Why Have Nuclear Weapons Not Been Used in Conflict Since 1945?

2129 Words Nov 12th, 2012 9 Pages
Why have nuclear weapons not been used in conflict since 1945?

Nuclear weapons have only ever been used once in human history, and that was during World War II when The United States deployed missiles on Japanese territory, in Nagasaki and Hiroshima. At the time of bombing in 1945 only the USA had developed nuclear weapons, whilst today the pool of states consisting of nuclear weapons is still extremely small, with only nine states laying claim to nuclear technology and weaponry. This nuclear proliferation is explained by Darryl Howlett who explains this as the worldwide spread of nuclear weapons. For Howlett states are nuclear driven because of the ‘strategic, political and prestige benefits’ attached to nuclear weapons[1]. In the
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Gray and deterrence supporters are worried that if people begin believing in the truth of taboo, states might feel obliged to disarm nuclear artillery, which could prove even more fatal as it will disrupt the balance of power, especially between larger nations. With less nuclear capable states, there is a fear amongst deterrence supporters one state could use nuclear weapons to enhance their position as an international actor, and cause more war in doing so[8]. In this case, weapons are used as the ultimate form of deterrence, one which maintains the balance of power and eliminates the threat of nuclear strikes.

The next area of discussion is the arrival of virtual nuclear arsenals (VNA’s). According to Michael Mazaar virtual nuclear arsenals are where you store and reconstruct nuclear weapons[9]. When looking at why these have helped prolong the nuclear non-use, virtual nuclear arsenals are important because they eliminate the threat of miscalculation or an accidental bombing. Secondly by having deconstructed weapons, you can store each individual part separately, which means your weapons are harder to steal as they are stored in unknown locations. Mazaar argues that nuclear weapons haven’t been used because VNA’s act as a deterrent from attack. No one

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