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Nuclear Armageddon - Essay Example

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The results of the bombing were massive with over 90% of the city wiped out. Three days later, another bomb was dropped on the Japanese…
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College Nuclear Armageddon On August 6, 1945, in the ensuing World War II, an American plane, a B-29 bomber dropped the first worldatomic over Hiroshima in Japan. The results of the bombing were massive with over 90% of the city wiped out. Three days later, another bomb was dropped on the Japanese island of Nagasaki wiping out about 40,000 people. The great destruction led Emperor Hirohito to announce the surrendering of Japan from World War II. Besides the surrendering of Japan, the use of the nuclear weapons opened another chapter marked by increased fear of such atomic weapons across the globe. As such, the preceding political and foreign ideologies were mostly controlled by this fear that had affected the entire globe.
The competition between the west ideologies and communism was one of the major events that sparked fears of atomic weapons between the Soviet Union and the US. The cold war that emerged immediately after WWII was rapidly taking shape. In this case, the US and USSR were pulling sections of the South East Asia to either side, which was aggravated by China joining the Soviet Union as a strong ally against the west ideologies (Ringer, 320). The struggle over Korea fueled the cold war as the two super powers threatened to use any means possible to win the war. For instance, the coming to power of President Eisenhower in 1952 reintroduced the nuclear threats as a warning to the Soviet Union to desist from any form of aggression (Ringer, 321). Eisenhower had a new defense policy that deferred from Truman’s policies in that the new administration relied more on threatening to use nuclear weapons rather than conventional military weapons as a response to communist aggression during the cold war (Ringer, 321). The pursuit of brinkmanship involved each side threatening to use nuclear weapons, though with no attempt to engage in any armed conflict. These threats increased fears of an imminent nuclear war across the globe.
The formation of SEATO as counterpart to NATO in South East Asia fuelled the fears of nuclear weapons as the conflict took another dimension. Afterwards, the US rejected the USSR proposal to disband NATO and the Warsaw Pact (Ringer, 321). Moreover, the Society denied the possibility of having Eisenhower’s Open Skies ideology that sought to allow the reconnaissance of military empowerment on both sides. The Cuban Missile Crisis was an event pushed the fears of another nuclear confrontation to a new level as the world was on the brink of nuclear war. While the US gladly welcomed Castro’s revolution in 1959, Castro proved elusive as he preferred the use of Marxist ideologies leading the US to break its diplomatic ties with the country (Ringer, 321). Severing of the bonds between the US and Cuba placed Cuba in the hands of the Soviets, which was followed by Kennedy’s 1961 invasion of Cuba by CIA trained exiles at the Bay of pigs; the spy planes in 1952 reported newly constructed missile launch bases under construction in Cuba.
However, the tensions and fears were eased when the USSR agreed to remove its bases from Cuba while the US was to refrain from invading Cuba, a move that slightly eased the fears of a looming nuclear war. The agreement was followed by the Test Ban Treaty of 1963 where the US, the USSR and the UK signed a pact that banned any test of nuclear weapons under water, in the outer space or atmosphere; the treaty was followed by the 1969 Nuclear Non –Proliferation Treaty that sought to ban any passing of nuclear weapons to any country that did not possess the weapons (Ringer, 321). Moreover, this led to the 1970s Strategic Arms Limitations Talks (SALT 1), aimed at restraining the USSR and the US from any further buildup of nuclear weapons where Nixon’s policy of detente fueled the SALT with the Soviet Union. These talks were responsible for diffusing the fear of an imminent nuclear war between the two countries.
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Ringer, E. Ronald. Excel HSC Modern History. Glebe, NSW: Pascal Press, 2007. Read More
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