Many people do not understand the dangers of nuclear weapons. Proponents of nuclear weapons perceive them as the ultimate source of the state’s security. They believe that nuclear weapons prevent states from attacking each other. Individuals supporting nuclear weapons claim that the weapons promote deterrence. However, they overlook the fact that states continue attacking each other despite the possibility of immense reprisal. In addition, opponents of nuclear disarmament argue that nuclear weapons promote diplomatic coexistence between states. They cite the joint deterrence between the United States and Russia as the reason why the two countries live harmoniously. Intellectuals like professor Mueller argue that nuclear disarmament is counterproductive. They maintain that nuclear weapons curb conventional attacks, thus promoting peace. It is imperative to understand that peace comprises of numerous components. Instead of promoting peace, nuclear weapons subject people into a state of perennial nervousness. Besides, the weapons intensify distrust between states leading to conflicts. The presence of nuclear weapons in Israel makes it hard for countries in the Middle East to attain steady peace.
For years, there have debates concerning the development and use of nuclear weapons by the world countries. Long before the development of the first nuclear weapon, there were disagreements among the scientists concerning the development of the weapon. After the bombing in Hiroshima, numerous world leaders called for the abolishment of nuclear weapons. Today, numerous leaders call for nuclear disarmament, arguing that allowing countries to develop nuclear weapons may lead to nuclear war as states seek to showcase their power.
On the other hand, some leaders feel that allowing nuclear disarmament would weaken avoidance, and the absolute abolition of nuclear weapons would trigger conventional wars and undermine the existing nuclear peace. The majority of the American leaders that participated in the First World War are calling for the total exclusion of nuclear weapons. Many of them claim that nuclear weapons frustrate the effort to uphold the security and health of humankind. Indeed, nuclear weapons have intensified human suffering and posed a threat to peaceful coexistence among the countries. This paper will develop an argumentative essay concerning nuclear weapons.
Many people have no idea about the nature of the danger of the present world nuclear hoard. In spite of countries reducing the number of nuclear weapons after the Cold War, we still have over 22,000 nuclear warheads across the globe. The United States manages 9,000 of the warheads; Russia manages about 13,000 of the warheads, while other nuclear-armed countries manage the rest. About 7,000 of the total nuclear warheads are operationally positioned. To make matters worse, 2,000 of the Russian and the United States’ warheads are held on precariously high alert state. The world has come to the verge of the calamity in the past than many people are aware of.
The world was about to witness a Third World War during the missile crisis in Cuba. Besides, over the years, states have confused missile simulations for a real attack. In addition, the United States has, on several occasions, launched its nuclear weapons by mistake. Given the precarious position in which the United States and Russia hold their missiles, chances of accidental missile launch are high. Hence, nuclear weapons put the population in great danger bearing in mind that many people are not aware of such a threat.
Advocates of nuclear disarmament argue that the endeavor would promote peaceful coexistence between states. In 1980s, after countries invigorated the nuclear arms race, numerous movements emerged, which called for the abolition of the development of nuclear weapons. People demonstrated in the streets of major cities like London, Brussels, and New York. Those opposed to nuclear disarmament claimed that the move would weaken deterrence. Deterrence refers to a mechanism that governments apply to avert a potential attack by their enemies. Governments threaten their potential attackers of huge vengeance, therefore, keeping the enemies at bay. Hence, opponents of nuclear disarmament argue that nuclear weapons have somewhat promoted peaceful coexistence between countries due to fear of retaliation.
However, this is not the case. In spite of some countries issuing threats of possible retaliation, states continue experiencing the wrath of nuclear weapons. The argument that nuclear weapons help to curb major conventional attacks is not true. There have been many cases of states that do not manufacture nuclear weapons waging wars against states that manufacture nuclear weapons. The possibility of massive retaliation has not deterred non-nuclear powers from attacking nuclear powers. Hence, nuclear weapons do not assist in preserving peaceful coexistence between states. They only intensify mistrust between the states, which degenerate into rivalry. In other instances, the presence of nuclear weapons in two states has made one of the states attack the other without fearing possible retaliation. For instance, Pakistan went ahead to attack India in spite of India having nuclear weapons. Consequently, nuclear weapons have not helped the world to curb conventional wars.
The availability of nuclear weapons has led to a nuclear exchange between governments and terror groups. Some governments supply terror groups with nuclear weapons. Since the dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), it has become possible for terror groups to acquire nuclear weapons. For instance, terrorists attempt to sneak plutonium from Russia. Hence, the presence of nuclear weapons gives the terrorists an opportunity to acquire weapons. It will be very hard to preserve the existing nuclear deterrence or nuclear peace if terror groups acquire nuclear weapons. The groups are autonomous and hard to manage. Besides, they are not afraid of possible retaliation since they do not occupy a definite geographical area. This raises the question about how upholding the development of nuclear weapons would preserve nuclear deterrence or the so-called nuclear peace.
