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In two low-yield weapons were used against Japanese cities, resulting in the surrender of Japan to the Allies. Nuclear deterrence has had a richer history, but much of this history has little relevance to matters Nuclear proliferation and us grand strategy essay current importance.
This article will therefore focus on the present and prospective consequences of the existence of nuclear weapons. Some continuities with the past As context for this discussion, it is important to point out the many factors in the international situation that remain unchanged since First —and perhaps most important—in spite of international legal institutions that are effective and valuable in a wide range of ordinary situations, crises continue to arise in which each nation becomes the judge of its own cause and of the methods and intensity with which it will seek to advance its interests.
I emphasize the pervasiveness of the escalation concept, which implies that in most conflicts there will be force that remains unused. Nuclear weapons have increased the amount of force that tends to remain unused but are not themselves responsible for the possibility that low levels of violence will escalate to medium levels or even very large-scale destruction; that possibility has almost always been present.
Even if a thermonuclear war were actually fought today by the existing powers, and even if it were fought with the utmost ferocity and lack of control, such a war would be likely to end with the Southern Hemisphere and large portions of Asia largely undamaged.
Indeed, what evidence there is suggests that relatively normal and happy lives would not be impossible even under the harsh conditions that might prevail after a nuclear war, in spite of the personal and social traumas that would have been experienced. Of course, to say that a nation can survive a thermonuclear war is not to say that all the problems—military, social, political, economic, and medical—that would arise from a thermonuclear war can be handled.
Would the social organism fall apart completely—that is, die in some sense— as a result of the tremendous shock it would receive from a large thermonuclear war?
Obviously there is no way of being certain. However, insofar as there are historical examples to study and some of them are close to thermonuclear wars in intensity, e.
The age-old role of bargaining in war e. Deterrence is, in effect, a form of bargaining and could occur not only before but also during and after a war including a war caused by a failure of deterrence —i.
The possibility of technological, tactical, or strategic surprise also still exists. While mutual destruction and Pyrrhic victories can occur, such possibilities have been with us at least as long as recorded history, and the fact that they could occur days or even hours after the start of hostilities, rather than after weeks, months, or years, does not necessarily change the basic issues and situations that have arisen in the past.
Thus, history may repeat itself in the thermonuclear era, which could experience successful wars and aggressions as well as mutually destructive ones.
Differences in technology and doctrine The most important way in which the thermonuclear era differs from previous eras is that the changes in the available technology have, by themselves, been large enough to change the strategic situation and the character of international relations.
This has resulted both in posing very different strategic issues and in changing the answers to old issues. Thus, in this period U.
These changes have produced enormous differences in the effectiveness of the forces. However, since all these changes have occurred without being tested in battle, one can question whether their full significance has even been absorbed intellectually, much less in plans and programs.
Indeed, it is clear that in many respects the two superpowers, and certainly the other nations, have failed to understand these rapidly changing interactions between technology and doctrine.
We can with some violence to the subtleties, and viewing the subject from the viewpoint of the U. Early fission and bomber era; entry of Soviet Union into nuclear club.
Early missile-middle thermonuclear weapons era; intense debates about deterrence and tactical nuclear war; continuation of and probably increased but less apparent U. Middle missile era; two-day deterrence; controlled-war doctrine; entry of France and China into nuclear club.
In the early nuclear bomber era, the strategic balance was one-sided, for the Soviets did not test their first weapon until February However, the United States had not produced very many nuclear bombs, and it is doubtful that the U.
By the early s the United States had substantially increased its forces, but the Russians had scarcely begun to procure intercontinental bombers. They had a rather large force of medium bombers of the TU-4 similar to the B and Badger like the B types, but it now seems clear that both of these aircraft were designed and procured for European rather than intercontinental missions—although at the time no one in the United States or Europe seemed to realize this.
Although thermonuclear weapons had been tested, the military stockpiles consisted almost wholly of kiloton bombs. Despite slow means of delivery bombers and relatively low-yield warheads, both U. At the beginning of the period all U. Hours, perhaps days, would have been required to evacuate them and days, perhaps weeks, of warning would have been necessary for them to be able to mount effective combat operations.
Nuclear weapons were stored in a relatively vulnerable configuration at first in one building and then in two.
In the early part of this period, almost no one seems to have understood the subtleties of the problem of vulnerability. Active air defense was deployed to protect cities and nuclear research centers like Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Hanford, Washington. Strategic Air Command bases were left unguarded, on the theory that no one would waste nuclear weapons on military bases.
By the middle and end of the period, senior officers in the U. Air Force understood vulnerability somewhat but did not believe it now seems correctly that the Soviets had much actual operational strategic capability for a surprise attack.
By the late s, third- and fourth-generation nuclear weapons had been procured by the United States and a large spectrum of such weapons was available to the U.
Congressional testimony and other documents disclose that almost none of the top civilian officials and relatively few scholars and journalists understood that these five hundred Soviet missiles, if they existed, could probably have destroyed the two thousand American bombers on the ground in a surprise attack but see Wohlstetter ; Kahn May 02, · Editor, US Nuclear Strategy and the Implications for Global Security.
Centre for Foreign Policy Studies, Co-editor (with Anita Singh) and contributor, From Defence to Development: Resolving Threats to Global Security. and without, can we begin to craft a new grand strategy for America.
example is the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which sought to fix the exchange rates, the United States was no longer able to sustain the gold standard. American political stagnation, discontent, and growing public debt led . The world will need greatly increased energy supply in the next 20 years, especially cleanly-generated electricity.
Electricity demand is increasing much more rapidly than overall energy use. Nuclear power is the most environmentally benign way of producing electricity on a large scale. The literature on U.S. grand strategy has not ignored the question of nuclear proliferation altogether.
28 When it has discussed proliferation, however, it has generally made three problematic assumptions. 29 First, some analysts claim that nuclear nonproliferation emerged as an important U.S.
goal only after the Cold War ended and that it. Arms control is a term for international restrictions upon the development, production, stockpiling, proliferation and usage of small arms, conventional weapons, and weapons of mass destruction. Arms control is typically exercised through the use of diplomacy which seeks to impose such limitations upon consenting participants through international treaties and agreements, although it may also.
This essay delves deeply into the origins of the Vietnam War, critiques U.S. justifications for intervention, examines the brutal conduct of the war, and discusses the antiwar movement, with a separate section on protest songs.