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Nuclear Proliferation

Nuclear Proliferation - Pridgen 1 Stephanie Pridgen...

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Pridgen 1 Stephanie Pridgen Professor Melissa Caudill English 103-69 16 November 2006 Nuclear Proliferation The United States, along with other nations of the world, is experiencing both a moral and political dilemma concerning the use of nuclear weapons. Nuclear proliferation, or the wide spread production and introduction of nuclear weapons to countries that do not already have such knowledge, has been stirring up controversy since long before the Cold War (“Nuclear Proliferation”). Its supporters and protestors come from countries both with and without nuclear weapons alike. Nuclear weapons can encourage the deterrence of war by intimidating enemies, which in theory reinforces peace (Wong-Fraser 3). From a military and defensive point of view, the question arises of who has the authority to regulate and control what kind of weapons a country or government should be allowed to have? But more countries possessing arms increases the chances of a future nuclear war, not to mention the fact that these countries potentially have the ability to send these missiles within minutes to destroy the civilized world we live in (Lettow 17). Possession also increases tension between these nations and can put a strain on their international relations. The problem is that the possession of such powers simultaneously creates security and insecurity. However, nuclear proliferation is evitable and there must be some medium ground that both sides can appreciate and approve. Both sides of this situation have the same common goal: to protect the government and people of the United States, they just have different theories on how to
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Pridgen 2 accomplish that goal. On some accounts, nuclear proliferation can be a useful tool in providing deterrence from war by means of intimidating our enemies. No reasonable nation is going to want to threaten America when they know the magnitude and number of nuclear arms we have in our possession. Those who support this side are known as rejectionists (Osgood 22). Rejectionists are very confident in the power of deterrence. Those who believe in what is known as “anite deterrence” believe that by simply possessing these weapons they have the power to prevent all offensive warfare from outside nations (Osgood 23). In addition to their belief in absolute deterrence comes what some might call “a lack of morals”. According to the rejectionists, in the rare case that deterrence fails, they have no qualms with actually using the nuclear weapons, should the occasion arise. They do not acknowledge any practical or moral issues that may accompany the act of setting off such weapons of mass destruction. Not only are these weapons useful in defense, they also provide insight to America’s international status as a respectable and leading nation (Wong-Fraser 4). The United States must command respect and keep up the image that it has today as such a powerful nation. Perceptions are very important, as they provide both political and psychological advantages when dealing
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Nuclear Proliferation - Pridgen 1 Stephanie Pridgen...

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