Does the existence of nuclear weapons facilitate greater stability in international politics? Why/why not?
The existence of nuclear weapons for better or worse have indubitably impacted our lives in one way or the other. There are the some who find these weapons to be singularly beneficial. For example Defence Analyst Edward Luttwak said “we have lived since 1945 without another world war precisely because rational minds…extracted a durable peace from the very terror of nuclear weapons.” (Luttwak, 1983). Moreover, Robert Art and Kenneth Waltz both extrapolate that “the probability of war between American and Russia or between NATO and the Warsaw Pact is practically nil precisely because the military planning and deployments of each,
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Take for example, both Argentina and Brazil refused to complete the necessary steps to join the NWFZ (Latin America nuclear weapons free zone) and began programs simultaneously in the 1970s to produce nuclear weapons however a decade later, there was a joint declaration between the two states that since they posed no security threat to each other and hadn’t fought a war against each other since 1828 to both conversely halt their nuclear programs. Similarly non-Russian states such as Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus decided to give up their nuclear arsenals because of their close ties with Moscow and hence didn’t perceive Russia to be a threat to their security. Under realist logic, the U.S nonproliferation policy can only slow down but never completely halt the future spread of nuclear weapons. Such efforts to slow down the process of nuclear weapons are useful for the time being but eventually according to Waltz they will be confuted by two strong forces that create an ‘inexorable momentum’ toward a world of numerously more nuclear states. First is that the Cold War has created an uncertain multipolar world that shows the weakness in the U.S’s nuclear guarantees making NATO and other nuclear organisations less reliable and as such states feel more incentivized to develop their own nuclear weapons for their personal safety. Secondly, each time a state develops nuclear weapons it almost forces its neighbor states to follow suit. (Waltz,