75th anniversary of Hiroshima and the nuclear threat today

Seventy-five years ago today, on 6 August 1945, an atomic bomb codenamed "Little Boy" was dropped by US forces on Hiroshima. More than 140,000 people lost their lives and people are still suffering today from the long-term effects of nuclear radiation. On this day of remembrance, commentators take a worried look at the relations between today's nuclear powers.

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The Guardian (GB) /

New arms race must not leave us cold

Unlike in the Cold War era, hardly anyone seems particularly bothered about the arms race between today's great powers, The Guardian writes worriedly:

“The lack of public debate or a feeling of concern is striking given the distressing fact that sophisticated new nuclear, hypersonic, cyber - and space weapons are developed. ... The battle for space is just starting, but it deserves our immediate attention. Russia is supposed to be developing anti-satellite weapons - the United States and China are almost certainly in no way inferior. This undermines previous commitments to the peaceful use of space. ... 75 years after Armageddon struck people in Japan, the world seems to have forgotten the truly existential horror of this moment.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (DE) /

Only effective deterrence offers protection

Peace is more easily secured when the potential adversaries are armed to the hilt, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung counters:

“The much-feared third and last world war between the free West, led by America, and the Soviet Union with its satellites, never broke out, even though the antagonistic blocs are still on armed to the teeth in Europe. ... Because even an attack begun 'merely' with conventional weapons could have led to 'mutually assured destruction'. This risk kept even the 'hawks' on both sides from embarking on any military adventures using nuclear weapons. The deterrent worked. Only it offers protection from annihilation. Effective deterrence must therefore still be a top priority in European security policy.”

L'Echo (BE) /

Nuclear powers incapable of dialogue

The United States is against a treaty limiting nuclear arsenals unless China also agrees to sign. Unlike in the 1980s, there is no consensus among the major nuclear powers about limiting nuclear proliferation, complains L'Echo:

“The problem is that trust is required before such agreements can be signed. But this has to be built up. Not through accusations, threats and retaliation, but by sending signs of openness up and negotiating concrete steps. But where are they? Don't bother looking: for the moment dialogue between the three great nuclear powers is virtually nonexistent. Washington, Moscow and Beijing, however, have a duty to humanity to fuel constant exchange so as to keep the risk at a minimum.”