Toward a nuclear weapons free world?

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Doubts about the wisdom of relying on nuclear weapons are as old as nuclear weapons themselves. But despite this questioning, nuclear weapons came to be seen as the indispensable element of American (indeed Western) security during the Cold War. By the 1970s and 1980s, however, discontent was growing about the intense US-Soviet nuclear arms competition, as it failed to provide any enduring improvement in security; rather, it was seen as creating ever greater risks and dangers. Arms control negotiations and limitations, adopted as a means to regulate the technical competition, may also have relieved some of the political pressures and ... continued below

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16 p.

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Maaranen, S.A. September 1, 1996.

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This article is part of the collection entitled: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. More information about this article can be viewed below.

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  • Maaranen, S.A. Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States). Center for International Security Affairs

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Description

Doubts about the wisdom of relying on nuclear weapons are as old as nuclear weapons themselves. But despite this questioning, nuclear weapons came to be seen as the indispensable element of American (indeed Western) security during the Cold War. By the 1970s and 1980s, however, discontent was growing about the intense US-Soviet nuclear arms competition, as it failed to provide any enduring improvement in security; rather, it was seen as creating ever greater risks and dangers. Arms control negotiations and limitations, adopted as a means to regulate the technical competition, may also have relieved some of the political pressures and dangers. But the balance of terror, and the fears of it, continued. The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) under President Reagan was a very different approach to escaping from the precarious protection of nuclear weapons, in that it sought a way to continue to defend the US and the West, but without the catastrophic risks of mutual deterrence. As such, SDI connoted unhappiness with the precarious nuclear balance and, for many, with nuclear weapons in general. The disappearance of the Warsaw Pact, the disintegration of the Soviet Union, and the sudden end of the Cold War seemed to offer a unique opportunity to fashion a new, more peaceful world order that might allow for fading away of nuclear weapons. Scholars have foreseen two different paths to a nuclear free world. The first is a fundamental improvement in the relationships between states such that nuclear weapons are no longer needed. The second path is through technological development, e.g., missile defenses which could provide effective protection against nuclear attacks. The paper discusses nuclear weapon policy in the US, views of other nuclear states, the future of nuclear weapons, and issues in a less-nuclear world.

Physical Description

16 p.

Notes

OSTI as DE96014805

Source

  • Is a nuclear weapons from world possible? Threats and problems related to the reduction of nuclear weapons, Helsinki (Finland), Aug 1996

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  • Other: DE96014805
  • Report No.: LA-UR--96-2971
  • Report No.: CONF-9608135--1
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 378798
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc682478

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  • September 1, 1996

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  • July 25, 2015, 2:20 a.m.

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  • March 1, 2016, 2:05 p.m.

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Maaranen, S.A. Toward a nuclear weapons free world?, article, September 1, 1996; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc682478/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.