Prison » Nuclear Weapons And Great Power Politics Are Here To Stay

Federico Pieraccini
The Strategic Culture Foundation

March 7, 2018

When talking about nuclear weapons, it is necessary to clarify some important points before delving into complicated reasoning.

Nuclear weapons are here to stay, and anyone who believes in a progressive denuclearization of the globe is sadly mistaken. Try asking any Indian, Pakistani, Chinese, Russian or American policy-maker what they think about abandoning their nuclear weapons and they will tell you that it will never happen. To believe that a country would be willing to simply abandon its most powerful weapon and means of deterrence is simply unrealistic. Nevertheless, I would like to emphasize in this article how nuclear weapons are crucial to a stable future world order. Any reasonable person possessing a magic wand would wish to make vanish a weapon that is capable of eliminating humanity. The problem is that in the real world, this possibility does not exist and nukes are here to stay.

There is the valid argument that the absence of nuclear weapons would have greatly altered the balance during the Cold War, leading to a massively devastating war between the two superpowers of the time, even if only fought conventionally. In this two-part series I will try to argue how nuclear weapons can, especially in the future, be a guarantor of peace rather than posing the threat of global destruction.One always has to keep in mind the great risk that humanity has placed itself in with the invention of such a destructive weapon: they are a sword of Damocles hanging over the destiny of humanity. For this reason, a balance between great powers is necessary in order to ensure that a nuclear catastrophe can never happen.

In order to be able to advance this analysis in a sensible and realistic way, it is necessary to recall the history of the last century and observe the behaviour of the nations involved. Without focusing too much…

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