Many world leaders claim that nuclear weapons are vital shields for the planet. They claim that nuclear weapons are deterrents that prevent the world from breaking out in total war. Researchers are supporting this argument by declaring how nuclear weapons have been keeping peace. However, other researchers and scientists deny the effectiveness of nuclear weapons as deterrents and declare that nuclear weapons will lead the world into total devastation.
Many people throughout the world state that nuclear weapons have sparked fear throughout the world and need to be removed. The common problem that these researchers see is the possibility of a “nuclear winter.” Scientists say that the ongoing use of nuclear weapons will release so many particles in to the air that it will block out the sun and plummet the world into an eternal winter. Furthermore, researchers have discovered that if terrorists can obtain nuclear arms, they can accelerate the shift into “nuclear winter” and cause mass destruction on the planet in the process. The issue is that in the midst of a world currently filled with war and turmoil, national leaders continue to insist that the world’s supply of nuclear weapons is actually a shield, an asset in preventing the complete destruction of the world; however, the reality is that nuclear weapons are swords of annihilation, which will plunge the world into the devastating “nuclear winter” (McNamara).
Nuclear weapons have had a large impact on the world, beginning from the utilization of the atomic bomb in World War II. In the simplest words, nuclear weapons are explosives that are powered by nuclear reactions. The development of nuclear weapons took years of research and study. It began in the late 1800s with the discovery of the radioactivity of radium and the interest in the world to harness this power. More studies and evaluations were made, including the discovery of the nucleus by Ernest Rutherford and the discovery of nuclear fission by German scientists Lise Meitner and Otto Robert Frisch. The possibility of using nuclear fission as a weapon was clear to Meitner and Frisch, but the Germans could not keep the discovery a secret. In the beginning of World War II, the scientists of the world recognized the possibility of nuclear warfare during the war. The rumor of nuclear warfare turned into a real race. Scientists from the United States, Germany, Russia, and many other countries began to research, make, and test nuclear bombs. The operations were kept secret, but the United States broke the tension in 1945. On August 6, 1945, a nuclear bomb called “Little Boy” exploded above the Japanese city of Hiroshima, which was followed by another nuclear bomb called “Fat Man”, which was detonated above Nagasaki.
The resulting explosions killed hundreds of thousands of civilians and ended the Pacific War. However, the nuclear arms race did not stop after World War II, and the Soviet Union became increasingly involved in the arms race. The Cold War is an example of the intense conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union in the arms race (“Nuclear Weapon”). Meanwhile, nuclear weapons continued to grow in power and sophistication. The United States tested the first hydrogen bomb, a nuclear bomb that used nuclear fusion, which had such great power. The Russians also created their own hydrogen bomb, and the rest of the world continued to take interest in nuclear weapons. Fear sparked throughout the world of the possibility of the release of any of these hydrogen bombs (“Nuclear Fusion”). Even countries like North Korea began to gain a supply of nuclear weapons. Scientists who continue to study the nuclear weapons have recognized the destruction that could happen if there were a nuclear war. The reality of the situation is that the supply of nuclear weapons throughout the world has the power to obliterate the entire planet. If the entire world does not unleash all its nuclear force, only a certain amount of nuclear bombs need to be released to plunge the world into the devastating “nuclear winter” (McNamara).
Many people support nuclear weapons because of their effective function as deterrents and their ability to preserve the balance and order in the world. The main defense for nuclear weapons comes from the idea that nuclear weapons are acting as deterrents. Numerous researchers have studied the effectiveness of this function and describe how “the percentage of the world’s population lost to war each year dropped dramatically with the onset of nuclear deterrence” (Payne). The destructive force of nuclear weapons really has kept the nations of the world at bay. Countries will now think twice before attacking the United States, Russia, or any other country with a supply of nuclear weapons. Even countries with a supply of nuclear weapons do not want to engage in nuclear war; not because they will lose, but because of the destruction that each country would have to face to gain victory. As a result, several researchers disagree and are worried about the Obama administration’s move towards completely removing nuclear weapons. On April 8, 2010, United States President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev “signed the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) to replace START I.” (“Military Affairs”).
This treaty continued to limit the amount of nuclear warheads that each nation could have. However, researchers believe that a shift to a world without nuclear weapons would cause too much damage. The resulting mentality of the countries would be back to that of pre-World War II times. Countries would begin to wage war annually, and casualties would begin to pile up. The countries of the world will no longer have to worry about the threat of nuclear weapons and will begin annual onslaughts with other weaponry. Another major concern is that “any nuclear country with sensible leaders” will not give up all its nuclear weapons and will cheat (Sagan and Waltz). The United States cannot force nuclear deterrence on the world. If the United States moves into nuclear disarmament, certain countries will refuse to give up their nuclear weapons and may hide supplies of nuclear weapons in secret locations. The result is that the tables will turn on the United States. The United States will be disarmed, but other countries will be effectively armed with nuclear weapons.
