The High Cost of Nuclear Weapons Essay

1250 Words 5 Pages
Throughout the entirety of the twentieth century, the most disputed topic of discussion has perhaps been that of nuclear weapons. Some people argue these weapons of mass destruction are vital to the survival of order and decency in the world, while others contend that nuclear weapons will bring an end to civilization as we now know it. Regardless of both of these arguments, there are two things that just about nobody can deny – nuclear weapons are extremely expensive and enormously destructive.

The first thing to know about nuclear weapons is exactly how much money they have cost the United States? Since the first government supported work on nuclear weapons began in 1940, the United States has spent approximately $4 trillion on
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Many people believe that it was the nuclear weapons themselves that bled the government budget dry since the 1940’s when in fact it was many other things that had to do with the weapons that drove up costs. The exorbitant cost of deploying forces on land, in the air, under the sea, ensuring the weapons’ security, and linking them with a command and control system was in fact the main reason why so many budget funds were allocated for nuclear development. The other reasons why nuclear weapons development was so expensive was due in part to inflation, partisan politics, botched intelligence figures, and rival defense contractors which caused the United States to build and deploy an excessive number of nuclear weapons (HT p. 67-71).

The second thing to know about nuclear weapons is their immense capabilities for destruction. The detonation of a single warhead would cause disaster on a scale that no one could ever imagine possible. If one of these warheads were to detonate over a single city, very few would survive. However, the detonation of a single warhead should not be confused with the effects of a full-blown nuclear war, in which many nuclear warheads would be detonated. An event such as this would bring an end to civilization in the target area.

The nuclear bombs available to the military powers of the world (United States, Russia,

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