Getting MAD or getting peace by nuclear weapons
Getting MAD or getting peace by nuclear weapons
Nuclear weapons are a highly explosive devise as a result of an advanced stage of nuclear reactions. This nuclear device could be either an atomic bomb or hydrogen bomb. On the 9th of August, 1945 the mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki in Japan started the nuclear era in the world (Giangreco, 2009). The destructive results of that bomb were catastrophic and put the world under a massive new risk. This resulted from the destructive power of the nuclear weapon explosion. Many countries followed the United States of America in developing nuclear weapons, such as Russia, Britain, France, China, North Korea, Pakistan, Israel and India and finally, perhaps Iran. Like any weapon, nuclear weapons have a bright side and a dark side. The nuclear bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki resulted in the deaths of approximately 200,000 people, mostly civilians, from acute injuries sustained from the explosions. However, it is often said that the threat of nuclear weapons maintain world peace because world leaders have big concerns about getting involved in a nuclear war. Although nuclear weapons act as a deterrent, they cannot maintain the world peace because they provide no significant benefit as deterrent or security. Related issues will be discussed through the following context.
It has been argued that nuclear weapons act as a deterrent to war. Such kind of deterrence is still valid as there has never been a nuclear war through history. The nuclear deterrence is still the core of the political relationship between America and Russia and it has continued from the cold war until now and into the future (Pifer, 2010). This is theoretically because of the concept of the Mutually Assured Destruction (M.A.D), This strategy acts as a national security policy in which a full- scale use of mass destruction by two opposing sides, will affect the attacker and defender in equal tragedy way (Parrington & Alan, 1997), which suggests that the world leaders are rational people, who will not risk the whole world by using a mass destruction weapons. For example, in 1962, an American spy plane took a photograph for soviet nuclear missile sites in Cuba. The Soviet Union in turn claimed that the United States of America also have nuclear weapons in Italy and turkey. Being afraid of retaliation, the nuclear war between those two countries was avoided by secret negotiations resulted in both countries removing their nuclear missiles from Italy, turkey and Cuba (Forden, 2001).
Actually it is true that the nuclear weapons act as deterrent, but only if the world leaders are rational. There are more than 18,000 nuclear warheads all over the word, and 90% of those warheads are owned by the USA and Russia. The rest of the war heads are owned by growing nuclear powers in the world, such as China, Pakistan and North Korea. One of these hot spots is North Korea, which has around ten nuclear warheads, causing a high nuclear risk until now. Thakur, (2013), reported that the concerns behind the North Korean nuclear power came from that North Korea is involved in a proxy war which might lead to use the nuclear weapons in future. This implies that the world leaders might not be rational at any moment.
Furthermore, since World War II, many conventional wars have occurred, and they are continuing until today. This is a strong indication that the probability of a nuclear war to occur is high as accumulated consequences, for example, the current conflict between Pakistan and India on Kashmir, is a good candidate of nuclear war, so nuclear weapons of Pakistan have not prevented the conventional war in that area of the world. For example, in 1970, the USA and Russia as the first two countries developed the nuclear weapons in huge amounts of bombs, were very close to start a nuclear attack for each other by nuclear missiles more than once in that period of time (Forden, 2001). Here, it might worth to mention that Vietnam War, from 1955 to 1975, was a cold war-era military conflict between anti-communist and communist countries.For example on the world cold war is the proxy war, in which the USA support South Korea and Russia support North Korea (Williamson, 2013). Another example, in 1991, the office of the special assistant for Gulf war illness, at the US department of defense, reported that, the American and British forces used tools and equipment contaminated by depleted uranium, radioactive and toxic wastes of about 290,000 in the desert of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and southern Iraq, which may cause cancer and kidney damage and other disorders.
In terms of security, it has been argued by proponents of nuclear weapons, that these weapons are strictly secured around the world, especially in the USA, the UK, and France. This claim indicates that greatest nuclear powers in the world adopt a restricted policy to secure the nuclear material and wastes. For example, in 2012, a nuclear security summit held in Seoul, South Korea. This summit showed a participation of 53 heads of world countries and organizations and focused on three main points: the first point was a collaborative work to stop the threat of nuclear terrorism. The second point was protection of nuclear materials and the last point was the prevention of trafficking of nuclear materials and wastes (Motsyk, 2012).
However, although some claim that the nuclear weapons act as deterrent, not all nuclear countries in the world have a stable government or secure records, for example, Pakistan and Russia. Political instability or terrorism, by it is worst case scenario, could lead to a nuclear disaster as a result of lack of proper security for the nuclear program. It is good to keep in mind, that the main powers in the world determine the political stability according to their benefits as these powers may easily be involved in a war just for oil, for example the American war on Iraq (Baker, 2006). In other example, in 2001, Albright reported that a change in the Pakistani governments and leadership could make Pakistani nuclear weapons insecure. In addition, to start and develop a nuclear program is very expensive. Therefore in developing countries, they may not have enough money for security, such kind of programs starts from Uranium mining, transportation, nuclear bomb building and as a last process to store the weapon in controlled secure place after quality control testing.
However, there is a concern about the delivery of nuclear weapons to any terrorist militia in the world such Hizbullah, Alqaeda, and others. This concern comes from information about presence of nuclear materials, facilities and tools in the black market, which might lead to nuclear set up, and then it might be utilized in manufacturing of dirty bomb, attacking a nuclear reactor or overtaking a nuclear submarine (Davis, 2008). For example, it has been reported that Pakistan got three terrorists trials to attack its nuclear facilities in Sarghouda and karma in 2007, areas dominated by people from Alqaeda and Taliban (Rajghatta, 2009).
In conclusion, the main issues discussed in this context can be summarized in two main points. First is the role of nuclear weapons as deterrence and the second is the security status of the nuclear weapons in the world. Although nuclear weapons act as a deterrent, they cannot maintain the world peace or security. Clearly, it is highly recommended that the nuclear weapons, has to be taken from nuclear countries to guarantee the peace and security of the world.
Albright. D. (2001). Securing Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons Complex. Retrieved 04/12/ 2013, from http://www.isis-online.org/publications/terrorism/stanleypaper.html Alan C and Parrington J., USAF, Mutually Assured Destruction Revisited, Strategic Doctrine in Question, Airpower Journal, Winter 1997. Baker K (2006) "The Quietest War: We've Kept Fallujah, but Have We Lost Our Souls?" American Heritage. Davis J. After A Nuclear 9/11 The Washington Post, March 25, 2008. Factasy. "The Vietnam War or Second Indochina War". PRLog. Retrieved 01/07/2013. Forden. G. (2001). False Alarms in the Nuclear Age. Retrieved 01/07/2013, fromhttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/military/nuclear-false-alarms.html Giangreco, D. M. (2009). Hell to Pay: Operation Downfall and the Invasion of Japan 1945–1947.Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-59114-316-1. OCLC 643381863. Office of special assistant for gulf war illness,US department of Defence; July 31, 1998; Tab F –DU use in the Gulf war. Williamson L. (2013) "North Korea enters 'state of war' with South". BBC News. 30 March 2013. Retrieved 04/07/2013. Motsyk O.(May 2012)From Washington to Seoul: Advancing Nuclear Security Objectives . Pifer, S. (2010). U.S. Nuclear and Extended Deterrence: Considerations and Challenges (p.8.). Washington, D.C. 20036 Proctor. C. & Smith. J. (2011). Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010. U.S Department of Commerce: U.S. Census Bureau Rajghatta C. (2009) http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2009-08-11/pakistan/28160861_1_shaun-gregory-pakistan-nuclear-sites-nuclear-weapons, retrieved on 04/07/2013