The list of of nations with nuclear weapons continues to grow. First it was the United States and the Soviet Union. They were soon followed by the United Kingdom, France then China. Later, India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea joined. South Africa was a member of the club for a while, before abandoning its program. Iran will become a nuclear power some day, even if the United States or Israel postpones it a bit with an attack. A growing number of other states could build nuclear weapons in short order if they wanted to, including South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Brazil and many of the European states. Al-Qaida wants nuclear weapons and may some day get them. And it is not inconceivable that another violent apocalyptic organization will try to steal or buy them, or that a powerful criminal gang with money and connections will consider nuclear weapons the ultimate tool of extortion and self-defense.
Logic suggests that the more nuclear powers there are, the higher the possibility that nuclear weapons will be used -- whether out of desperation by a crumbling or unstable regime or pure wickedness by terrorists or criminals. If this happens it is possible that the U.S. military will be ordered to help stabilize a shattered nation and provide humanitarian relief; to secure any remaining nuclear weapons; to control important facilities; or to help the victim of the nuclear attack repel an invasion. Despite these possibilities, today's U.S. armed forces are unprepared to operate in an environment contaminated by a nuclear explosion. ...
To read the rest, sign up to try World Politics Review
- TWO WEEKS FREE.
- Cancel any time.
- After two weeks, just $9 monthly or $59/year.
Request a free trial for your office or school. Everyone at a given site can get access through our institutional subscriptions.
- U.S. Delay on Anti-Nuclear Terror Measures Hinders Global Efforts
- The Realist Prism: China the Likely Winner if U.S. Intervenes in Syria
- Global Insights: Sharif’s Victory Offers U.S. Opportunity to Reset Pakistan Ties
- Diplomatic Fallout: A More Hawkish Europe Gives U.S. Second Thoughts
- The Realist Prism: Narrowed Focus in U.S.-Russia Relations Proves Productive