If most states rather than just a few had nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, I believe the world would be more war prone rather than peaceful. A nuclear weapon is defined as “a weapon of mass destruction whose power derives from nuclear reaction”. Nuclear weapons themselves represent death and great levels of destruction. If each state had access to these weapons the level of world danger would be extremely high. Even if states were to have these weapons as a defense tool, the international community wouldn’t be able to use them in decent ways if they are being threatened. With everyone in possession of nuclear weapons it would eliminate the separation between civilians and soldiers or hospitals and air force bases. They are far too destructive and would be a great crime against humanity. If some terrorist groups possessed these nuclear weapons and rose to power who’s to say they would use these weapons peacefully? Many terrorist groups use whatever is in their power to destroy the enemy.
With nuclear weapons in their power nuclear warfare would not be unpredictable. How would we know they wouldn’t use these weapons to trigger a global war? It would be completely irrational to permit every state to have nuclear weapons. There would be no way to guarantee that these weapons won’t end up in the wrong hands. With the great levels of human emotion and impulse the urge to blow up our planet completely would be far too high and would deem permitting these nuclear weapons completely irresponsible. Let’s take North Korea for example. Countries such as North Korea are thought of as ticking time bombs that feel the need to prove themselves to the global community with use of weapons. Many are too unstable to hold a weapon with such a great magnitude of destruction.
There is no doubt that with every country possessing nuclear weapons the world would be far more war prone. I think the belief that possession of nuclear weapons by every state would create a peaceful world is very illogical. In the article “The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: More May Better” Kenneth Walsh writes, “They make the cost of war seem frighteningly high and thus discourage states from starting any wars that might lead to the use of such weapons. Nuclear weapons have helped maintain peace between the great powers and have not led their few other possessors into military adventures.”
I disagree with the belief that the expense of nuclear powers would keep states from using them thus promoting peace.. Although today’s states in possession of these weapons may not have used them that doesn’t mean states in the future wouldn’t use them had they been permitted to. Though the cost of war may rise and may cause a slight decrease in its occurrence because the cost may exceed the gains, I don’t think that is a reasonable reason to believe those in possession would not use them. Overall, I do not see any rational reason to believe that world peace would be promoted by permitting every state to have nuclear weapons.
Subject: Nuclear weapon,
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 27 October 2016
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