Free «US Security Policy and Nuclear Proliferation» Essay Sample

US Security Policy and Nuclear Proliferation


The inscription of this essay has been based on the idea of the film “Countdown to Zero”. This is a film that was produced to explain some of the effects that may occur in the world as a result of acquiring and using nuclear weapons. In addition, the film has shown that since the end of the Second World War, the likelihood of these weapons to be used has increased massively. This film has proven that the human race is in danger in terms of its existence. The reason that can be attributed to this is nuclear technology. All around the world, many nations are naïve and clueless about dangers that lie in the acquisition of these weapons. This is the idea on which the essay has been built.

This essay has explained the policy of the United States on the use, acquisition, research, and development of nuclear weapons and their comparison to the global situation today. Being the superpower it is, the US is under considerable pressure from the rest of the world. There are activists that know of the danger that lies in the acquisition of such weapons in the world. They understand that the human race is in danger due to the mere existence of such weapons. Therefore, the US has been urged to come up with a policy that favors disarmament of nuclear weapons. This is a policy that has the ability to stop any nuclear research and advancement. With the increase in terrorism and other activities that terrify the world, this is a measure that may seem likely. However, recent events have seen little likelihood of the implementation of such a policy. Treaties have been signed against these weapons by nations such as Iran. However, with the war going on, the honoring of such treaties may be in jeopardy. This has been widely analyzed and discussed in this essay.

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History of Nuclear Weapons in the US and Their Policy

The US has been involved in most battles and wars in the period after the Cold War. For example, the battle between North and South Vietnam was not a concern of the US. It was a battle between the two nations trying to fight for, as well as against communism. The US supported the South, which did not want advancement of communism. In turn, China supported the North since they were promoting their ideology of communism. This meant that there was an immediate clash of interests between the Chinese and the Americans. They had to be in a war, which did not belong to them. This is just one example of wars that the US has decided to get involved in. Over time, the US has been viewed as the pace setter when it comes to war. Where it can use force to institute measures, they have been known to do it. This is the reason why the issue of nuclear weapons is laid on them. However, there are various setbacks that have been experienced in the recent past (Perry & Schlesinger, 2009).

The republic of Iran has been the major threat when it comes to weapons of mass destruction. They are the nation that seems to have interest in the development of these weapons. In the 1990s, they started making real progress towards this endeavor. The Shah’s nuclear program was known by people all over the world. It was caused by the threat that had been posed to Iran by Sadam Hussein. However, this was just used as an excuse to advance their nuclear weapon programs and come up with ways through which they could accumulate power. This is because after the war was over in 2003, they still pursued some of these interests. However, at this time, there was no clear threat to the world by nuclear weapons. It was not a major issue of concern with regards to Iran.

With time, the US started considering Iran as a potential enemy. The danger that lied in having such an enemy was massive. In 1995, the US activated the 5th fleet. This is when they established leverage over Iran by being located within their shores. Even if Iran did not have the intention to develop nuclear weapons, this was a sufficient reason. They were under threat and felt that the US was overpowering them and controlling most of their activities. This is when they started their activities aimed at developing nuclear weapons. In addition to this, President Clinton imposed sanctions on Iran in 1996. He signed this act to impose sanctions on this nation, along with Libya. Starting in 2003, the US seemed to be a real threat to Iran. It was during this time that Iran ensured that they needed to develop their own power. They put a lot of research in nuclear technology and made significant advances. The world realized that this was a potential threat to the survival of the human race (Nichols, 2013).

