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War and Peace - of people at one time The Proliferation and...

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War and Peace War is violent conflict among nations or organized groups; peace refers to the absence of violent conflict. • Although people think of peace as the normal state of affairs, with wars breaking out from time to time, wars have always been part of human history. Indeed, in its short history, the United States has been involved in ten large-scale wars and many more minor conflicts (e.g., those in Grenada, Panama, Somalia, and Bosnia). Globally, there has never been a point during the last century when nations were not in conflict somewhere around the world. • Although war is a common event in human history, the level of violence typical of wars has sharply increased over time. In the twentieth century, weapons have become very lethal: machine guns replaced single-shot rifles; new kinds of chemical weapons and explosive bombs have been developed; and missiles can rain death and destruction on entire cities. Such armaments are called weapons of mass destruction because they have the destructive capacity to kill many thousands
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Unformatted text preview: of people at one time. The Proliferation and Control of Nuclear Weapons • In the 1960s, the United States and the Soviet Union led the world in an arms race, each competing to build a more powerful military arsenal than its adversary. If either superpower were to initiate a full-scale war, the retaliatory powers of the other nation would result in the destruction of both nations. Thus, the principle of mutually assured destruction ( MAD ) that developed from nuclear weapons capabilities transformed war from a win-lose proposition to a lose-lose scenario. If both sides would lose in a war, the theory goes, neither side would initiate war. • In a recent national survey of U.S. registered voters, 69 percent responded that a goal of the United States should be to reduce or eliminate nuclear weapons, 14 percent favored building “new or better nuclear weapons,” 13 percent favored maintaining current levels, and 4 percent were unsure....
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