Nuclear Warfare During The Cold War Essay

1053 Words May 4th, 2015 null Page
Mutually assured destruction prevented an outbreak of nuclear warfare during the Cold War. The stance against the employment of nuclear weapons arose from shifting norms in international society, as states were prompted to dedicate themselves to preventative war. Additionally, it was challenged whether the enormously devastating impact of nuclear weapons was ethically sound and whether it could be effectively used militarily. The notion that there was no winner to a nuclear war, however, predominately restricted states from resorting to nuclear warfare. The was no nuclear conflict in the Cold War because of mutually assured destruction.

Nuclear arms were ironically instrumental to the stability of international society during the Cold War. The scale and devastation induced by nuclear weapons led military strategist, Bernard Brodie, to uniquely classify them as ‘absolute weapons’. Brodie had the foresight to deduce that the great nuclear powers would inherit a shared vulnerability through their mutual possession of nuclear weapons. Technological advancements allowed states to reach this threshold, where nuclear powers had the means to detect incoming warheads with time to launch their own weapons of mass destruction before impact. The theory of nuclear deterrence instilled a shift in the role of the military from winning wars to preventing them (reference Brodie’s great power book). Hence, states were wary that nuclear conflict would cripple both sides. The overbearing…

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