Essay Sample on Nuclear Warfare

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1158 Words
Date:  2021-05-21

Nuclear warfare is defined as the military conflict between states or between the state and the citizens, or a political strategy where nuclear weapons are used to inflict damage on the opponent (Russell, 1959). Nuclear weapons are dangerous machinery that can be used to cause damage to a larger population within a short time and its effects last for a longer time. Historically, the only proven instance where nuclear weapons were used was at the end of the World War II. On August 6, 1945, the United States dropped a uranium gun-type device right on top of Hiroshima. Three days later, the world woke with another shock when another bomb, a plutonium implosion-type device was dropped on top of Nagasaki. According to Russell (1959), the two devices coded little boy and fat man claimed the lives of at least 120,000 people instantly. No record has yet been released to indicate the number of the causalities who succumbed to injuries as a result of the atomic bomb.

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Nuclear Warfare can be traced back to the end of the World War II. After the use of the nuclear weapon to end the war, other countries such as the Peoples Republic of China, the United Kingdom, France and the Soviet Union started to invest heavily in nuclear weapons. The arms race during this period led the world into what was later known as the Cold War. India and Pakistan later joined the race. Additionally, Israel and North Korea made a lot of these weapons but no exact number has ever been released to show how much (Sontag, 2013). The math was simple, in case you feel unsafe with your neighbor, or when you hear that your enemy is making nuclear weapons, you try to make much than they have. The tension was very high between different states. However, during the period of Cold War, no instance was witnessed where nuclear weapons were used.

Even after the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of Cold War, and an agreement to stop production and use of nuclear weapons, it seems that there are countries that are yet to heed the call. North Korea is one of the countries that in the recent past have shown the world that they are yet to react to the call to stop the use of nuclear weapons. North Korea on many occasions has claimed that they successfully conducted a nuclear warhead test. Though it is still hard to prove the claims that North Korea has been successful in building a variety of small lighter, and diversified nuclear warheads, many countries are already alert. South Korea which is sidelined to the United States has rallied calls accusing the North of jeopardizing the peaceful existence in the region. It is still not clear what war North Korea is preparing for, but the message is clear, in any case, they will be using their lethal weapons. Apart from North Korea, there are other countries which have also conducted nuclear tests such as Iran and Israel, though no official statement has ever been released to show the truth behind these claims.

Nuclear warfare is a bad war. The world needs to avoid this war at all cost. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons was a program started to help the world get rid of the nuclear weapons. South Africa became the first country to willfully destroy nuclear weapons it had already made and also stop further productions. Even though most of the countries agreed to stop the production of the weapons, there are those countries which still manufacture the warheads secretly or have not yet destroyed their already manufactured warheads. Russia tops the list with estimated 7,300 warheads followed by the United States with 6,970 warheads. As part of NATO nuclear sharing arrangement, five of the European countries are hosting the US nuclear weapons. The failure to disarm and stop nuclear weapons production can be catastrophic to the world. This warfare can have the following side effects.

Nuclear Terrorism

The biggest challenge the world faces today is how to handle terrorism. Terrorist attacks are continuing to claim the lives of individuals each day. It is clear that terrorists are desperate to kill as many people as they can, hence, they will not hesitate to use a weapon that kills many people within a short time. With nuclear warfare and countries still continuing to manufacture these weapons, the state of the world security is placed in a balance. Currently, nuclear weapons are available in 25 nations. The states of security of some of the sites where these weapons are stored are poor (Duvall, 2012). Poor security makes these materials vulnerable to theft by the terrorists who will later use them on attacking innocent people.

System vulnerability

One thing that is for sure is that nobody is perfect. Mistakes are common even with machines that use highest artificial intelligence technology. What if someone presses the wrong button? According to Sam Nunn, a former senator, nuclear warfare is a race between cooperation and catastrophe. It is up to the mankind to decide their future. Therefore, winning the nuclear warfare is not an option. Nuclear warfare must thus stop because the further it goes the worse the state of world peace and security deteriorates. Additionally, as far as system vulnerability is concerned, the world must get worried about nuclear proliferations. Through cyber-terrorism, hackers can manage to get past systems and detonate nuclear weapons controlled by different systems.

Nuclear warfare is bad for the environment

Nuclear weapons are manufactured using uranium and plutonium, all which are mined from the earth. With the world high-alert on the production of nuclear weapons, there has been an increased mining of uranium and plutonium, an activity that has harmed the environment in a negative way. First, uranium and plutonium all have the radioactive effect (Villain, 2015). This means that miners will be exposed to the side effects which lead to mutation and bad health. After mining, the wastes from the nuclear weapons manufacturing industries will be exposed to the environment. And since all these materials are radioactive and have a longer half-life, their side effects will be felt for a very long time. Therefore, apart from the direct disadvantages of nuclear warfare, there are also other hidden or indirect challenges that must also be considered.


Nuclear warfare is bad for the humankind. This race is catastrophic and has no positive end. The only destination is death and more deaths. It is not only hurting humankind but the environment as a whole. The world needs to rethink and come up with a better method to disarm countries still manufacturing the weapon to ensure the safety of the world, or else, even terrorists will be able to use atomic bombs on their targets.


Duvall, John N. The Cambridge companion to American fiction after 1945. Cambridge University Press, 2012.

Russell, Bertrand. Common sense and nuclear warfare. Psychology Press, 1959.

Sontag, Susan. "2 The Imagination of Disaster." Hibakusha Cinema (2013): 38.

Villain, Jacques, and Andre Moret. "From Hiroshima to nuclear deterrence." (2015).

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