Numerous countries have lived peacefully despite doing away with the development of nuclear weapons. This implies that countries can live harmoniously even without nuclear weapons. Countries like Belarus, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan gave up their nuclear weapons after the fall of the Soviet Union. Moreover, Brazil and Argentina stopped manufacturing nuclear weapons long ago. Since these countries stopped developing nuclear weapons, they have never reported cases of external threats. In fact, they became friends with many world countries. The countries serve as an example that states can run their affairs peacefully, even without arming themselves with nuclear weapons. Whenever a country tries to arm itself with nuclear weapons, it becomes an enemy of many countries. A good example is Iran. Since Iran began its nuclear enrichment program, it has become an enemy of many countries, starting with the United States and Israel.
Opponents of nuclear disarmament argue that without nuclear weapons, the United States and the USSR would have gone back to physical war during the Cold War. Both countries had the capacity to launch second-strike reprisal, meaning that no country was superior to the other. The presence of nuclear weapons in both countries promoted “nuclear peace”. However, many of the American administration officials that participated in the Cold War argue that the policy of joint Soviet-American deterrence is archaic. They assert that dependence on nuclear weapons for prevention is becoming more and more dangerous and decreasingly useful. With time, the world has witnessed the emergence of new nuclear states. Many of these states do not have security measures to prevent possible accidents. Hence, allowing countries to arm themselves with nuclear weapons would expose the world to the dangers of nuclear accidents and unauthorized launches.
In reality, the joint nuclear deterrence between the United States and Russia does not prevent nuclear war in any way. Instead, the mutual deterrence makes nuclear war illogical. For nuclear deterrence to succeed, it requires both countries to have reasonable people who are capable of assessing the dangers of nuclear war. As Bull Wryly posits, currently, the United States and Russia are capable of maintaining the mutual nuclear deterrence. However, no one knows what will happen in the future. State of affairs and political actors might change making it hard for the two states to continue embracing the joint nuclear deterrence. One only wonders what would happen to humanity in case of such an eventuality.
Additionally, there is a perennial danger not only of misinterpretation or human miscalculation under pressure, but of miscommunication. Superiority of cyber weapons makes the risk severe. Possibilities of states perceiving harmless events as dangerous are high, which pose the danger of states entering into nuclear war due to miscommunication.
People like Professor John Mueller claim that states should allow Iran to continue with its nuclear program. Professor Mueller believes that the nuclear disarmament initiative is counterproductive. He alleges that media and government officials fabricate claims that Iran will pose a significant threat to the world if allowed to go on with its nuclear program to frustrate the program. According to Professor Mueller, increased development of nuclear weapons would help to curb conventional wars. He asserts that nuclear weapons have assisted to maintain a troubled peace.
It is imperative to note that peace entails numerous factors. A country is said to be at peace if its people have security and equanimity. The existing nuclear altercation among the countries does not promote peace. It keeps people in a state of perpetual nervousness. Rather than promoting peace, the existence of nuclear weapons increases distrust due to their demonic impacts. It is hard for people to trust countries that emphasize on the development of weapons that have the capacity to annihilate the entire humanity.
Nuclear weapons contribute to the emergence of lifts between states rather than brining them together. Indeed, allowing states to continue developing nuclear weapons will lead to terrible wars between the states as witnessed in Iraq. Today, presence of nuclear weapons in Israel thwarts the effort to establish a long-term and steady serenity in the Middle East. Besides, Pakistan and India are ever in conflicts due to possession of nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons worsen the suspicion and apprehension between countries.
Proponents of nuclear weapons argue that a country ought to have nuclear weapons to be secure. However, in reality, a country that possesses a hoard of nuclear weapons subjects its population into a state of insecurity and fear. No country has ever managed to come up with an intricate system that is not susceptible to foul-ups, mistakes and/or accidents. Charles Perrow once stated that it is hard for people to avoid calamitous nuclear accidents. As people continue to come up with safety measures, they make the system complicated. By this, he meant that as people come up with measures to prevent nuclear disasters, they come up with complex nuclear weapons, thus becoming hard for them to troubleshoot the weapons and avoid potential accidents. Thus, by encouraging the nuclear arms race, world leaders are subjecting people to potential nuclear accident, which may be hard to predict or control.
There are claims that nuclear weapons avert, and will continue to avert, conflicts between the super powers. Presence of nuclear weapons in the United States prevents Russia from attacking the United States due to fear of possible reprisal. Nonetheless, no evidence showed that one of the states have ever decided to attack the other but stopped due to the presence of nuclear weapons. No state leader has ever backed down from an attack due to fear of possible retaliation or colossal damage to cities. This is a clear indication that nuclear weapons do not prevent conflicts between countries.
Many people do not understand the dangers that nuclear weapons pose to humanity. This underlines the reason why many people oppose nuclear disarmament programs. Individuals opposed to nuclear disarmament argue that nuclear weapons reinforce deterrence, thus contributing to peaceful coexistence between states. They argue that the possibility of immense reprisal prevents countries from attacking each other. Presence of nuclear weapons gives terror groups an opportunity to instill fear in the public.
The groups are capable of accessing the weapons and attacking the public. Hence, the public always lives in fear. Many countries have abolished the development of nuclear weapons. These countries do not experience threats from nuclear powers, which is an indication that the absence of nuclear weapons does not pose a threat to a country. People need to know that peace entails numerous factors. Presence of nuclear weapons within a country subjects people to a state of perennial nervousness. People constantly fear that other countries might attack them. Instead of promoting peace, nuclear weapons intensify the distrust between states, which degenerate into rivalry.