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Nuclear Deterrence Policies

Discuss about the Nuclear Strategies Of Emerging Nuclear Powers.

Since the end of the Second World War atomic weapon became a symbol of the paradigm of global power. US military deliberately used it in Hiroshima and Nagasaki as an act of aggression. As a result of that the new power structure after the end of the war was shaped by the destructiveness of atomic weapon. This practice is still prevalent in the recent global scenario where the number of countries empowered by nuclear weapon escalates in a rapid pace. In due course, it also transforms the art of modern warfare as well as destroys the very idea of global power in the name of US and Russia. In the 1990s and mid-2000s many newly independent and got the taste of power by flashing their nuclear arsenal (Fuhrmann, Matthew and Sechser). Iran is considered to be the potential competitor in this list. However, the global concern about maintaining peace and prosperity is developing simultaneously but it seems not so pleasant for the US and her allies. Hence, the purpose of this report is to get a glance of the nuclear deterrence policies and figure out the possibilities of curbing down the global tension of nuclear warfare. In addition to this, the report is also going to discuss the different monitoring agencies and nuclear watchdogs and their impact on the diplomatic relations internationally.

Deterrence is a strategic concept that opines the purpose to prevent war. In this regards, the idea of nuclear deterrence is primarily based on the first user principle that highlights the right to use nuclear weapons as a self-defence strategy against an armed attack on the sovereignty of the state (Gartzke, Erik and Lindsay). Therefore, in a retrospective manner it can be argued that the nuclear weapon or the Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD) is utilised as a bargaining tool in the international diplomacy. For an instance, the former UK Prime Minister Clement Attlee initiated the UK nuclear weapons program as a deterrence strategy to safeguard the sovereignty of the nation (Payne). In this regards, there are some approaches that facilitate the idea of deterrence strategy.

In general, deterrence is supposed to be identified as a self defence strategy. Having a nuclear arsenal the sovereign countries are willing to keep their security intact. As a result of that in recent times every country is going to initiate a nuclear program that can usher fear on attacking countries in order to think twice before unleashing their aggrandizement (Fuhrmann, Matthew and Sechser). As a counterbalance defensive measures the entire world is going to witness a growing trend of furnishing its arsenal with weapons of mass destruction. However, there are some drawbacks that the extended deterrence strategy has been faced. Firstly, it acts against the protocol of Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT). According to the NPT, the use of nuclear energy as a weapon of mass destruction is perturbing the peaceful coexistence of the world, henceforth it should be disarmed (Bendiek, Annegret and Metzger). Secondly, the vast expenditure in procuring a nuclear program will be catastrophic for the developing countries if the project is failed. Hence, it can be stated that the deterrence theory offers a persuasive explanation for many countries like Iran to carry out the nuclear deployments.

Nuclear Non-Proliferation Approach

In addition to this, the non-proliferation approach attributes the intention of the foreign nuclear deployments to prevent the host countries to from building their own nuclear weapons. In other words, the foreign countries do not want to get the host countries to be empowered with nuclear facilities (Snyder). Therefore, they try to convince them to depend on the power of the foreign country. In this regards, the nuclear non-proliferation helps them to keep the host countries away from any kind of WMD manufacturing set up. For example, in 1970s US tried to incur an approach to prevent South Korea to take further steps towards initiating nuclear programs (Wilner).

On the onset of multi-polar power structure, the individual government was started to build up their nuclear facilities in a pursuit of flaunting their power in the international diplomacy. Nuclear weapons play an important role in the defence strategies of major powers that possess them. In addition to this, forward deployment can help nuclear powers solve this problem. In fact, stationing nuclear powers abroad could provide states with the capacity to strike targets in distant lands, a capability that otherwise lack. For an instance, in case of the United States its nuclear base in Morocco in 1954 was established due to keep the power of USSR in checks and balance (Wilner).

Despite the fear or the deterrence policy taken by individual countries or the significant countries in order to formulate their nuclear program strategy, there are some international organisations that solely responsible for check the power of the nuclear empowered countries and designated to maintain peace and prosperity by curb down the practice of manufacturing weapon of mass destruction (Stent).

In this context, international organisation like IAEA is identified as one of the important actor. The ongoing global tension on flaunting the mayhem of nuclear power IAEA is playing the role of a protagonist to curb down the tension and establishing a peaceful environment across the globe. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was created in the year 1957 with a purpose to explore the diverse uses of nuclear technology. President Eisenhower was the founding father of the organisation with the agenda of establishing “Atom for peace” (Katzman, Kenneth, and Kerr).

