Length: 669 words (1.9 double-spaced pages)
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During the nuclear age, some nations have attempted to reduce the number of their nuclear weapons as much as some nations have tried to obtain the weapons. Numerous programs have been started to decrease the number of nuclear missiles. The problem with those plans is “decrease” and not disarm. Many countries don’t want to give up their biggest weapon and who could blame them. Some countries need that weapon as a way of defense against an aggressive nation. Since the only true solution to nuclear weapons will not realistically happen in today’s world, I think that we should attempt to make the best of the situation and if we are going to use them we should use them fairly. Therefore, I offer a counter solution. Instead of ridding ourselves of nuclear weapons we should use them to our advantage.
We must realize that nuclear weapons, whether we like it or not, have become an integral part of our world environment. Nuclear weapons are a part of our global security setting. Knowledge will continue to exist; it cannot be disinvested. Nuclear weapons can be used as a deterrent to war. Nuclear devices have come a long way since the first two were dropped on Japan by the United States during the Second World War. Today’s nuclear weapons are respected as more than simple weapons and the mere mention of them demands attention. Therefore, countries around the world have found that nuclear weapons are more useful as a political deterrent to deter common war and non-nuclear or non-biological warfare. Professor Richard Haas furthers my point by stating, “Nuclear weapons have made a major contribution to world peace. The Cold War only remained cold because both the United States and the Soviet Union understood that any direct confrontation between them would likely escalate into a nuclear holocaust. The American nuclear arsenal aids deterrence in hot spots like the Korean Peninsula, where there has been no real war for forty decades. Indeed fear of American nuclear retaliation deterred Sadaam Hussein from using biological agents against allied forces during the Gulf War.” Nuclear weapons steer people away from the usage of these terrible forms of war, which saves the lives of innocents. Many leading nations use the threat of nuclear weapons for deterrence and they use them with in the bounds of treaties and rules set up by the United Nations.
Next, nuclear weapons are not so much instruments of waging war, but political instruments intended to prevent war. Governments have a moral obligation to provide for the security of their people. Once the people of a nation know that they possess what other nations have, a sense of security is formed because both have a mutual respect for each other. The possession also leads to an increase in international prestige and power. By increasing the hard power (military) of a country, their soft (diplomacy, trade, etc.) power is proportionately increased, because throughout time military capability has been the backdrop of diplomacy. Barry Blechman furthers this idea saying, “The possession of a nuclear arsenal confers real diplomatic advantages. It is a vital symbol and part of the substance of our world leadership. Diplomacy is always performed against the backdrop of military capability. In addition, nuclear weapons can be used to protect national interests.”
Therefore nuclear weapons when used as a political tool are moral and increase the common good of the world by allowing a country to provide for its citizens. Using nuclear weapon in such a way is only one of many solutions but it still remains the one solution that is proven in most circumstances. Most of the world would have probably liked if our arsenal would have protected us on November 11th, but it didn’t. Therefore this solution might appear to be weak and full of flaw to some, but to those historians who can estimate the death toll if the Cold War would have turned hot, the presence of nuclear weapons have helped to save our world.