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

The fall of the Iron curtain in the 1990's brought a close to a chapter in history that brought the world to the brink of global nuclear-armed conflict.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The fall of the Iron curtain in the 1990's brought a close to a chapter in history that brought the world to the brink of global nuclear-armed conflict. However, at the dawn of the 21st century President George W. Bush's administration is poised to reopen that chapter by pursuing a unilateral defense posture that will only serve to modernize and expand current nuclear war fighting capabilities and break the taboo of nuclear non-use. This paper will argue that the failure of the United States to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) as well as the pursuit of a National Missile Defense (NMD) will lock the United States back into its Cold War security dilemma in which striving to increase security breeds more insecurity. CTBT Since the 1950s, opposition to nuclear testing has been spurred by concerns over its health and environmental effects and by testing being one of the more visible signs of the nuclear arms race. Most recently, in 1995-1996, massive worldwide criticism of French nuclear tests in the South Pacific, caused France to curtail its test program. Public opposition and the dangers of an arms race fueled by nuclear testing have lead governments to try to limit and stop nuclear testing for over 40 years. However, in 1999 the United States Senate refused to implement the CTBT, which would have put an end to nuclear weapons testing and development. The United States failure to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty guarantees a future end to the ten-year moratorium on testing. ...read more.

Middle

NMD in particular, as it is a space-based defense system, seems particularly vulnerable to the logic of the arms race. Indeed, today only one in eight active orbiting satellites belong to the US military.6 This proportion is set to decrease, as launching satellites into space continues to become more and more affordable to companies and smaller countries. Therefore, in the unilateralist logic, space-based weapons will also become increasingly available to possible enemies, presenting a new threat to US security that must be overcome by ever more expensive technological fixes. Furthermore, since "� la carte multilateralism" undermines the ABM Treaty, the arms race perspective becomes even more likely, as it "contains the most explicit protections of satellites on the books."7 The ABM Treaty effectively blocked the development of anti-missile defense systems,8 thus ensuring that any country launching a missile attack would be unable to defend itself from a retaliatory strike. Were this treaty to disappear, aggressive acts towards satellites, most probably by present or future rogue states, would only become more likely - a self-fulfilling prophecy. This logic serves only to reiterate the fact that "The basis of security is that it never works for just one. You have to have security for everyone or it fails."9 That entering the arms race logic is the result of paranoia rather than realism is shown by the fact that the widening access to satellites to both businesses and countries could equally be seen as reinforcing the US's dominant position. Indeed, because of the US's undoubted technological advantage, it has developed many of the technologies which have become commonplace. ...read more.

Conclusion

Only by pursuing confidence building, regime oriented measures can the United States help avert the next Cold War. Ratification of the CTBT and ending the pursuit of a National Missile Defense seem to be the first steps in the process toward paving the way into the 21st century. The United States can either sit back a not take on its role as a champion of the free world or it can take a proactive stance in stomping out the possibility of a renewed arms race and break out of its Cold War security dilemma. 1 Alexander, B. and Millar, A. (www.fourthfreedom.org/php/print.php?hinc=DefenseNewstnw.hinc) July 11, 2001 2 Kuchta, A. Dickinson Journal of International Law "A Closer Look: The US Senate's Failure to Ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty," 19 Dick. J. Int'l L. 333. 3 http://www.nuclearfiles.org/chron/80/1980s.html 4 http://www.msnbc.com/news/845497.asp?0cv=TB10 5 Blair, T., 'Doctrine of the International Community,' speech delivered in Chicago, 23 April, 1999, http://www.number-10.gov.uk/ 6 Hitt, J., 'The Next Battlefield May Be in Outer Space' 7 Hitt, J., 'The Next Battlefield May Be in Outer Space' 8 Millar, A., The Progressive, It's a Bomb! United States Military Policy," No. 8, Vol. 65 9 Smith, D., quoted in Hitt, J., 'The Next Battlefield May Be in Outer Space' 10 Hitt, J., 'The Next Battlefield May Be in Outer Space' 11 Fitchett, J., 'Cruise Missiles Enhance NATO's Scope' 12 ibid. 13 ibid. 14 ibid. 15 Kagan, R., 'The World and President Bush,' Survival 43 (2001), p. 14 16 ibid. 17 Der Derian, J., 'The (S)pace of International Relations: Simulation, Surveillance, and Speed,' p. 298 18 Washington Post, 25 July, 2001 19 Der Derian, J., 'The (S)pace of International Relations: Simulation, Surveillance, and Speed,' p. 298 2 ...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. Superpower Relations 1945-90

    Was there a 'New Cold War' between 1980 and 1985? On the surface there was a sharp deterioration of relations between the superpowers during these years. The main reason for this was the attitudes and policies of US President Ronald Reagan and British PM Margaret Thatcher.

  2. American History.

    shared ideals of republicanism thing. On the other the US had previous bonds to Britain and also depended on? British imports [and the tariffs from them] for $. - Citizen Gen�t - in April 1793 this guy began traveling around America recruiting Americans for expeditions against the British and Spanish.

  1. What was meant by the iron curtain?

    The plan also made sure that there was a clear message being sent out; communism not welcome. Why was there a blockade of Berlin from 1948 to 1949? The Western Europe had been split up into four parts, French sector, Soviet sector, British sector and American sector.

  2. Indian History. To what extent did large dams built before 1990 fulfil Nehru's ambitions?

    By 1990, the end of the Seventh Five Year Plan, India had built 3500 new dams (Central Water Commission, 2009, p. 1), placing it third in the world in dam construction, behind the US and China (htt2). In order to assess whether these dams fulfilled Nehru's ambitions, this essay

  1. Is the Nuclear Family a universal social unit?

    Many people now decide to either not have children or too wait until they are older and have progressed further in their jobs. Some people don't have children now as they don't see it necessary to and are not under any pressure form society to have child.

  2. The Fall of Classical Greece

    There were generally no surprises and winning was determined on the individual strength and resolve of the men. Battles were usually over in a matter of minutes15. But at the Battle of Delium the Boetians charged downhill towards the Athenian army and eliminated it.

  1. Many peoples have contributed to the development of the United States of America, a ...

    Then, as the organization broke apart because of internal stresses, the American Federation of Labor, under Samuel GOMPERS, formed to take its place. Concentrating on skilled craftworkers and tight organization, it endured. Domestic Politics Gilded Age politics became a contest between evenly balanced Republicans and Democrats.

  2. History of the United States

    The Sugar Act of 1764, latest in a long line of such restrictive measures, produced by its taxes a huge revenue for the crown. By 1776 it drained from the colonies about 600,000 pounds sterling, an enormous sum. The colonial balance of trade with England was always unfavorable for the

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