Arguing Against Nuclear Weaponry and Weapons of Mass Destruction
Arguing Against Nuclear Weaponry and Weapons of Mass Destruction
The phrase, ‘weapons of mass destruction’ rose to popularity over the last five decades. Traditionally, though lacking controversial sentiments, WMDs have been known to incorporate nuclear weapons as well as other devastating weaponry such as chemical and biological weapons. If surely the latter forms asserted above were included within the group of WMD, then debates centering on the ethics of such weaponry dates back further to the end of the 19th Century. At this time, European states had initiated efforts aimed at ensuring that chemical weapons were delegitimized before the complete developments. In reference to the September 11 assault, the attacks carried out in the United States showed clearly the susceptibility of a country’s protective networks with respect to the use of WMD under the direction of a dedicated faction of insurgents. This is due to the disastrous implications they imposed even within stages of infancy. Despite this, the attention predisposed towards WMD has consistently focused on nuclear weaponry as a formidable group on its own. In fact, the main question lies in whether any good can come from weapons that result in mass murder for which the rational response is simply, No.
Foremost, the fact that nuclear weaponry, as well as chemical and biological weaponry, causes the wanton deaths of numerous civilians illustrates the lack of good from their utilization. Since the successful detonation of the atomic bomb in the United States, specifically the New Mexico Desert in early 1945, the respective WMD was deemed ready for usage in Japan. Even though the respective course of action was aimed at the Asiatic state for the role they assumed in the Pearl Harbor bombings, the use of nuclear warfare caused widespread and irreversible destruction (Fussell 5). More specifically, the dropping of nuclear weaponry on the cities of Nagasaki as well as Hiroshima led to the demises of more than 120000 people (Fussell 5). Aside from this, the structures present in the cities at the time such as building infrastructure were reduced to nothing. In the end, both cities became desolate illustrations of the negative implications that arise from the use of nuclear weaponry.
Based on such effects, one may choose to argue against nuclear weaponry but focus support for chemical and biological weapons. However, these forms of weaponry do not inspire any positive results with respect to the damage they impose due to their lack of effectiveness as well as the level of exposure posited on civilians rather than militants involved in a particular armed struggle. If biological and chemical weapons were to be deemed as WMD, then it would be imperative to understand their level of effectiveness in case of an armed conflict involving the military. Originally, chemical weaponry was applied in the First World War in a rather discriminate manner (Ganguly and Kapur 23). In spite of this, the presumed effectiveness of these weapons was never noted. Moreover, the only opportunity that the weapons could exploit to assert an implication was based purely on the aspect of surprise due to the reliance on atmospheric prerequisites and the opponent’s capability to secure against such attacks.
The same case also applies to biological weapons. Even though these forms of WMD may succeed in considerable destruction, it would be difficult to ascertain their effectiveness in a practical situation. Accordingly, the deferred commencement of the implications arising from the application of biological weaponry genuinely positions them as military ineffective especially in combat situations (Ganguly and Kapur 65). In fact, the struggle may be over before the materialization of signs or symptoms of the weapons’ effects on the soldiers. Additionally, the utilization of such weapons relies heavily on a range of environmental conditions as illustrated in cases involving the application of chemical weapons. Simply, in spite of their ineffectiveness, these weapons can cause significant damage to civilians. Because of this, biological weapons are more prone to use on civilians rather than the military. Even if they were to be used on members of the military, then more harm will be imposed on civilians since they are unprepared in case of a quicker response.
Secondly, the proliferation of nuclear weaponry, in respect to the loss of life among civilians, is another reason for arguing against WMDs. Accordingly, the South Asia region has experienced four nuclear-based predicaments since 1990 (Ganguly and Kapur 121). In fact, novel crises are expected to take place under the wing of religious extremists bound on performing mass-casualty assaults. Due to the negative effects of nuclear weaponry especially on civilians, such weapons have proven to be of interest among parties committed towards extremism and irrational acts of violence. Regions such as India and Pakistan are currently undergoing a massive struggle between religious extremists and the government (Ganguly and Kapur 150). Furthermore, the struggle is fueled by increasing nuclear reliance especially on the part of Pakistan as well as growing traditional military disequilibrium in the state of India. In such volatile situations, the presence of nuclear weaponry as well as other forms of WMD further prolongs the conflict with each party attempting to secure such weapons.
Irrespective of the illustration asserted above, other parties are convinced that nuclear proliferation may posit favorable outcomes. Accordingly, the growing presence of nuclear weaponry may enable the occurrence of stability over international boundaries. This ideology is based on the assumption that such weapons played a significant role in ensuring a period of lengthy peace between Russia and the United States at the occurrence of the Cold War. Apparently, both countries averted from war regardless of the profound geopolitical enmity that existed between them, recurrent crises, as well as an elongated arms race (Sagan 67). The point illustrated by the respective example involves the aspect of deterrence. Simply, the possession of nuclear weaponry by countries may deter them from engaging in the application of such elements due to their outstanding, irreversible, and devastating implications. With nuclear proliferation, the ownership of the respective arms by two states lessens the possibility of war since the expenses are more considerable (Sagan 69).
However, asserting that the proliferation of nuclear weaponry works for deterrence ignores the fact that the use of such arms is dependent on the motives of the states. One such example of this involves the utilization of coercion (Waltz 466). Accordingly, states can concentrate on the application of force to assert particular ideals that will benefit them. This has been evidenced by countries such as Libya, which is currently on the verge of political destruction due to the effects of its nuclear program. Additionally, the proliferation of nuclear weapons is dependent on whether states may gain or lose from either increasing or decreasing the prospects of war. In this respect, if nuclear weapons enable states to apply more effective measures to gratify their demands, then they may influence an increase in the possibility of war (Waltz 467). Indeed, struggles may be formulated in response to limiting threats. However, a country that will gain or benefit from the interests it pursues may consistently engage in the use of such force even if it means facilitating destruction.
In conclusion, there is no good if nuclear weaponry and other WMD are utilized. Since the start of the First World War, nuclear weapons have spread over international borders. Hence, in the argument against such weapons, it is important to note that nuclear arms result in the massive loss of life especially among civilians. Consequently, nuclear proliferation encourages the performance of mass-casualty attacks by extremist groups. Following this, the fact that nuclear arms may be effective in advancing a state’s agenda may contribute to the application of such weapons in the conflict. Even though other parties may argue that the possession of nuclear arms has contributed to international stability, it is impossible to deny the destructive nature of these weapons.
Fussell, Paul. “Thank God for Atom the Bomb.” Thank God for the Atom Bomb and Other Essays. Ed. Paul Fussell. New York: Summit Books, 1988. 1-11. Print.
Ganguly, Sumit, and S. P. Kapur. Nuclear Proliferation in South Asia: Crisis Behavior and the Bomb. London: Routledge, 2009. Print.
Sagan, Scott D. “The Perils of Proliferation: Organization Theory, Deterrence Theory, and the Spread of Nuclear Weapons.” International Security 18.4 (1994): 66-107. Print.
Waltz, Kenneth N. “The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: More May be Better.” Conflict after the Cold War: Arguments on Causes of War and Peace. Ed. Richard K. Betts. Upper Saddle River: Pearson, 2012. 466-477. Print.
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