As the growing nature of state sponsored nuclear terrorism has prevailed in the globe the International Atomic Energy Agency is stepping forward to embolden the nuclear security. It also incorporates the Treaty of Non-Proliferations of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) that is lingered with the nuclear disarmament. The major purposes of the IAEA are resembled with the safety and security of the non-nuclear-weapon states. Moreover, putting more stress on the utilisation of nuclear energy in non-combating dimension further heightens the role of IAEA in a widen aspect. This leads to the activity of International Atomic Energy Agency in verifying clandestine nuclear programs in countries like Iraq, Iran, Libya and North Korea (Kroenig). In this context, the IAEA had conducted an investigation on the Iranian nuclear facilities to find out any suspected manufacturing of weapon of mass destruction in the form of nuclear weapons. However, the organisation has come with an optimistic conclusion by claiming that Iran did not continue its previous nuclear weapon program (Iaea.Org). In fact, the IAEA reports are considered to be authentic among the rest of the world. Moreover, having the provision to inspect ‘any time, any place’ is referred as a very advantageous measure for the organisation.

Role of International Monitoring Agencies in Nuclear Strategies


CTBT is an acronym that defines the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty. It can be argued more elaborately that the treaty bans nuclear explosions by everyone and anywhere on the surface, atmosphere, underwater and underground on the earth. For monitoring and establishing a clear analysis the organisation is categorised in three different pillars in the name of International Monitoring System (IMS), On-site Inspections and the International Data Centre (Narang).

The IMS has 337 facilities around the world to monitor any kind of nuclear explosions in earth. In fact, almost 90% of the facilities are already active and running in order to check and get a clear picture of the ongoing nuclear program espoused by individual countries. Besides this, there is the On-Site Inspections that is dealing with the suspicious nuclear explosion. The CTBTO inspectors will collect evidences on the ground in specified countries like in Kazakhstan in 2008 and in Jordan in 2014. Moreover, the International Data Centre collects and stores data that are processed and generated by the member states of CTBTO. For an instance in case of the North Korea the organisation continuously monitored and investigated the nuclear activities in that region (Katzman et al.).

In the UN convention of International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on September 2017 the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres claimed that it is a global response to shape the world free of any nuclear weapons. In this regards, he also stated that it is the duty of the big powers to take initiatives in the form of reducing nuclear weapons. However, on the contrary the nuclear deal between Russia and United States in the form of Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) is primarily focused on modernising the nuclear weapons (Friedman). As a result of that the process affects the possible opportunity to maintain peace across the world. Furthermore, the President of the General Assembly Miroslav Lajcak has expressed his deep concern about the growing atrocities around the world regarding the elevating tension of nuclear weapon program.  In his words this growing tension had been identified as a reckless rhetoric that brings the humanity to the verge of extinction (Katzman).

According to the International Committee of Red Cross, nuclear weapons project a threat to the humanitarian existence. It is in fact very surprising not to have any international law to prohibit the practice of weapon of mass destruction. Due to the lack of global perception about the fatal impact of the nuclear weapon, countries like North Korea are continued to fire ballistic missiles and heightened the global tension about another war. The Red Cross organisation is going to organise a series of movements for instance the Red Crescent Movement (Nuclear Weapons). The purpose of this outcry from different corners of the world is significant in the name of creating a global platform to deliver the adverse impact of nuclear weapons and ventilates the agenda of curbing down the production of weapon of mass destruction.

IAEA and its Role in Maintaining Global Peace and Prosperity

Euro centrism and the pressure from Pentagon have a strong impact on the strategies and policies taken by the international organisations. Diplomatic measures also play a pivotal part in this regards. For an instance, the nuclear program developed by Iran has under the radar of Washington. The recent development in this regards is encircled with the supposedly suspicious nuclear weapon program in Iran. The Israeli secret service Mossad had alleged that the Iranian government was trying to allege that there were some nuclear facilities still intact in the region that was developing nuclear weapons. In addition to this, the clandestine service agency of Israel also provided some evidences in this regards. Meanwhile, America instantly supported the claims of Israel and linked it with their pan-Islamic agitation. Through the diplomatic channels and international framework Washington had tried to establish a solid propaganda against the nuclear program of Iran. US president Donald Trump had expressed his prolong hostility against Iran (Sonne).


