Nuclear Proliferation Essay, Research Paper
What is the best way to address the question of nuclear proliferation in the coming century? In this paper I will state my views on the inevitability of nuclear proliferation and the views of others, as well as addressing what will come of the vertical proliferation of nuclear technology and delivery systems. The potential use of nuclear weapons continues to pose one of the greatest immediate dangers to world security (Zachary.D,p106?) Everything depends on how proliferation is managed. Mismanaged proliferation could produce disaster and well managed proliferation could reduce the threat of a nuclear war and other threats.
The dangers that could arise from mismanaged proliferation are profound and numerous. There is the danger that the proliferation process itself could give one of the existing nuclear powers a strong incentive to stop a non-nuclear neighbor from joining the nuclear club, like how Israel used force to stop Iraq from acquiring a nuclear capability. There is also the danger that an unstable nuclear competition could emerge among the new nuclear states like India and Pakistan. They might lack the resources to make their nuclear forces invulnerable, which could create first-strike incentives. Also, there is the danger that proliferation would increase the risk that nuclear weapons could be fired by accident, captured by terrorists, or change possession because of governments. People also think that these and other dangers of proliferation can be lessened if the current nuclear powers take the right steps.
To stop preventive attacks, they can extend security guarantees. To help the new nuclear powers secure their deterrents, they can provide technical assistance although, this has backfired in the past for example Pakistan received a lot of conventional weapons from the US to stop their nuclear weapons program, then Pakistan didn t stop and they used the US F-16 for their delivery system. The first nuclear powers can agree to arms control like strategic arms reduction treaty between the US and the former U.S.S.R. Also they can help to teach nuclear states to understand the power of the forces they are acquiring. This kind of well-managed proliferation could help peace well not damaging states influence on non-nuclear states. The horizontal proliferation of nuclear weapons has caused all the conflicts listed above, but the solutions given are not easy to carry out.
There is no way nuclear proliferation could be stopped; it can only be slowed down. The Nuclear Proliferation Treaty has attempted to contain the proliferation but with limited success because, it is very difficult to enforce. States could hide their weapons or remove themselves from this voluntary treaty, for example North Korea signed the NPT in 1985 and did not allow inspections until 1992 and they are widely suspected to own nuclear weapons. Also India detonated a nuclear device in 1974 that they called peaceful, the ironic thing would be that the plutonium was supplied by a reactor given by Canada under the Atoms For Peace project which was made do give poor states nuclear energy.
If the NPT were one hundred percent affective from now on it would bring on a whole new set of problems much worse than everyone having nukes. If nuclear proliferation were stopped dead in its tracks the states left out of the nuclear club would revert to using biological and chemical weapons that are uncontrollable, and pose a threat not only to the attacked country but the whole world. The NPT could be a little better at slowing horizontal proliferation but the dangerous thing will be when vertical proliferation happens and all the small states have accurate delivery systems. So the knowledge of how to make a nuke is not as dangerous as the delivery system. Terrorists using nuclear weapons does not seem like a huge threat in the US but it may be in other states even so with a nuke vs. a biological weapon the nuke may level a city a biological weapon would spread around the world killing people in every country.The power of the bombs dropped on Japan were about 16 megatons of TNT and now there are bombs that are over 300 megatons, this poses a threat for many countries because of the massive fallout that would follow a nuclear blast.
The nuclear taboo and consequences of breaking the nuclear taboo will keep the rational leader away from firing a nuclear missile, that leaves irrational leaders who are willing to take the consequences and terrorists.
Insecurity is the root cause of proliferation. Conventional and/or unconventional weapons provide nations with assurances of their survival. How can nations be persuaded that nuclear weapons do not increase their security? What are the alternatives? (Zachary.D,p128?)
I think that nuclear proliferation is inevitable and that the nuclear deterrence power of the US will be greater than other states because of the accuracy and power of our nukes and delivery systems. Some states that are making nukes are as much as 20 years behind the US. People shouldn t fear nuclear attacks any time soon they should fear Chemical and biological warfare, because nukes destroy cities and biological weapons destroy humans. Son in con collusion the present situation with nuclear proliferation is safe and will continue spread and will be reasonably safe. And when everybody has a nuke and realizes that there is no benefit to using a nuke because of the consequences they will be obsolete but will never go away.