Activists sought to end nuclear proliferation for years during the period that came to be known as the “Cold War.” In 2009, President Obama began negotiations with the Russians to stop nuclear testing and reducing the number of nuclear weapons. Despite these efforts, however, a number of countries, such as India, Pakistan, and other “rogue” nations either have, or claim to have, either nuclear weapons or nuclear capability. Even if the Cold War between Russia and the United States is over, is it possible for the world to end nuclear warfare or the potential for nuclear warfare?
8 Answers | Add Yours
I do think that there will always be people and countries that will try to get their hands on nuclear technology for the purpose of dominance and warfare. Iran keeps telling the world that it is just trying to develop its nuclear power program, but most countries think they are developing weapons.
Nuclear weapons equal power in the eyes of global leaders. Even if it was possible for every nation to relinquish control of their nuclear arsenals, Pandora's Box has been opened. The technology can not be uninvented, and at some point new nations will rise up and seek this ultimate weapon of destruction or nation's that gave up that power will soon hunger for it again. If every bit of research, every facility, and every scientist relating to nuclear weapons were to be destroyed the idea would still remain, and the capacity of the human race to create nuclear weapons would still exist.
With that being said, I don't think the above situation would ever come to pass. I just can't imagine any scenario that would cause the nations of the world that have a tactical advantage over the rest of the planet to give up that source of power and security. I think the best hope for the world is to limit the proliferation of these weapons and hope that something worse isn't devised in the meantime.
A great many steps have already been taken to eventually free the world of the monster created just before World War II that we call a nuclear weapon. The first step was the Non-Proliferation Treaty, first enforced in 1970, forbidding states who did not have nuclear weapons to abstain from obtaining them and demanding states to reduce their numbers of nuclear weapons over time. We have also instigated the Cooperative Threat Reduction program, intended to ensure that nuclear weapons are dismantled in what was the Soviet Union. This program has been extended into the Global Threat Reduction Initiative which promotes dismantlement in states outside of the former Soviet Union. George W. Bush also initiated the Proliferation Security Initiative in 2003 to prevent the trafficking of nuclear weapons and materials.
While these initiatives have been helpful, it is certainly agreed upon that even more steps need to be initiated to completely rid the world of weapons of mass destruction. One of those steps is that we need to eliminate short-range nuclear weapons; another is that we need to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty; and, we also need to create the most intense possible levels of security for all weapons as well as enriched uranium.
While so far our efforts have not created a 100% elimination of all nuclear weapons world wide, our efforts at least show that, for most of us, our hearts are in the right place. If we have the means of creating such a destructive weapon, we have the means of creating a way to destroy such a weapon, if we have the desire.
The wording on this question is interesting: "possible for people in the world ...." If we distinguish "people" in the world from governments in the world, I believe that it is possible for the people in the world to end the possibility of nuclear warfare. The trick, of course, is to get the people all across the world into position to be the ones with the power to decide and to act. We say that democracy is government by the people but when elected officials can in all seriousness tell constituents "I am going to vote according to my conscience regardless of all the pressure of personal anecdote and need," then one has to seriously wonder about that particular foundational premise (perhaps the contemporary world is too big and too complex and too overrun with troubles to be thought safely led by "We the People" these days). I believe that if a worldwide grassroots effort of the people rose up, we the people might indeed end the possibility of nuclear because we the people know that it will be us and our sons and daughters and loved one who will be burned up and melted and maimed in a nuclear war (the lucky ones will be those who are burned up and melted, woe for those who are only maimed).
I don't believe it is possible for people in the world (governments, other entities and organizations, as well as individuals) to end nuclear warfare or the potential for nuclear warfare if nations and rogue groups continue to move headlong in the production of nuclear weapons and capabilities.
It reminds me of the creative writing adage, if there's a gun in the scene, make sure it's used. Sure, the thought of nuclear war not happening because it results in mutually assured destruction is a nice sentiment. However, tell that to Iran, tell that to wiley terrorist groups. Tell it to the U.S who has used their nuclear arsenal.
Who are we fooling as human beings supposedly not wanting nuclear conflict, but preparing for it. We're taking all the measures that lead to nuclear conflict because nations do not trust one another, or seek to achieve their geopolitical dreams, with nuclear capabilities their insurance policies against others wishing to circumvent their initiatives and desires. Therefore, nuclear warfare is a distinct and real possibility in the 21st Century
The previous post is correct in that it says that the existence of weapons makes nuclear war possible. However, I would say that we must go one step beyond this. Even if there were no nuclear weapons in the world today, there would still be the potential for nuclear warfare. The reason for this is that there is no way to destroy all of the knowledge of how to make nuclear weapons. That information is out there and there is no way to take it back from all those who possess it. Therefore, we cannot possibly eradicate the possibility of nuclear war.
We haven't had nuclear warfare since 1945. The potential for nuclear warfare, however, will be with us from now on. Nobody is going to get rid of all their nuclear weapons because of the perceived deterrence it has on their enemies. And as long as we have the weapons, there is the possibility of nuclear war.
In reply to 1.
Despite these efforts, however, a number of countries, such as India, Pakistan, and other “rogue” nations either have, or claim to have, either nuclear weapons or nuclear capability.
Are not these double standards when we know that US is the one who has used nuclear weapons. If other nations who have or claim to have nuclear weapons or capability are "rouge nations" than what is US who has used nuclear weapons. Is killing and inflicting sufferings to people at such a large scale can be justified for peace? And who has the biggest inventory of such weapons?
I agreee with post 2:
Nobody is going to get rid of all their nuclear weapons because of the perceived deterrence it has on their enemies. And as long as we have the weapons, there is the possibility of nuclear war.
If we want to get rid of it, US has to take the lead and destroy its weapons first as charity begins at home. Otherwise all other nations have the right to acquire such weapons for the reasons given in post 2.
We’ve answered 319,658 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question