James R. Schlesinger, a man with a lot of experience in U.S. and global politics, is trying to open our eyes about the reality of the nuclear weapons and their use.
Mr. Schlesinger points out the importance of having nuclear weapons. According to him, nuclear weapons are used “every day… to deter our potential foes and provide reassurance to the allies to whom we offer protection.” While, his argument for nuclear weapons is pretty plausible, opponents would still say that a nuclear-free world is nuclear-free not just for the United States but also for its presumably potential adversaries, such as Russia, China and other countries. However, their counterargument looks rather weak and here’s why.
Countries that have, and/or are still developing nuclear weapons, are ones whose national security is at risk, especially if it is caused by a neighboring country. Such is the case with India and Pakistan, for example, who don’t get along, and Iran and Iraq as well. The situation in the Middle East doesn’t make much of a difference where Israel is being threatened of being wiped off the map by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and its neighbors are not friendly toward it either.
Merely having a well prepared army is not enough for the national security of countries like these and the great powers that they are allies with. The sole possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) has most likely prevented tons of military battles – including wars, and has therefore saved and mainteined hundreds of lives and stability respectively. It gets potential enemies to reconsider before declaring war.
Other reason not to want a nuclear-free world – not taking into consideration the nuclear power’s positive importance in producing electricity – is the impossibility of knowing that every country will destroy every WMD that it has. The world is not as small as we think it is as a result of the advance of science and technology, and there is most likely still too much information that even the secret services can’t have access to.
No WMDs is similar to no army
As I mentioned above, WMDs have contributed in preventing both individual military battles and ones that are parts of wars, therefore saving lives of innocent citizens and soldiers. It appears that the possession of WMDs protects soldiers and the rest, and soldiers protect the citizens from potential enemies while the police maintain order within the country. Politicians like former President Jimmy Carter who call for a nuclear-free world either want the people to think that it is possible, or know nothing about military conflicts and geopolitics. Their statements look like the ones that call for no wars whatsoever – a nice wish but one that is far from being attainable – and no wars will make the existence of national armies useless.
We have been systematically disillusioned that all nuclear weapons must be completely destroyed, so that we live in a safer world where wars are fewer and everything looks great. It’s high time that we stopped living in such a utopia and started being reasonable.