How did the advent of nuclear weapons alter the face of war since 1945?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The advent of nuclear weapons, it can be argued, made it so that there would no longer be any major power wars.  Because all of the major powers had nuclear weapons, they were not able to fight one another the way that they had in, for example, WWI and WWII.  

Before nuclear weapons, it was not that "dangerous" for major powers to fight.  A country like Germany did not risk its very existence by going to war in 1939.  But if the US and the USSR, for example, had gone to war in the 1960s, they would have been risking their existences.  Both countries could have utterly destroyed the other with their nuclear weapons.

For this reason, the advent of nuclear weapons changed the kinds of war that were possible in the years after 1945.

samo35 | Student

Interesting point. Would you happen to know of more examples of how nuclear weopons and even wmd's altered how war was fought since 1945?