• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Do nuclear weapons have any use as instruments of deterrence or are they just a danger to peace?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Gawain Williams page one (1/7) International relations essay Do nuclear weapons have any use as instruments of deterrence or are they just a danger to peace? When considering whether nuclear weapons have any use as instruments of deterrence or are just a danger to peace we can see strong arguments from both sides, with followers of Realism such as Kenneth waltz arguing that it is in each states security interest to gain nuclear weapons in order to deter an attack from a rival state (Shmidt.2001, p.152). However, Liberal internationalists such as Richard Falk argue that 'interdependence' (where each state relies on one another for economic and security reasons-e.g. the European Union) between states deterred war to a greater extent then the high tension that nuclear weapons bring to international politics(Dunne.2001, p.173). A main argument that nuclear weapons are beneficial to the world is that they act as deterrence to states that may be tempted to resort to war in order to solve their differences, this can be seen because there has not been a world war in the past sixty years despite Two Hegemonic super powers rising with opposing ideologies and an array of disputes (Cuba, Korea, Afghanistan, Berlin). Perhaps this is out of fear of Mutually Assured Destruction (where the only reason preventing one power from attacking with a nuclear device is the knowledge that the attacked power will hit back with nuclear missiles before it is destroyed- destroying both sides) ...read more.

Middle

war with since every military action would risk the end of the world, thus creating an end to war on the basis of M.A.D .The Gawain Williams page four (4/7) notion of sharing nuclear technology was even considered by America after 1945 (Howlett.2001, p.428) but the ensuring Cold war showed the mass availability of nuclear weapons to be a very dangerous idea since the more countries that have the ability to strike with nuclear weapons means that there is more of a chance of an irrational leader gaining this power and starting a nuclear war. Throughout History there has been a strong argument for nuclear weapons to be used as an instrument of deterrence with the American president Eisenhower stating "atoms for peace" (Howlett.2001,p.430). However, there is a strong argument that nuclear weapons are a danger to peace between states. This can be seen throughout various nations such as Switzerland, Holland and Latin American countries that have renounced nuclear weapons and became NWFZ countries (nuclear weapon free zone), and south Africa revealing that in the 1980s it developed six nuclear weapons but destroyed them in 1986 this is a clear statement from some major countries that nuclear weapons can only have a negative effect on the world (Howlett.2001, p.416). This point can be seen again at the NPT (non-proliferation of nuclear weapons) treaty review in 2000 where five of the seven NWS (nuclear weapon states) (including American and Russia) stated that their eventual goal for their nuclear arsenal is for it to be dismantled completely (Howlett.2001, p.415).This suggests that despite these world powers ...read more.

Conclusion

a nuclear preventative strike in the hope of destroying your enemy before they can strike back, this is a massive danger to peace and means there is a continuous threat to peace (Howlett.2001,p.429). The idea that war is far less likely now because nuclear weapons can be used is clearly incorrect, with America even using nuclear weapons as an excuse to begin a war, by invading Iraq in an attempt to discover banned weapons of mass destruction. This Gawain Williams page seven (7/7) Creates the impression that nuclear weapons can now be the cause of wars instead of acting as deterrence. In conclusion to the question of nuclear weapons being instruments of deterrence or a danger to peace I would have to side with them being a danger to peace since the only use of nuclear weapons resulted in the destruction of two major cities (Hiroshima and Nagasaki) here a major argument can be seen that a deceive with its only use is to kill millions of people can never be anything but a danger to peace. Despite the possibility that M.a.d. brought stability to the cold war, the fact is the cold war is over with America fighting a different type of battle against terrorist where nuclear weaponry has no use and now these weapons should be on there way to decommissioning. However despite nuclear weapons acting as a danger to peace, humans now hold the technology to wipe themselves, this can not be lost or forgotten so we must strive to find ways to lower the risk of a nuclear Armageddon. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Everyday Use

    partially correct since she her name comes from her great-grandmother whose name at one time had been changed by slave owners. Nevertheless, her great-grandmother faced hardships in this country and survived strengthening her family. Dee's claim is shallow only to think that the name came from a white oppressor, but

  2. The Cuban Missile Crisis and the blockade

    sort of exchange, where by if Cuba would dismantle all of the offensive weapons in question, the United States would remove its Jupiter missiles from Turkey. This seemed fair, as both countries were worried about the other's missiles being so close to their own respective countries.

  1. This graduation paper is about U.S. - Soviet relations in Cold War period. Our ...

    Sheen said, "as there is between burglary and larceny." The only appropriate response was force. Instead of "leaning over backward to be nice to the descendents of Genghis Khan," General George Patton suggested, "[we] should dictate to them and do it now and in no uncertain terms."

  2. The world would be a better place without nuclear energy. What do we use ...

    If there was a nuclear war then everyone, except America, would surely lose. All of this is true but having a few bombs is just as good as having none. Any sane person knows that if there were a nuclear war then America would come out on top purely because

  1. American History.

    The committeemen became leaders of the revolution on the local level and gained increasing power as time went on [they spied on people and attacked dissenters in addition to overseeing the boycott]. - Also during this time the regular colonial governments were collapsing due to patriot challenges to their authority

  2. The Cuban Missile Crisis

    In addition, the new president John F. Kennedy was experiencing similar problems to those faced by Khrushchev. Confronted with a hawkist faction within his body of advisers, Kennedy was constantly under pressure to be more aggressive, to abandon containment and start to "roll back Communism." Just as disagreements within the Kremlin had caused confusion and misinterpretations of

  1. Were People at the time (1962) correct in regarding President Kennedy as the person ...

    infamous Bay of Pigs invasion, although this program was directed against Cuba it may also have sent another message to the soviet Communists that the Americans were not prepared to tolerate communism so near their own borders. In any case, Source 2b Concluding sentence This policy, a direct reaction to

  2. How does Ballard use the different nationalities within 'Empire of the Sun' to convey ...

    The beggar outside Jim's house demonstrates the social difference between the Chinese and Western European classes. 'Usually his mother would caution Yang to avoid the old beggar who lay at the end of the drive. But as Yang swung the heavy car through the gates, barely pausing before he accelerated

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work