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Why do states want nuclear weapons? Critically discuss this question, applying a realist analysis.

Types of nuclear weapons

Nuclear Weapon is an explosive device which derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions or from many combinations of fusion reactions. There are many forms of nuclear weapons such as bomb, thermonuclear and many others. Bomb releases large quantities of energy in the small amount of matter. Thermonuclear releases 10 million tons of TNT which is more than 2400 pounds (Herken, 2014). Nuclear Weapons are used by the different countries against each other at the time of war. The weapons are tested and demonstrated before the use; in laboratories. Nuclear weapons are of mainly two types; Weapons which drives the majority of energy and fusion reactions. Fission weapons and fusion weapons are the types of weapons which produce a large proportion of energy in a nuclear reaction. Other types of nuclear weapons are the fission bomb which increases its explosive yield. The system is used to deliver the nuclear weapon which is depending on nuclear weapon design and nuclear strategy; gravity bomb is the simplest method of delivering the nuclear bomb. Proliferation and possible use of nuclear weapons are the major issues in international relations and diplomacy. In most countries, the nuclear forces can only be authorised by the head of government or head of state. International Atomic Energy Agency was established to develop the peaceful application of nuclear technology and provides the international safeguard (Brook, and Bradshaw, 2015).

This paper is focusing on the international relation of countries in the context of nuclear weapons. In this paper, needs and wants of the countries for a nuclear weapon will be discussed. The uses of nuclear weapons are justified or not; will be discussed at the end of the paper.

Nuclear weapons have the capacity to kill many people instantly or a period of time. That is why nuclear weapons develop the fear in the mind of every country. It also inspires the social norms of non-use and non-proliferation. In the current environment the prevention of nuclear weapon proliferation is not successful (Perkovich, 2017).  Offensive, balancing, defensive and social are the primary categories which act as individual or combined factors to induce the state to proliferate in nuclear weapons. States are interested in nuclear weapons in order to show their power in the world war. Cold war between different countries such as USA and Russia is also a reason behind testing of such nuclear weapons (Burk, 2017). States used these weapons to protect themselves and to scare the foreign countries from interfering in their own country. States use nuclear weapons for offensive purposes and they believe that holding more nuclear weapons means to take the situation in favour otherwise the country will face the problems. It is important for countries to establish the defensive use of nuclear weapons and that is also promoted by the Nuclear Weapon States. It encourages the people to develop the more effective source of protection and increases the offensive power of countries.

International relations and diplomacy

Nuclear weapons are necessary for the country to prevent themselves from the other countries; nuclear weapons are very dangerous for human beings they destroy everything instantly. It is necessary for the countries to prevent its economy by protecting themselves from nuclear weapons (Sassen, 2016). The use of nuclear weapons leads to loss of lives of a number of innocent people. Nuclear weapon creates a massive blast which destroys all the buildings, hospitals, kills living organism in the area where weapons are dropped. This explosion produces the firestorm with temperature which results in sun burning and killing many living beings. It affects the environment as well which is harmful to living beings. Every country has to stop the use of these weapons to reduce these effects (Nye, and Welch, 2014).

Nuclear weapons are necessary to control conflicts between the countries. More Weapons hold by the country means that the situation is in the favour of the country. Each and every country wants to protect its economy from the other nations. Countries are concerned as the other nations also have the nuclear weapon; which controls the conflicts (Gartzke, and Kroenig, 2014). During the cold war, the nuclear weapons play an important role. The cold war completely depends on the nuclear weapons because more weapons mean more chance to achieve the success in the war. There are several reasons that the country wants nuclear weapons in which social reason is one of them. Social relation of the country is built due to its high technology which is used in the manufacturing of weapons. Countries sign the contracts among each other to borrow or purchase the weapons. It is very necessary for the country to build the social relationship with the other country. The social relation between the countries develops mutual understanding which reduces the conflicts among countries and the result is countries are protected from the other nations who are against them (Aydalot, and Keeble, 2018).

Technology is another reason due to which it becomes necessary for the countries to test the nuclear weapons. The technology of nuclear is at the height of modernity which provides the success and the power to the countries. High technology encourages the people of the country to develop the technology further. High technology increases the income of the country and it can be said that high technology develops the economy of the country. Nuclear Weapons encourage the researchers to research more and introduce more invention so that the country can use this technology at the time of war to protect itself. High technology is the key to the success of the countries and it also increases the power of the countries. A country can use this power in bargaining with the other country at the time of developing the weapons for the other nation. This is the reason that the country needs to have the high technology weapons (Shultz, Perry, Kissinger, and Nunn, 2007).

Reasons why states want nuclear weapons

Countries get the high power in the various forms with the development of the nuclear weapons. This weapon helps the country to protect itself as well as helps in the development of the power of the economy. It spreads the fear so that the other country should not try to go against it. Power is in the form of bargaining at the time of developing the weapons for the other country (Biswas, 2014). It increases the economy due to increasing the export of the weapons to the other countries. Income of the country develops the economy which leads to the fluctuation in the rates of currency that further affects the other countries as well.

