Once you let a cat out of a bag, you can't just put him back in. This saying has been circulated for longer than I care to research, yet it is amazingly difficult to heed when considering something that we are passionate about. More specifically, those who propose world disarmament of nuclear weapons fail to understand how that trite saying applies to the debate of nuclear armament.
What a better world it would be if we could all get together and decide to rid ourselves of those horrible devices of mass destruction. No longer would we have to worry about any oncoming nuclear holocaust. The only loser would be Hollywood, but it's moved on to asteroids now.
I would love to live in such a world, but since nuclear bombs have been unleashed, we cannot un-invent them, just as we cannot put the cat back in the bag. There are too many other things to consider.
Foremost is the issue of trust. Do you trust China to be honest with us regarding military defense? I don't. I doubt that China would trust us on the matter. They probably shouldn't.
Of the seven present nuclear powers, it would only take one dishonest nation and the nuclear balance would immediately be jolted in favor of the dishonest nation, which is one heck of a motivation to secretly keep nuclear arms stockpiled. I believe it would be too tempting for any military leader or president to deny, whether he is on our side or not.
Let's say, for argument's sake, that all seven did cooperate. What would you do with a rogue nation that decided it could settle its dispute with a neighbor once and for all by producing a nuclear arm or two? The thought of Saddam Hussein, whether you are an Iraqi sympathizer or not, with a nuclear arsenal against a defenseless America is unthinkable. Forget Kuwait - he could take out the entire region, and we would not be in a position of power to defend any of the neighboring countries.
Enforcement of such an ambitious law would be difficult to defend because each nation understandably wants sovereignty, meaning that the United Nations cannot just storm into military bases in search of nuclear arms. The nations (and we) will be understandably resistant, and can you imagine the problems we're having with Iraq occurring with every country?
Furthermore, the countries that would be most likely to enforce such international laws would be the ones possessing the arms in the first place. Disarmament simply would not be enforced unless one nation actually disarmed, allowed the inspectors to investigate its military bases and vigorously enforced the international laws on all the other countries (including its allies). That country would be vulnerable to those breaking the law, possibly without any allies to defend it. Do you want the United States to be that country?
Worldwide disarmament would create a situation in which those who played by the rules would suffer at the hands of those who break them. What can we do? Frankly, not much. The concept of mutually assured destruction has kept us alive through 50 very volatile years, and all we can do is play nice with each other and hope that it continues to do so.