Contemporary International Problems
Professor Carol Scott
August 20, 2010
This paper is focused on nuclear proliferation. What is nuclear proliferation? After reading this paper you will have a clear understanding of the meaning of nuclear proliferation, as well as gain some knowledge as to how and why nuclear technology came to be. The paper will look at both the risks and rewards of nuclear arms. What role do nuclear weapons have in U.S. security, today, and how do we maintain safety and security regarding nuclear arms? The paper will also provide information on the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, and other treaties, and their relevance to the cause. A close look and discussion will be detailed on the current threats stemming from radical countries like Iran and North Korea and their nuclear programs. The threat of terrorists or a rogue country using nuclear weapons is a real concern, and this paper will shed some light on the subject, as well as detail current up to the minute actions being taken to minimize threats.
The headline’s read, “Nuclear Tehran will Signal Doomsday” and”North Korea’s Kim Jong Il: Your average madman – armed with nuclear weapons”. The shocking headlines are meant to grab the reader’s attention and they do, but the reality is that nuclear weapons in the hands of such countries are a real threat to all countries and to our civilization and our world as a whole. So how did we get to this point and what do we do now that we are here? Is it okay for any country to have weapons of mass destruction, and what is the United State’s position on the subject? The development of nuclear weapons was judged by Time magazine to be the most significant event of the twentieth century (Scott, Jones, Furmanski, 2004). Nuclear weapons are by far the most powerful weapons in the world. They are also called weapons of mass destruction because of their ability to inflict enormous instantaneous devastation. These weapons emit energy many thousand times greater than an explosion from any other type of conventional weapon of a similar size. A warhead armed with nuclear technology can eliminate an entire city with its blast but could also go on killing blast survivors and others for years afterwards just from the fallout. Nuclear weapons use fission and/or fusion reactions to create their energy. Their energy is classified as atomic and hydrogen or nuclear and thermal nuclear, but regardless of the classifications all nuclear weapons can culminate in mass destruction. Unlike most military strikes that are usually fought military against military, a nuclear attack is indiscriminant and would eliminate women, children, and men who lived in or near the strike zone. A nuclear bomb kills in four different ways, the blast itself, the heat, the radiation, and the fallout all cause death and destruction. In a nuclear attack many people would be vaporized from the initial blast, but of those that survived many more would be burned to death by the thermal heat that comes with such an explosion. Many more would die quickly from radiation exposure. Then would come the fallout. The after affects of a nuclear explosion is the radioactive fallout. The fallout would permeate the air and cause devastation to all plants, animals, and people that lie in its path. The affects would be long lasting and some say that it could even bring about nuclear winter. A nuclear winter would block the sun’s rays and could change the climate of the world. The impact would be devastating to all, as plants and crops around the world would suffer and countries would fall victim to food shortages. Armed with the knowledge of the affects of nuclear war, one must ask why? Why develop technology that could bring about the end of the world as we know it? The truth is…