Should Countries Be Allowed To Have Nuclear Weapons Essay Example

Today, nine different countries, the U.S., Russia, the U.K., France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea, have access to nuclear weapons, but only five, the U.S., Russia, the U.K., France, and China, of them are registered members of the official owners club. The other four countries, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea, have access to nuclear weapons but are not authorized. Are there more countries that have nuclear weapons? If they do, and we don’t know, a nuclear war could break out at any random time. Should any country be allowed to have nuclear weapons?

August 6, 1945, was a date that changed the world. On that day, the country of The United States of America, dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima in Japan. The total injuries and deaths totaled around 130,000 people. A week after the attack Japan agreed to an “unconditional surrender”, ending World War II. In later years, many countries began testing nuclear weapons. 

In 1954, Jawaharlal Nehru, the president of India, banned nuclear testing, resulting in the first large scale ban of nuclear weapons. “We deem it imperative that immediate action be taken to effect an international agreement to stop testing of all nuclear weapons.” was the leading point in the 1958 petition to United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold. On March 25, 1996, the South Pacific Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone treaty was put into effect. Then on July 15, 2009, The African Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone treaty was signed and was put into force.        

The United Nations proposed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. This treaty was signed by 184 countries and lasted for three years. After three years, the treaty was unfortunately disbanded. According to the Asia Society “On May 11, 1998, India shocked the world by exploding three nuclear devices amounting to about six times the destructive power of the American bomb dropped on Hiroshima.” Pakistan responded with six nuclear weapon tests of their own. North Korea alarmed Japan by test firing a medium range missile across the Japanese mainland. The Asia Society also commented, “Japan is the only country ever to have been attacked by nuclear weapons…” With this, the ban of nuclear weapons runs deep in Japan.

Throughout history many types of bombs and other nuclear weapons have been constructed. Two of the most well-known bombs are the atomic Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs. These two atomic bombs were fabricated to end World War II. (

The Hiroshima bomb was nicknamed ‘Little Boy,’ because of its slender build. Uranium 235 was the main material used to construct the Hiroshima bomb. The energy emitted from the explosion equaled about 15,000 tons of TNT. The Nagasaki bomb was nicknamed the ‘Fat Man’ because of its slightly rounder build. This bomb however, used plutonium 239, in its construction. The nuclear fission of this bomb was said it had the destructive energy of about 21,000 tons of TNT.

Another type of bomb that has been used before is the hydrogen bomb. According to the Campaign of Nuclear Disarmament or the CND, “Hydrogen bombs, which use nuclear fusion, have higher destructive power and greater efficiencies than atomic bombs.” Because of the high temperatures that are used in the reaction of the bomb, it is very often referred to as a thermonuclear explosion. The first hydrogen bomb was exploded on November 1st, 1952, in Eniwetok Island. The heatwave was felt over 50 km away. The CND also said, “The heart of a nuclear explosion reaches a temperature of several million degrees centigrade.” The fireball also had a diameter of 4.8 km. 

Surprisingly, more countries have given up nuclear weapons than have kept them. Over 10 countries have given up nuclear weapons due to one reason or another. These countries include S.  Africa, Belarus, Brazil, Argentina, Sweden, Taiwan, S. Korea, Japan, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Iraq. We know that many countries have easy access to nuclear devices but what about terrorist groups? If a terrorist had access to a nuclear bomb the effects would be disastrous. If they set it off chaos would ensue and the terrorist would be able to get away and be willing to die. It would be hard to identify the terrorist if it was set off in a somewhat public place. 

They also wouldn't need any type of expensive missiles to carry the bomb. Two countries, Pakistan and N. Korea, are on the United States watchlist because of impending threats. Another threat would be a glitch in the missile system. According to Julian Borger and Ian Sample, “If the glitch is not identified lower down the chain of command and passed upward as a seemingly genuine threat, a national leader only has a few minutes to decide whether to launch his or her country’s missiles before the apparent incoming salvo destroys them.” This could pose as a big problem in our countries systems. Also, in the US system, if the president identifies himself there is no check or barrier to stop him from launching missiles. 

Arms control has become an ever present topic. While getting rid of all nuclear weapons is out of the picture, we can still lower the amount. At the height of the cold war, there was about 70,000 nuclear weapons in the world. Now there are only about 14,000 weapons, a lower amount but still enough to end life as we know it. According to Julian Borger and Ian Sample, “93% of these warheads belong to the US and Russia.” They both have about 6,000-7,000 weapons each. In order of the amount of nuclear weapons stockpiled it goes France, China, the UK, Pakistan, India, Israel, and N. Korea. The last meeting for nuclear disarmament was between Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev in 2010. This meeting limited the US and Russia only 1,550 deployed warheads each.

In conclusion, I do not think that countries should be allowed to have nuclear weapons stockpiled for unexplained use. The leaders of our countries have been too easy going about nuclear weapons and disarmament. On April 25, 1972, President Richard Nixon met with his national security advisor Henry Kissinger and they conversed about a N. Vietnamese offensive.

President Nixon suggested nuclear weapons and when Kissinger thought that it might be too much President Nixon commented, “The nuclear bomb, does that bother you?” This man ran our country and didn't care about the nuclear bomb being too harsh. The nuclear bomb was not feared as it should be. Leaders of countries need to be put in check, and they have to learn the consequences of nuclear weapons. We have learned what nuclear weapons do to countries, and I hope we never need to learn that again.



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