For a change of pace I thought I should begin this Brief with a bit of good news—which is so rare in these critical and uncertain times.
Once again, this is your Briefer, Jamil Maidan Flores, observing the World, Region and Nation from Jakarta and sharing with you, for all they are worth, my thoughts on the meaning of passing events.
So what’s the good news?
Well, you and I are now significantly farther away from the likelihood of being roasted in a nuclear war. If that’s not good news for you, then you have not given much thought to how bad it could get to suffer even just a pinch of radioactive fallout from an exchange of nuclear punches between two Major Powers—let’s say in the South China Sea?
I refer to the entry into force recently, on 22 January 2021 to be precise, of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). Does that mean that nuclear weapons are now illegal? The short answer is: yes. The Treaty prohibits and deems illegal all activities related to nuclear armaments, including their development, testing, manufacture, acquisition, possession, stockpiling, use and deployment.