Nuclear Weapons Essay

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Nuclear weapons were first used against Japan at the end of the Second World War, with the United States dropping nuclear weapons first on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945, and again three days later on Nagasaki. These attacks are the only times nuclear weapons have ever been used directly against another state, with all subsequent detonations serving as either a demonstration of might or for research purposes. Since the culmination of WWII, direct warfare between superpowers has become seemingly non-existent. Nuclear states have stockpiled upwards of 15, 000 nuclear weapons total, with some 4, 000 estimated to be operational. Why is it, then, that only the first two have been used against another state? Has the advent of nuclear weapons brought …show more content…
The first stage, fission, begins when chemical explosives that surround a hollow sphere of plutonium-239. This compresses the sphere so space between the atoms becomes smaller. When this sphere is dense enough to facilitate a fission chain reaction (AKA supercritical), neutrons are inserted into the sphere to initiate a fission chain reaction, called the primary. This fission generates extremely high temperatures, which catalyzes a secondary reaction, fusion. The fusion is the massive explosive detonation that nuclear weapons are characterized by, and happens when two or more nuclei fuse into a heavier nucleus, releasing a colossal amount of energy in the …show more content…
Due to the shift in how the tactical level of war evolved, it constituted a change in how operations were planned and developed. The Soviets could no longer occupy an area and claim success, as Mujahedeen fighters would wait to fight the Soviets when given the chance, but avoid unnecessary open conflict. Operations had to be planned with an intent to shift control over each area to local governments once insurgents had been eliminated, which in itself was a difficult task. As well, they had to win over the local population so the operation could be a sustained success, and not simply fall back under Mujahedeen influence. In this way, nuclear weapons forced an evolution in how the operational level of war was

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