A new era in nuclear armament

Countries with atomic bombs continue to increase their nuclear weapon stockpiles. Needless to say, this is not good for the world. It is estimated that Russia already has 4,489 atomic bombs, the United States 3,708, China 410, France 290, Britain 225, Pakistan 170, India 164, Israel 90 and North Korea 30. On the other hand, last year alone, China produced 60 new atomic bombs, Russia 12, Pakistan five, North Korea five and India four. While the United Kingdom plans to increase its stockpile by 45 to 260, China has already started production to produce 1,000 new atomic bombs by 2035.

Undoubtedly, this mobilization will trigger other nuclear powers such as the United States, France and Israel. It would also be an incentive for countries like Iran, which is trying to produce atomic bombs, and some other countries that aspire to do so, to put their plans into practice. There is a theory/doctrine, namely mutually assured destruction (MAD), arguing that the existence of nuclear weapons prevents nuclear war. According to the theory, countries prefer not to fight each other because they know that in a nuclear war, they would perish together.

Perhaps it sounds reasonable, but if one country catches the other off guard, or if one of them has unwise mad rulers, no one can prevent a war. Also, this theory applies to countries with nuclear weapons. Nuclear power is not afraid of a country that does not have an atomic bomb and will not hesitate to detonate the bomb if necessary. Thus, the theory does not apply to every country. The theory also recognizes that not every country can ensure its own security without having atomic bombs.

The only solution is that the nuclear powers must neutralize the atomic bombs, but this is no longer possible. In fact, these countries do not hesitate to escalate the situation. The U.S. and the U.K., in particular, have not hesitated to provoke Russia, the country with the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons (the Russians are not innocent, either). The very same two countries are also pushing China into a corner over Taiwan. Countries like China and Russia seem to have decided to increase their nuclear stockpiles because they do not trust Western powers.

Bad for non-nuclear nations

The resumption of nuclear armament is not good news for countries without nuclear weapons. While countries with atomic bombs fight each other through other countries or proxies, they do not show any mercy toward non-nuclear countries.

However, technology is changing fast, facilitating the production of the most difficult items including nuclear weapons. When Robert Oppenheimer and his team detonated the first U.S.-made atomic bomb, it changed the course of warfare on account of the U.S. dramatically. Nevertheless, the Soviet Union caught the U.S. in this race within 10 years, followed by other countries with either the help of the U.S. or the Soviet Union. While collaboration was the key factor to have a nuclear bomb in the second half of the last century, the new millennium’s technological developments almost enable the self-production of nuclear bombs.

Currently, almost all physicians know how to produce an atomic bomb theoretically. Even a curious ordinary person can get enough information from the internet. The only but biggest missing part is to put it into practice, in other words, to enrich Uranium, but given that poorer countries (e.g. Pakistan, North Korea and India) achieved it in one way or another, it is not difficult for a middle power to produce a nuclear bomb.

Physicians argue that if there is no hindrance by great powers, many countries can produce atomic bombs, though the timing may differ. Thus, if an ordinary European, Middle Eastern, Latin American or Far Eastern country decides to produce a nuclear bomb, they will certainly do it. Also, since nuclear powers are at different international political poles, nuclear bomb-seeking countries can easily get know-how from either of them.

As current circumstances provoke countries to take precautions for their security, more states may attempt to have nuclear stockpiles whether covertly or overtly. Also, some of them will probably reach the capacity to produce but wait for an imminent threat.

Source: Daily Sabah

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