It's time to scrap the NPT

Michael Wesley*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Due to persisting demand-side factors and crumbling supply-side controls, the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) will probably be unable to prevent a likely proliferation rate of one or two additional nuclear weapons states per decade into the foreseeable future. Beyond being ineffective, I argue that the NPT will make this proliferation much more dangerous. The NPT is a major cause of opaque proliferation, which is both highly destabilising and makes use of transnational smuggling networks which are much more likely than states to pass nuclear components to terrorists. However, abandoning the NPT in favour of a more realistic regime governing the possession of nuclear weapons would help put transnational nuclear smuggling networks out of business and stabilise the inevitable spread of nuclear weapons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-299
Number of pages17
JournalAustralian Journal of International Affairs
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2005
Externally publishedYes


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