Nuclear Disarmament Essay, Research Paper
In a world today consisting of technological advances in medicine and science comes some controversial issues. Such issues involving these advances are the development and use of nuclear warfare. These weapons of mass destruction have been around for almost half a century and pose a great threat to the future of mankind itself. Some extremists believe that all of the nuclear power countries should eliminate all atomic capabilities, while others seem to want to stockpile their military with thousands of warheads. Most leaders of countries with nuclear power want to keep their status as a superpower, and leaders of smaller less developed countries either want to have this power or get rid of it all together. The problem that arises is that not only do the superpowers want to maintain their ability to destroy, but also to expand it. A chain reaction begins to show itself between the nuclear inclined countries thus creating an arms race, in tern other superpowers see themselves being left in the dark and to establish themselves they must keep up in the race. Some independent countries of the arms race bring up the issue of just down sizing the amount of weapons these larger countries have. But a conflict of who starts first comes into play, and therefore creates another controversy. So some believe that the answer is to just disarm all nuclear weapons.
Although atomic bombs have only been used twice in the last 50 years for war purposes the damaged clearly shows vast destruction to cities and people’s lives. The reason for the use of these two bombs was to end a war and create peace between the countries of the world. But in doing so the long term effect was the cold War that went on for about 45 years. Although there weren’t actual casualties of this war, there were times when nuclear missiles were going to be exchanged by opposing countries. This exchange would be won by the country with the most weapons of mass destruction, so an arms race began between the United States and the former U.S.S.R., creating tension and hysteria throughout the world. By the end of this arms race, the United States and U.S.S.R. created enough war heads to blow the entire world up eleven times. Most people find this figure to be outrageous but believable. Since the end of the Cold War, relations between the superpowers of the world have been well, but the enormous amount of atomic weapons still exist. The question of the necessity of these devices brings controversy to the leaders of the world. But the idea that is brought up is if their country will be safe, but in actuality the idea should be if the people of the world will be safe. The problem is that all they want to have is the own national security.
Not only are the direct effects of nuclear war devasting, but the indirect effects are just as bad or in some cases worse. The emission of radiation and other harmful rays cause burns, blindness, cancer, nuclear clouds and nuclear fallout. After a bomb is dropped the target is destroyed and then some, including neighboring towns. After a few days when the winds begin to pick up and drift the fallout and clouds from ground zero, or the place where it was dropped, the hazardous materials in the air begin to effect other countries and even nations on the opposite side of the globe. “Radioactive clouds reached the west of the U.S. after the Chernobyl disaster happened. The effects are worldwide.” (Lebow p.63) These clouds also spread to Great Britain and Germany. Even though this was an accident this could very well happen during an atomic bombing. Radiation and fallout aren’t the only side effects of nuclear war, but the amount of light produced after an atomic explosion. The light is many times brighter than that of the sun, and even though it lasts less than a second, it leaves flash burns, blindness and even forms of skin cancer. “If one is not killed by the actual detonation, the flash burns alone can cause horrible scars.” (Dyson p. 117) The flash burns aren’t just contained in one area, but where ever skin is exposed is most likely to suffer.
Ever since the first atomic bomb, just about every country of the world with military and armed forces have been trying to grasp the power of splitting atoms in order to create the super weapon of the century. The problem with everyone having this capability is that it will be used just as a child would play with a new toy. The presidents and dictators would be trigger happy and waiting for their foes to make a wrong move, then just blasting them off the face of the earth. This would then cause other countries to get involved and eventually everyone will be in World War III, except the casualties will be much greater. Some of the leaders who are aggressive won’t even wait for someone to make the wrong move, they’ll just press the button without hesitation, thus creating a war. “The small action of a country effects everyone.” (Sagan p.39) The alliances of the world today won’t let one of their allies be destroyed without a fight, so more and more countries begin to jump into the war, and finally one of the nuclear superpowers launches its stockpile of long range atomic missiles and destroys the Earth.
Since different acts on testing of atomic weapons have been passed, countries have been conducting them underground and out of surveillance sight. The problem with this is that what one knows is better than what one doesn’t. This means that if China has no restrictions on testing than they would most likely do them so other countries can see. If these tests have to be done secretly, then China doesn’t want others to know what they’re up to. It might not sound that bad but what if China has a bomb that is the most powerful ever created, and it is tested secretly, no one would know what they have. In essence these acts and laws only created monsters that others don’t instead of the obvious. The lifting of such testing laws would then let the whole world what countries have the capability, and what kind of capability.
In the past couple of years, other countries besides the five superpowers with nuclear weapons including The United States, Russia, Great Britain, China and France, have been trying to achieve this status. Some have already been successful in the mission of obtaining the power of the atom. These countries include Pakistan and their neighboring long time enemies India. Since the arrivement of these two enemies on the nuclear power block, the safety and hesitation to use the atomic weapons has dropped. It is clear to the veteran countries on the nuclear power block that a threat of atomic war has followed Pakistan and India. Every other nuclear power are presently on good terms, besides the new arrivals. Pakistan and India already announced that they are not afraid to use them, so everyone is sketchy on whether they should intervene or not, but this may cause greater problems in the end. This leaves all the nations with the notion on their mind that a war could breakout at any moment, so the fingers are waiting to press the buttons.
“To stop a weed from growing in your garden, you don’t wait a month, you kill it right away. To stop a nuclear war, you don’t wait for the spread of atomic bombs, you prevent the creation of them.” (Spectar p.44) To wait until everyone has nuclear warfare devices is kind of irrational. A country is not going to give up its new capability without a fight, but if they never obtain the power then arguments of giving up the weapons won’t arise. In most cases, as in this one, prevention is the answer to the safety of the world, and more laws should be put into effect preventing all nuclear weapons to all countries. This would be hard to enforce but it is more logical than waiting for others to get these devices.
Its hard to believe that countries like Pakistan and India possess the greatest weapon in the world. The idea that the materials and instructions for the power are clearly shown through India and Pakistan, what stops a terrorist from getting the key to atomic bombs. The threat of independent people getting the bomb is just as bad as a country getting it. The individual doesn’t have to go through the U.N. or worry about their country being bombed, because their secrecy is kept pretty well. Nothing really stops terrorists now from bombing building, railways or sometimes planes. So what is going to stop them from using atomic bombs on cities or buildings. All they have to do is set it in a car and park it in the middle of a city. This threat has been increasing with availability and popularity of nuclear warfare.
The end of the cold war has arrived and the stockpiling of enough thermo nuclear weapons and atomic bombs to blow the world up 11 times is obsolete. Times have changed since the last world war. Democracies have been taking over former communist nations, and the hatred of certain world powers has died down. The iron curtain has fallen. Trading, peace talks and treaties have begun between countries that once came within minutes of annihilating the world. Communism is falling and the threat of a great war has been out of sight for some time now. The United Nations has joined the world in an effort to make peace between countries. The only way to maintain this status is to eliminate the weapons that eliminate. With the threat of total continental destruction out of mind, nations, people and the world will not have to keep looking over their shoulders to make sure their not about to be blown off the map, thus creating more time to look forward and worry about better things in the world.