From the year 1952 to 1963, the government of British produced almost 12 major nuclear tests in Australia. The testing of nuclear weapons affected the human body system and due to which many individuals started suffering from the problem of cancer. When a weapon is established, it requires high rate of temperature and 85% of energy generates air blast and thermal radiation (Binder, 2016). It is observed that the nuclear blasts can impact on various kinds of factors for example; injuries, infrastructure damage due to heat, damage of substantial fatalities and it also increase health diseases. Testing of Nuclear weapons produce electromagnetic pulses which are dangerous for the environment and it can disrupt communication system and energy distribution. In the year 2002 around 35% of people worldwide faced the problem of cancer and the radiation from nuclear testing is one of the reasons behind this. The power developed through nuclear blast is transferred roughly as 35% heat, 5% nuclear radiation, 50% shockwave, and around 10% fallout radiation (Williams, Lewis, and Aghlani, 2015). A person who survives the physical shockwave and energy may face health impact from nuclear radiation. Nuclear explosions generate air blast and shock waves that directly affect the human body system, and lungs, and single nuclear weapon can produce a large amount of thermal radiation which can burn individual’s skin (Bell, and Miller, 2015). Due to the very large quantity of high temperature and pressures nuclear bomb create unwanted wave and signals by which telecommunication system can be damaged.

For example, Avon Hudson was an ex- service man and author of the book Beyond Belief, he has mentioned that between the year 1958 and 1962 a nuclear test was conducted. At that time nuclear blast produced a high rate of nuclear radiation and it affected the health of Avon and due to which he suffered from the problem of cancer. Therefore, the testing of nuclear weapons cannot be said appropriate and it is identified that this is a very common threat for the environment. The edge of fireball generates infrared, ultraviolet and visible rays during the testing process and all these radiations travel at the speed of light and it directly impacts the environmental factors. Detonation of nuclear weapons can inject a high amount of radioactive elements into the atmosphere that increases global fallout. It is researched that when any nuclear test was conducted in the last 10 years a single nuclear bomb generated the very high level of fallout. For example, in the year 1986 Chernobyl nuclear was developed that created radioactive radiation in terms of fallout into the air that had affected around 5 million people (Williams, 2016). According to the atopic scientist, the dense smoke formed by a nuclear weapon would block the intensity of sunlight and will plunge the world into the darkness.

Effects of nuclear weapons use

In the year 1945 when the US dropped a nuclear bomb over Hiroshima, everything was decimated. Around 4.4 square mile radius was affected due to electromagnetic radiation and heat generated by the atomic bomb. At that time around 20,000 tons of dynamite was used in the nuclear weapon and 37% of people of Japan suffered health issues (Kmentt, 2015). Therefore, it is justified that the science and technology can reduce the use of a nuclear weapon because a single nuclear attack impacts the human health, buildings, water pipelines, and communication system. But in the field of military and war it is a very important part so scientist should use a nuclear weapon very carefully and they can avoid the electromagnetic radiation by adopting modern power generation and systems (Fihn, 2017).

From the above analysis, it has been concluded that nuclear weapons are very harmful because its nature is to kill the innocent people. A nuclear weapon is a requirement for the countries because it helps to protect them from the attack of other countries. Nuclear Weapons have some advantages such as development of the economy as well as the power of the country. High technology is used at the time of manufacturing the weapons which develops the economy by producing the weapons for the other companies. Nuclear Weapons are the reason of war which affects the environment and it is harmful to the living beings. It increases the diseases in the area but it helps the countries in the war for protecting themselves. It is not justified to kill innocent people but having nuclear power becomes necessary for the countries in order to show their power and protect themselves. It has been concluded that it is necessary for the countries that is why countries want nuclear weapons.

References

Aydalot, P. and Keeble, D., 2018. High technology industry and innovative environments: the European experience. Routledge.

Bell, M.S. and Miller, N.L., 2015. Questioning the effect of nuclear weapons on conflict. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 59(1), pp.74-92.

Binder, J., 2016. Global project management: communication, collaboration and management across borders. Routledge.

Biswas, S., 2014. Nuclear desire: Power and the postcolonial nuclear order. University of Minnesota Press.

Brook, B.W. and Bradshaw, C.J., 2015. Key role for nuclear energy in global biodiversity conservation. Conservation Biology, 29(3), pp.702-712.

Burk, J., 2017. Thinking through the end of the cold war. In The Adaptive Military (pp. 35-58). Routledge.

Fihn, B., 2017. The logic of banning nuclear weapons. Survival, 59(1), pp.43-50.

Gartzke, E. and Kroenig, M., 2014. Nuclear posture, nonproliferation policy, and the spread of nuclear weapons. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 58(3), pp.395-401.

Herken, G., 2014. The Winning Weapon: The Atomic Bomb in the Cold War, 1945-1950. Princeton University Press.

Kmentt, A., 2015. The development of the international initiative on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons and its effect on the nuclear weapons debate. International Review of the Red Cross, 97(899), pp.681-709.

Nye, J.S. and Welch, D.A., 2014. Understanding global conflict & cooperation: intro to theory & history. Pearson Education.

Perkovich, G., 2017. Abolishing nuclear weapons. Routledge.

Sassen, S., 2016. The Global City: Strategic Site, New Frontier. In Managing Urban Futures (pp. 89-104). Routledge.

Shultz, G.P., Perry, W.J., Kissinger, H.A. and Nunn, S., 2007. A world free of nuclear weapons. Wall Street Journal, 4(01), p.2007.

Williams, H., 2016. Why a Nuclear Weapons Ban is Unethical (For Now) NATO and the Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons Initiative. The RUSI Journal, 161(2), pp.38-47.

Williams, H., Lewis, P. and Aghlani, S., 2015. The Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons Initiative: The'big Tent'in Disarmament. London: Chatham House. 

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