Zealand, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, and the United Nations Development Programme. ASEAN also promotes cooperation with Pakistan in some areas of mutual interest.

Consistent with its resolve to enhance cooperation with other developing regions, ASEAN maintains contact with other inter-governmental organisations, namely, the Economic Cooperation Organisation, the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Rio Group, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, the South Pacific Forum, and through the recently established Asian-African Sub-Regional Organisation Conference. Most ASEAN Member Countries also participate actively in the activities of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), and the East Asia-Latin America Forum (EALAF).


The highest decision-making organ of ASEAN is the Meeting of the ASEAN Heads of State and Government. The ASEAN Summit is convened every year. The ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (Foreign Ministers) is held annually.
Ministerial meetings on the following sectors are also held regularly: agriculture and forestry, economics (trade), energy, environment, finance, health, information, investment, labour, law, regional haze, rural development and poverty alleviation, science and technology, social welfare, telecommunications, transnational crime, transportation, tourism, youth. Supporting these ministerial bodies are committees of senior officials, technical working groups and task forces.

To support the conduct of ASEAN’s external relations, ASEAN has established committees composed of heads of diplomatic missions in the following capitals: Beijing, Berlin, Brussels, Canberra, Geneva, Islamabad, London, Moscow, New Delhi, New York, Ottawa, Paris, Riyadh, Seoul, Tokyo, Washington D.C. and Wellington.

The Secretary-General of ASEAN is appointed on merit and accorded ministerial status. The Secretary-General of ASEAN, who has a five-year term, is mandated to initiate, advise, coordinate, and implement ASEAN activities. The members of the professional staff of the ASEAN Secretariat are appointed on the principle of open recruitment and region-wide competition.

ASEAN has several specialized bodies and arrangements promoting inter-governmental cooperation in various fields including the following:

ASEAN Agricultural Development Planning Centre, ASEAN-EC Management Centre, ASEAN Centre for Energy, ASEAN Earthquake Information Centre, ASEAN Foundation, ASEAN Poultry Research and Training Centre, ASEAN Regional Centre for Biodiversity Conservation, ASEAN Rural Youth Development Centre, ASEAN Specialized Meteorological Centre, ASEAN Timber Technology Centre, ASEAN Tourism Information Centre, and the ASEAN University Network.

In addition, ASEAN promotes dialogue and consultations with professional and business organisations with related aims and purposes, such as the ASEAN-Chambers of Commerce and Industry, ASEAN Business Forum, ASEAN Tourism Association, ASEAN Council on Petroleum, ASEAN Ports Association, Federation of ASEAN Shipowners, ASEAN Confederation of Employers, ASEAN Fisheries Federation, ASEAN Vegetable Oils Club, ASEAN Intellectual Property Association, and the ASEAN-Institutes for Strategic and International Studies. Furthermore, there are 58 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), which have formal affiliations with ASEAN.
No signature...
Reply With Quote
The Following 20 Users Say Thank You to Predator For This Useful Post:
aabanshah (Sunday, February 21, 2016), aariz (Saturday, August 08, 2009), akhtar ali shah (Tuesday, October 23, 2018), Almasha Alfarsi (Wednesday, September 09, 2015), Arain007 (Thursday, November 04, 2010), AROOJFATI (Monday, October 19, 2015), comp Engr (Friday, September 16, 2016), Ehsan Chauhdry (Saturday, November 14, 2009), Faheem Sattar (Friday, November 16, 2012), khurram_bughio (Saturday, November 28, 2009), maya halepoto (Sunday, September 20, 2015), MoonSaghar (Tuesday, January 15, 2013), Mubashir Asif (Tuesday, May 04, 2010), multithinker (Wednesday, October 10, 2012), Nosheen Bukhari (Friday, December 07, 2012), pisceankhan (Tuesday, June 24, 2014), Rabia_naem (Friday, May 28, 2010), rare36 (Thursday, November 12, 2009), s malik (Thursday, December 08, 2011), shahzad123 (Tuesday, November 29, 2011)
Old Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: karachi
Posts: 173
Thanks: 302
Thanked 85 Times in 48 Posts
Intifada is on a distinguished road

may Allah bless you brother. will you suggest any book for i.r? and kindly share the most important questions which always come. e.g: i.r`s definition and its scope.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Intifada For This Useful Post:
AROOJFATI (Monday, October 19, 2015), Predator (Wednesday, June 25, 2014)
Old Thursday, October 01, 2015
Samroz's Avatar
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 22
Thanks: 3
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Samroz is on a distinguished road
Default Selection of Subjects for CE 216

I have choose following subjects

Int Law
Islamic History & Culture
Gender Study
is it good combination to go with. ???
Reply With Quote
Old Friday, October 02, 2015
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Sindh
Posts: 97
Thanks: 136
Thanked 16 Times in 14 Posts
Siddique is on a distinguished road

i think you should go for sociology and international law which i know are much helpful with IR; but its upto you how you deal the subjects.
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday, October 06, 2015
Samroz's Avatar
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 22
Thanks: 3
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Samroz is on a distinguished road

Originally Posted by Siddique View Post
i think you should go for sociology and international law which i know are much helpful with IR; but its upto you how you deal the subjects.
but i dont know sociology that's why i pick Punjabi what you is you opinon about Islamic History & Culture ?
Reply With Quote
Old Friday, November 06, 2015
Khadijha Arib's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: punjab
Posts: 46
Thanks: 91
Thanked 21 Times in 16 Posts
Khadijha Arib is on a distinguished road

Which book you are considering for I.R and
Reply With Quote


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Very Important : How to Prepare Study Notes Shaa-Baaz Tips and Experience Sharing 5 Sunday, May 21, 2017 08:30 PM
Effective Study Skills Sureshlasi Tips and Experience Sharing 1 Friday, November 16, 2007 09:28 AM
Regarding Notes Anonymous84 Tips and Experience Sharing 1 Wednesday, August 15, 2007 06:56 PM
Relation Naseer Ahmed Chandio Humorous, Inspirational and General Stuff 0 Wednesday, July 05, 2006 10:42 AM

CSS Forum on Facebook Follow CSS Forum on Twitter

Disclaimer: All messages made available as part of this discussion group (including any bulletin boards and chat rooms) and any opinions, advice, statements or other information contained in any messages posted or transmitted by any third party are the responsibility of the author of that message and not of (unless is specifically identified as the author of the message). The fact that a particular message is posted on or transmitted using this web site does not mean that CSSForum has endorsed that message in any way or verified the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message. We encourage visitors to the forum to report any objectionable message in site feedback. This forum is not monitored 24/7.

Sponsors: ArgusVision   vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2024, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.