Why the human race cannot coexist with nuclear weapons

Nuclear proliferation has been a global phenomenon since 1945 and still continues to be a major problem that is yet to be solved. Therefore, the history of nuclear weapons has not only transformed the military and political relationships among nations but also changed the global diffusion of nuclear and ballistic missiles. The effect of this transformation on international relations is that more states are now capable of possessing and manufacturing nuclear weapons.

The formation of a solitary global economy through globalization is undermining international peace and security. Thus, due to the loss of national sovereignty as well as increased power imbalance in favour of the United States, states are now promoting nuclear proliferation while disrupting nuclear disarmament.

Furthermore, states whose economy has been weakened by globalization continue to make efforts to maintain security and economic development through military acquisition. For instance, a determined state could start amassing nuclear weapons within a much shorter time than anticipated. Additionally, nuclear proliferation has the ability of increasing the chances of nuclear violence especially if the nuclear weapons fall into the hands of irrational human beings such as terrorist that could use it for suicide missions.

Nuclear proliferation represents one of the effects of globalization, and although only five states are acknowledged by the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to have nuclear missiles, more states such as Iran and North Korea today have the capability to construct nuclear and weapons.

Security is the main factor that motivates nuclear acquisition among states because the spread of nuclear weapons is a dynamic process as the interests of several states interact. Therefore, the possibility of proliferation is based on the strategic interaction between states deciding to secure nuclear weapons against their opponents.

According to the Harvard Kennedy School, 2012 nuclear terrorism is the most serious threat the world is facing and the proliferation of nuclear weapons and radiological dispersal devices by terrorist groups is one of the most frightening threats to U.S. security. This is because nuclear explosions by terrorists group would result in an unprecedented number of deaths (Harvard Kennedy School, 2012). Although radiological dispersal attacks are less violent, it could contaminate an urban center, causing economic and social disruption. Therefore, both types of attacks would have significant psychological impacts on the entire population (Granoff and Granoff, 2011: 53).

As nuclear weapons remain the most dangerous weapons of mass destruction that could threatens the existence of mankind, the Non-Proliferation treaty of 1968 aims at limiting nuclear weapons.  Through this treaty, states have come together to create Nuclear Weapons Free Zones (NWFZ) by rejecting any nuclear weapons on their territorial waters (Magnarella, 2008: 507) .

The goal of the Non-Proliferation Treaty is to create a framework that controls the spread of nuclear material and expertise through nuclear arms reductions as well as the right to use nuclear energy peacefully (Magnarella, 2008: 509). The International Atomic Energy (IAEA) inspects nuclear power industry in member states to prevent secret military diversions of nuclear material. Article 1 of the NPT states that Nuclear Weapon States (NWS) such as United States, United Kingdom, Russia, France and China should not transfer nuclear weapons to any recipient or encourages any non-nuclear weapons state in the manufacture of nuclear weapons. Furthermore Article ll prohibits non-nuclear weapon states from seeking, receiving and manufacturing nuclear weapons or any other nuclear explosives directly or indirectly.

 

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