However, despite of all the measures and interventions facilitated by US and Israel, the investigative reports of IAEA did not corroborate with the claims of Israel and US. In fact, the organisation argued that Iran did not possess any kind of illegitimate nuclear program and hence there was no question of impose a ban on the ongoing programs of Iran. In fact the rest of the world expressed their grievance for the deliberate propaganda of the US against Iran. Furthermore, countries like Germany and UK had questioned the role of US that could impede the independent nature of the nuclear monitoring organisations (Narang).

It can also be argued that the role of US in maintaining peace across the world by reducing nuclear weapon practices is also not adequate. In fact, the deterrence strategy of US on the question of nuclear weapon program is based on a vague and irrational principle that is designed to make US the only nuclear power in the world. In fact, USA does not sign the CTBT and does not follow the regulations of the IAEA. Nevertheless, the erstwhile government had tried to implement a humanitarian approach in this regards that is going into vague during the term of Trump (Kroenig).

The international organisation should be independent and bereft of any kind of pressure given by the big powers or the non-state actors. In addition to this, there should be a proper channel for the developing or deprived countries to ventilate their apprehensions. Moreover, to curb down the practice of nuclear weapon as a tool of mass destruction, the international communities should take necessary steps. Moreover, enforcing strict international laws that have to be abided by all the nations irrespective of their size and power should be a prime concern of the international forum.


It can be concluded that due to the intense pressure in the international diplomacy, the stability and peace is getting perturbed. In this regards, the tension regarding developing weapon of mass destruction further heightens the tension in the global scenario. The apprehensions and the inadequate policies taken by international organisation became futile and irrelevant because of the reluctance on behalf the super powers. It has to be the responsibility of the big powers to take the initiatives to curb down the tensions of nuclear war and going to establish peace and prosperity across the globe.

Reference

"Nuclear Weapons". International Committee Of The Red Cross, 2018, https://www.icrc.org/en/document/nuclear-weapons. Accessed 22 May 2018.

"Statute | IAEA". Iaea.Org, 2018, https://www.iaea.org/about/overview/statute. Accessed 22 May 2018.

Bendiek, Annegret, and Tobias Metzger. "Deterrence theory in the cyber-century." INFORMATIK 2015 (2015).

Friedman, Thomas L. "Iran and the Obama doctrine." The New York Times 5.4 (2015).

Fuhrmann, Matthew, and Todd S. Sechser. "Nuclear strategy, nonproliferation, and the causes of foreign nuclear deployments." Journal of Conflict Resolution 58.3 (2014): 455-480.

Fuhrmann, Matthew, and Todd S. Sechser. "Signaling Alliance Commitments: Hand?Tying and Sunk Costs in Extended Nuclear Deterrence." American Journal of Political Science58.4 (2014): 919-935.

Gartzke, Erik, and Jon Lindsay. "Cross-Domain Deterrence: Strategy in an Era of Complexity." International Studies Association Annual Meeting, Toronto. 2014.

Katzman, Kenneth, and Paul K. Kerr. "Iran nuclear agreement." Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service (2015).

Katzman, Kenneth, Paul K. Kerr, and Mary Beth Dunham Nikitin. Iran: Interim Nuclear Agreement and Talks on a Comprehensive Accord. Congressional Research Service, 2015.

Kroenig, Matthew. "US nuclear weapons and non-proliferation: Is there a link?." Journal of Peace Research 53.2 (2016): 166-179.

Narang, Vipin. "Nuclear Strategies of Emerging Nuclear Powers: North Korea and Iran." The Washington Quarterly38.1 (2015): 73-91.

Payne, Keith B. Deterrence in the second nuclear age. University Press of Kentucky, 2015.

Snyder, Glenn Herald. Deterrence and defense. Princeton University Press, 2015.

Sonne, P. (2018). Pentagon unveils new nuclear weapons strategy, ending Obama-era push to reduce U.S. arsenal. The Washington Post. [online] Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/pentagon-unveils-new-nuclear-weapons-strategy-ending-obama-era-push-to-reduce-us-arsenal/2018/02/02/fd72ad34-0839-11e8-ae28-e370b74ea9a7_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.fec017cc0703 [Accessed 22 May 2018].

Stent, Angela E. The limits of partnership: US-Russian relations in the twenty-first century. Princeton university press, 2015.

Wilner, Alex. "Contemporary deterrence theory and counterterrorism: A bridge too far." NYUJ Int'l L. & Pol. 47 (2014): 439.

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