How far was the nuclear arms race a threat to world peace in the years 1949-62?
The nuclear arms race did threaten world peace because the weapons being created had the potential to destroy the world, to any nation this comprehension was threatening especially due to these weapons being in control of two countries that ideologically conflicted. Additionally, both superpowers paranoia for one another grew as the power of the weapons created grew and multiplied, this further threatened world peace since any minor movement made by either power could have been misinterpreted as an attack. However, it becomes clear from a post perspective that the arms race did in fact deter any form of violence between the USA and the USSR, this was due to their fear of mass destruction and that it was more a competition of ability between the two powers rather than a desire to attack their opponent. Although these facts do suggest the arms race wasn’t threatening, the fact that both nations had the capability to destroy the world can be seen as enough for the arms race to have been a threat to world peace. The Culture of secrecy that developed during the arms race threatened world peace because it fuelled the paranoia consuming each nation as to whether the other had military superiority. The fears concerning both powers led to assumptions being made on the other country’s progress, this is evident with the profound effect the Gaither report of 1957 had on the US. The report which was commissioned just after Sputnik heightened fear that the Soviet Union had military superiority because there was a missile gap between the two nations. The report led to the US creating a National Defence Education Act in an attempt to reinforce their already extensive military science and defence units, at the time the number of students studying at college doubled (mainly in engineering, maths and science). The impact of the report illustrates US fears of Russia gaining military superiority and...
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