Hello Anxious Readers!
Recently I was involved in a very heated debate with another person in which we were discussing the viability of a world without nuclear weapons. The debate got very heated and I did not feel that my opinion was adequately expressed or defended, so I thought I would take advantage of you, my ever-captive audience.
I’m of the opinion that the world would be vastly better off without nuclear weapons, and I applaud the Presidents of both The United States and Russia for negotiating a treaty that if passed, will help to reduce the number of stockpiled nuclear weapons. I can only hope the treaty succeeds.
I also applaud Ukraine, for agreeing to give up the weapons-grade plutonium they have, realizing security around it is weak and would possibly result in it falling into the wrong hands.
I’ve been told that my opinion is dangerously naive, that with the advent of the nuclear age there must always be countries that use their nuclear weapons as deterrents to other countries seeking to gain nuclear weaponry.
I’ve also been told that the United States has always had more nuclear weapons than any other country and because of this we must hold on to that status and seek to use our nuclear arsenal to police the world, telling others who can and can’t have nuclear weapons.
In fact, the United States has nearly always had fewer nuclear weapons that Russia. Russia takes the cake by over 2,000 nukes according to the Federation of American Scientists (http://www.fas.org/programs/ssp/nukes/nuclearweapons/nukestatus.html).
That being straightened out, I don’t think that there must always be a playground bully using nukes to force other countries not to seek them. People covet what they cannot have that others do have. There are other ways to deter countries from seeking nuclear weaponry than using the very threat of such weapons against them.
I don’t see how any well-informed person, knowing what the short and long-term outcomes of nuclear attacks bring, could support the existence of such devices. For any country to have amassed so many nukes that they could destroy the entire world many times over is something that should sadden all of us. The threat of nuclear holocaust is certainly decreased from the height of the Cold War, but it is equally true that the world could end in just as short of time if any country should launch a nuclear weapon.
I can only wonder what would have happened if the information about nuclear weapons wasn’t guarded and shrouded in such fierce secrecy, if the events of the Cold War wouldn’t have led to an arms race. Surely then so many countries would not seek to posses this destructive power.
I’ve studied history more than most people I know, and I understand why the United States used nuclear weapons. That being said, I still think that we should be forever ashamed that we had to resort to such a devastating blow on another country; the long-term effects of which are still ravaging. The idea that any country should be able to inflict that kind of total destruction on another country is ludicrous to say the least.
Hoping you are well!
Until next time,