The United States and the rest of the world would become subject to these nuclear countries. The argument that many people are giving is that removing nuclear weapons is not only a bad idea, but is also impossible. There is no absolute way to make the rest of the world completely give up nuclear weapons. Another major issue with removing nuclear weapons is that all the panic in the world about nuclear weapons has “led to many policies that turned out to be wasteful and unnecessary” (Mueller). Nuclear disarmament has cost the world a significant amount of money. Policies towards nuclear disarmament have been continuously draining funds. Furthermore, the policies also drove the United States to war with Iraq because of the fear that “Sadamm Hussein’s […] technologically dysfunctional regime in Iraq could in time obtain nuclear weapons” (Mueller). This war cost the United States a great deal of money and created great amounts of conflict and casualties. Now, the world is focusing on the activities of North Korea and even more on Iraq. If these countries began to build up a supply of nuclear weapons, the result would be horrific because of the economic struggle the countries would go through before and after creating the weapons. However, other researchers in the world support nuclear disarmament and want an end to the fear in the world of nuclear arms.
A great number of people want the world to move to nuclear disarmament. People in the world have been agonizing and fearing the possibility of nuclear war or a simple nuclear attack. The people of the world recognize the power of nuclear weapons to destroy and obliterate. Leading researchers in the world are trying to remind the people that the world is “vunerable and will become increasingly vulnerable” (Hoffman). After the September 11 attacks, many people recognized how vulnerable any country is to attack. The fear is that a nuclear bomb could strike at any time and create a great number of casualties. Then, a war would truly begin and countries would wage nuclear war, which would result in the perilous “nuclear winter.” Another great concern for the scientists supporting nuclear disarmament is the destructive power of current nuclear weapons. Numerous scientists characterize the current nuclear policy of the United States as “immoral, illegal, militarily unnecessary, and dreadfully dangerous” (McNamara).
The supply and power of the world’s nuclear weapons is enormous compared to the past. The United States has about 4,500 nuclear warheads, while the Russians have about 3,800. The big area of concern is that 2,000 of the nuclear warheads of the United States are ready to fire at any moment and unleash the destructive force of nuclear warheads, each with a “destructive power 20 times that of the Hiroshima bomb” (McNamara). What could happen if these warheads were accidently unleashed? The destructive power that these warheads are capable of is exactly what is needed to cause the apocalyptic “nuclear winter.” Therefore, the world needs to stop thinking about the economy and the costs of nuclear disarmament. If the world does not remove nuclear arms now, the result will be the destruction of the planet. While the possibility of nuclear warfare grows and countries debate about nuclear disarmament, some people wonder what could happen if nuclear weapons ended up in the wrong hands. The likelihood of terrorists getting their hands on nuclear weapons is “far more possible than government experts and scientists want the public to know (Leifer).
Certain researchers believe that international terrorism is moving to utilize nuclear weapons to cause further destruction. The big problem is that not much is being done to prevent the terrorists from getting a nuclear bomb. The reality is that it is not very difficult to make a nuclear bomb if a person has the right materials. A good amount of uranium-235 can cause a nuclear explosion very easily. If a terrorist has separated uranium-235, it is actually a simple job to set off a nuclear explosion. The amount of materials like plutonium and uranium that is needed is very small. Additionally, it is not very difficult to get the materials because the materials are not being properly guarded. Terrorists can find uranium deposits in Russia and can then walk in, take what they want, and leave. The materials are really not being guarded properly. The possibility of terrorists gaining nuclear weapons is actually very probable, and the world will pay for its mistake. The world needs to move towards removing nuclear weapons and the possibility of making new ones. Nuclear weapons need to be stopped before they are unleashed and cause havoc. Motivations of places like Iran describe how close certain countries are to unleashing their nuclear power. The world needs to move to nuclear disarmament and live in a world without nuclear weapons.
The world’s leaders support the preservation of nuclear weapons due to their effective function as deterrents. However, the growing supply of nuclear weapons has caused leading researchers to be worried about the destruction that the weapons can cause and how the weapons can fall into the wrong hands. The reality is that if we want to protect the world and to keep the billions of people safe, we need to eliminate nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons have caused mass destruction throughout their time on earth. Their power was demonstrated on Japan, which killed hundreds of thousands of civilians. Hundreds of thousands of civilians do not need to die again, so we need to stop the possibility of it happening. Nuclear weapons are far too dangerous and there are too many possible threats. It is time that the world gave up nuclear weapons.