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Are Nuclear Weapons, Deterrents?

Updated on March 1, 2013
Deterrent? | Source

The Myth

Ever since the dropping of the nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki the world has been both in awe and terror of the power of a nuclear weapon.

All the countries that have now got nuclear weapons claim that they need them purely as a deterrent.

These countries now try to stop others from acquiring nuclear capabilities, yet they continue to increase their nuclear arsenals. Why is this?

The United States alone has enough nuclear weapons to destroy the whole planet several times over and claims to be a leader in trying to stop other countries from having nuclear capabilities.

What they mean as deterrent is that they want nuclear weapons, so that they have the power to use them on any country that uses a nuclear weapon on them. The theory being that if a country believes it will be attacked by nuclear weapons if it uses nuclear weapons against a country, it will refrain from using them in the first place.

The United Nations
The United Nations | Source


Here though, let’s look at some of the facts.

The United States is the only country, to date, that has used a nuclear weapon in anger.

The United States gave Israel the ability to have nuclear weapons, against a non proliferation agreement.

Israel already had a nuclear deterrent in so far as it was a good friend of the United States and all countries knew that to attack Israel with a nuclear weapon would provoke a nuclear response from the United States. That is a powerful deterrent.

Yet even though none of Israel’s neighbors had nuclear capabilities, the US gives them another “deterrent”. This action in itself created neighboring countries to want to acquire a nuclear deterrent of their own. After all, isn’t it Israel that has displayed its complete disregard for international sentiments? I say this because Israel has broken or ignored more UN resolutions, than any other country including Iran, Iraq, Syria or North Korea.

In South Korea, it is heavily rumored that the United States has placed tactical short range nuclear weapons. This has caused North Korea to want to acquire a nuclear deterrent of its own.

A nuclear deterrent is supposed to be a defense against a country that has nuclear weapons. If an enemy does not possess nuclear weapons, then a nuclear deterrent is not needed.


So the argument will be Israel is surrounded by potentially aggressive neighbors, even if they do not have nuclear capabilities. South Korea is bordered by a far greater number of forces than it has itself, even with the US presence.

These arguments though, do not conform to the nuclear weapons as a deterrent theory.

What I would like to ask is this?

Why it is that negotiation with the dismantling of the Iranian nuclear program is not linked to an Israeli decommissioning of their nuclear weapons?

Why it is that negotiation with the dismantling of the North Korean nuclear program is not linked to the withdrawal of nuclear weapons from South Korea?

When will the United States realize that the placement of a nuclear weapon in one country will always create the need for others to have deterrents of their own?

Where is the difference from the US putting nukes in Israel and South Korea and the Soviets putting nukes in Cuba?

The other argument of course is: if these countries have weapons grade nuclear materials, they may become available for terrorists use.

The United States itself alone has lost 36,000lbs of weapons grade nuclear material and that is just what they have admitted to. How much more would a potential terrorist need?


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    • rafken profile image

      rafken 6 years ago from The worlds my oyster

      64 - Dream on. The elitists can hold you up as a model to show how well their brain washing is working. Try reading my hub "Justifying China" to get a sense of where I am coming from. There is a reason behind everything that the US does, unfortunately it is not always the well being of American, more often it is the defense of the elitists wealth.

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      leprechaun 64 6 years ago

      The difference in putting nukes in Isreal and the Soviets in Cuba is that the reason the nukes were put in cuba was to nuke the US. The reason that we put nukes in Isreal is because they actually need it. They are surrounded by countries that would much rather take them off the map! Unlike the Soviets, hte placement of nukes by the US is for protection of that country. Not for the destruction of antother.

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      Saved Man 6 years ago

      AMEN!!! I came to this page expecting to see something that proved that nuclear weapons were a deterrent but instead got my view point completely changed. Absolutely Amazing and SO true

    • GoGreenTips profile image

      Greg Johnson 6 years ago from Indianapolis

      Personally I think the Cold war, or nuclear arms race was simply a manufactured event for the purpose of making money. Of course we did invent and drop the first atomic bomb, but after that the build up in weapons was merely another manufactured war to make money for the military/industrial complex.

    • rafken profile image

      rafken 6 years ago from The worlds my oyster

      ib - I did not say an act of hate. I said in anger, that's to say it was used against humans. I did not imply that it wasn't necessary, only that it was a fact. In reality, it not only ended a war but by showing the world just how destructive these weapons really are, has probably served in ensuring that they haven't been used again since.

    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 6 years ago from Southern California

      I stopped reading your hub after reading this statement.

      "The United States is the only country, to date, that has used a nuclear weapon in anger."

      If you are talking about the two A Bombs used in WWII on Japan, then it is not a fact and you are wrong.

      These two bombs were used to end a war against a country that would have killed American Soldiers until they could be forced to surrender.

      The amount of deaths would have been enormous compared to the lives killed by these two A Bombs.

      This is in way an act of Hate as you tried to portray it.

      I have no idea about the rest of your hub because I had read enough.

      my opinion

    • Alison Dittmar profile image

      Alison Dittmar 6 years ago from PA

      I do not think any country, third world or not should have nuke's if they are incapable of treating their own citizens with respect! If these countries leaders are freaking out over a woman's hair being seen or are marrying off their young daughters to old men- they are not educated nor morally sound. Democracy is what they should be worried about, not killing other countries that are democratic.

    • rafken profile image

      rafken 6 years ago from The worlds my oyster

      gogogo - I fear you may be correct. Scenarios have been written about where the next world war would start. China V Russia was one, both nuclear. India V Pakistan was one, both nuclear and the third was the Middle East, not for oil but for water. Lets hope that does not have the potential to become nuclear.

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      gogogo 6 years ago

      The way I see it, so many countries, now have nucleur weapons, it is just a matter of time before one of them uses it.

    • rafken profile image

      rafken 6 years ago from The worlds my oyster

      diogenes - I agree, the nukes are obviously here to stay. My point though is, if a country has nuclear weapons then they should keep them on their own soil. The US can now strike anywhere in the world with a nuclear response so why place them on foreign soil, whatever the reason, if it is going to cause others to want to gain nuclear ability.

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      diogenes 6 years ago

      I am persoannly very grateful for a strong USA and the ability to call the nation an ally, especially with the world in the upheaval we see. No one "likes" nucleur weapons and extreme violence. But, so far, the fact that the US has the power to obliterate an enemy in a nanosecond has got a lot of the "wrongies" running scared.

      I think weapons can be used for good and for bad...But I say this with the utmost trepidation...Bob