Do nuclear weapons lead to peace or to war - Essay Example

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The use of nuclear weapons began towards the end of the Second World War when the United States used them in the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is believed that it is the use of these weapons, which forced the Japanese to surrender, hence ensuring the end of the war in the Pacific zone…
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Do nuclear weapons lead to peace or to war
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Download file to see previous pages Many of the states, which possess such weapons, only use them for deterrence purposes and this has created a situation where all the powers, which have nuclear weapons, are at a stalemate (Waltz 1990, P.731). The ownership of nuclear weapons has since its beginnings, been an extremely controversial issue in the world, with many of the countries, which do not possess them claiming that it, is unfair for those, which do to have such weapons. Others have taken matters into their own hands and, defying the countries that have such weapons; have chosen to go ahead with their own nuclear programs (Rubin, 2006). The ownership of nuclear weapons is considered a source of prestige for the countries, which possess them, and it is for this reason that many still hold on to their arsenals while others are aspiring to develop their own. Over the last two decades or so, there has developed a debate concerning whether the possession of nuclear weapons is a deterrence to war, and that it is the reason why no major wars have taken place in recent history. Quite a number of people believe that the possession of nuclear weapons is one of the reasons why there has not been a third world war, since all of the most powerful states that would be involved in the war are armed with nuclear weapons. The lessons learnt from Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Roberts, 2012) seem to be extraordinarily fresh in the minds of those who make national policies and it is because of this that these weapons have come to be used, not for offensive purposes, but for peace. There is a belief that if a third world war were to take place, then it would be a nuclear war, and the devastation which such a war would cause would probably lead to the end of humanity as we know it. The horror of such an occurrence is something, which many people would not like to picture and because of this many states that possess nuclear weapons, keeps them under a tight leash (Donnelly, 2012). Even those states, which are considered most unstable, such as North Korea, do not use the weapons in their possession for any other purposes other than that of deterrence because of the recognition that to use them otherwise would be disastrous. One of the best cases that can be studied, when considering the possession of nuclear weapons as a means towards peace, is the Cold War. The Cold war came up because of the competition on a global scale of the world’s two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union. There was a great fear in the United States of the Soviet Union’s ambition to spread the ideology of communism, which it followed, worldwide and this was not acceptable to the American government. In response, the American government chose to shore up those regimes which were allied to it all over the world not only financially but also militarily to ensure that they combated the potential communist forces and parties which were to come up against them (Mueller 2002, P.172). Moreover, the Soviet Union was very fearful of the American acquisition of nuclear weapons and this led to its rush to build up its own arsenal, causing a nuclear arms race between these two states. While this may have been the case, none of these states used their weapons against the other. It is quite possible that the Cold War will have resulted in a world war, which would have pitted the United States ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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