The Spread Of Nuclear Weapons- A Debate This book is structured as a debate between the authors on the subject of nuclear proliferation. Waltz argues that because nuclear weapons ‘will never the less spread,’ the end result will be stabilizing. His main point is that ‘nuclear weapons make wars hard to start’ and that even radical states will act like rational ones because of the mutually deterrent effort of nuclear weapons. Sagan . .
. fears the worst because of ‘inherent limits in organizational reliability. He contends that the parochial interests of professional military leaders in emerging nuclear states, who will tend to see war as ‘inevitable’ and skeptically view any nonmilitary alternatives, will lead to deterrence failures or accidental war. In addition, Sagan argues these states will probably lack ‘positive mechanisms of civilian control’ to restrain militant tendencies. Because nuclear weapons are so much more powerful than any armaments previously known, their introduction at the end of World War II required a rethinking of strategic principles. State A seeks to prevent state B from attacking, by threatening to respond forcefully to attack and inflicting retribution on B.
If B takes the threat seriously and refrains from attacking, A’s deterrence policy has succeeded. Nuclear weapons lend themselves particularly well to deterrence because they can impose tremendous damage on an enemy. Deterrence thus became the principal–indeed, they have argued, the purpose that nuclear weapons serve. In my opinion, Sagan is right. We should worry about the spread of nuclear weapons.
Both the United States and the USSR achieved an assured destruction capacity by the 1960s. As a result, Waltz believed that all the countries should have nuclear weapons. No matter who start the war, the world will be destroyed. Why not add more members to join the club? She said that spread rather than proliferation. Someday the world will be populated by fifteen or eighteen nuclear-weapon states.
What the further spread of nuclear weapons will do the world is therefore a compelling question. According to the Times Newspaper, The United States secretly deployed thousands of nuclear weapons in 27 countries at the height of the Cold War, in some cases without even the knowledge of the governments involved.1 This issue remained me that Waltzs point: It is better to have more countries that own the nuclear weapons than just few powerful countries. However, Waltzs point of view is not a major thought of the issue of nuclear weapon. Almost the entire southern hemisphere is now covered by nuclear-weapon-free zones. The ones in Latin America and the South Pacific were established during the Cold War, those in Southeast Asia and Africa after its ending. Zones have also been proposed, so far without success, for the Middle East, South Asia and Northeast Asia.2 In fact, the nuclear power is extremely diseqilibrium in the world, and I believe it is almost impossible for most of the countries to have nuclear power.
In a large-scale nuclear war, each side would suffer such catastrophic destruction that neither could regard the outcome as a victory. To provide any chance for meaningful victory, a nuclear war would therefore have to be severely limited. But the prospects for controlling a nuclear war are at best uncertain. Despite a steep draw down in U.S. and Russian nuclear forces in the years after 1991, both the United States and Russia continue to maintain large arsenals of strategic nuclear weapons poised for immediate launch. Under the most optimistic projections, these arsenals will remain large and launch-ready for decades.3 This is the point that Sagan talked about.
More nuclear weapons will only product more damage. It is very difficult to control those destructive weapons. As a practical matter the task of defense against large-scale nuclear attack is difficult, perhaps impossible, when each side has thousands of weapons that can be launched from different directions, at different speeds, and with decoys to confuse the defense. To stop all of them is unlikely, and, if only one penetrated a defensive system, it could cause catastrophic damage. In United States, public boredom with the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which would prohibit all nuclear test explosions worldwide, is depressing but comprehensible.
After all, the cold war is over. The problem is that Senate Republicans don’t recognize that fact, and they are playing with fire in the messy new 21st-century world. The debate over the treaty, first proposed by President Eisenhower and signed in 1996, tells us plenty about the rejection of the whole idea of diplomacy in favor of a new, highly partisan obtuseness in American foreign policy.4 The U.S. Senate’s recent rejection of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) was a huge disappointment to many Americans. The U.S.’s allies and friends responded to this vote with universal shock.
The situation in the U.S. seems worse, even the cold war is over. Several times in recent months in Russian, President Boris Yeltsin and other Russian leaders have warned about the dangers of a world war or reminded Washington that Moscow still has a huge nuclear arsenal. The warnings have accompanied recent disputes over Chechnya, Kosovo and Iraq.5 Despite regular disagreements, U.S. and Russian officials want to maintain their stable, if sometimes acrimonious relations.
Russian and U.S. not only compete to each other and maintain their stable but also prevent other countries to develop nuclear weapons. For example, nuclear physicist Wen Ho Lee, a central figure in the government’s Chinese espionage investigation at Los Alamos National Laboratory, was arrested yesterday in New Mexico and charged with 59 counts of mishandling classified information and violating secrecy provisions of the Atomic Energy Act. His arrest came after a federal grand jury issued a far-reaching indictment that charged Lee with downloading vast quantities of highly sensitive information related to the design, construction and testing of nuclear weapons from a classified computing network at Los Alamos to his unsecured office computer and to 10 portable tapes, seven of which are missing.6 The case is being prosecuted because Wen Ho Lee has denied the United States its exclusive dominion and control over some of this nation’s most sensitive nuclear secrets. In Asia the CTBT would make it harder for North Korea to advance a nuclear-weapons program or for China to develop the technology required to place multiple warheads atop a single mobile missile. The congressional committee investigating potential Chinese espionage concluded that it would be more difficult for Beijing to exploit secrets it may have acq …