During the Cold War, the US and the Soviet Union were in a constant competition for domination. However, after this war, the US did its best to come up with ways to make Russia an ally. For some nations that did not have power, adversity could be afforded. However, having Russia as an adversary would increase general tension in the world. Owing to this fact, there was the Moscow treaty. The nuclear forces that were not strategic in the US were reduced. They believed that reduction of nuclear forces in the world was better for everyone. However, they still believed that they were at a risk of attack. For this reason, they retained some nuclear weapons for the sake of risk management. However, they would not use this in an attack. With time, the US has found out that the maintenance of friendship is more difficult than adversity. Over time, Russia has increased its power and dominance in the world. First, it is important to realize that Russia has the military that is nuclear tipped. In addition, they control a large share of oil reserves that the world depends on (Woolsey, 2009). Therefore, they have come up with their own initiatives and can afford to have their own views in different cases. For example, the war in Ukraine has threatened to cause the use of nuclear warfare. This has jeopardized the possibility of the US deciding that nuclear weapons should not be used.

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Even as this discussion continues, it is vital to mention that the US is in possession of nuclear weapons. This can be attributed to two major factors. First, security in the US is unpredictable. They do not know what would happen in the minds of their enemies. For this reason, they think that they have to develop nuclear weapons in case they may need them. National security in the US is also dependent on these weapons. Therefore, the strategy to reduce these weapons becomes a major challenge. As mentioned above, the major aim of this research is to find out whether the US government may come up with a way through which nuclear weapons in the world can be eliminated. However, it is clear that this would be a difficult task. The US sees the need to have nuclear weapons. The stream of events since the September 11 attack has shown that they are under a considerable threat. The fact that Russia is making advances that challenge the power of the US also shows them that they are not in complete dominance. Therefore, they have to use force to eliminate these weapons. The use of force is a factor that could trigger the use of these weapons. Therefore, this is a major setback that reduces the likelihood of the application of this strategy by the US with respect to other nations in the world.

US Government/ Mainstream Position

The position of the US government on the issue of nuclear weapons requires an explanation why they have nuclear weapons. First, there have been numerous attacks that have been planned against the US. In case of these attacks, the US has used its nuclear weapons to discourage and threaten countries that may be planning these attacks. This does not only help the US. They have also protected all their allies in Europe, Asia, and other countries. However, the issue of allies is one that may explain the interest of the US with reference to nuclear weapons. The US has shown that it has interest in protecting its allies. However, they have always advocated for the reduction of incentives that can aid them in acquiring nuclear weapons. This is not because the US wants to be the dominant power. Instead, it is because they realize the danger that lies behind the exposure of many nations to nuclear weapons. These are weapons that can lead to countless deaths of people around the world. There are nations that may not understand this. However, some like Iran and Japan understand the importance of the reduction of weapons of mass destruction. This is because they have been hit by them in the past and suffered the consequences of their actions bitterly (Committee on International Security and Arms Control, & National Academy of Sciences, 1997).

The stand of the US on nuclear weapons requires identification of nations that pose a significant threat with reference to the possession of nuclear weapons. There are international norms and values that have been put in place to ensure that weapons of mass destruction are not used to launch attacks on each other. In 2006, North Korea conducted research on nuclear weapons. They declared that they had acquired these weapons and the world knew of this. For this reason, they were viewed as a potential threat. Iran is the other nation that is known to violate global policies on nuclear weapons. This is because they exchange important and sensitive information with regards to nuclear weapons and their advancement. The nonproliferation treaty that was signed in the past should be respected by all countries if the policy is to work efficiently and effectively. However, these nations have not shown any cooperation on the issue. This has created a major setback. The world does not have a common body that governs them. It is the view of powerful countries such as the US and Russia that ensures that certain policies are applied at any given time. However, the fact that they are also under the threat of being affected by these rebellious nations renders them less powerful. Therefore, they have to worry about their security before they think about general wellbeing of other nations around the globe (Woolf, 2010).

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There was the holding of the Six-Party Talks, which involved North Korea in a huge way. This was when they decided to cooperate on the global need for the reduction of nuclear weapons in the possession of different countries. They agreed to disable their nuclear programs in a bid to act as an example to other nations and assist in denuclearization of different nations and reduce the amount of nuclear weapons that are at the disposal of different nations in the world. However, this is just a declaration, which may be as good as the lack of the same. Therefore, the US has tried to follow up and ensure that this nation has lived up to its promises. They need to declare themselves as a non-nuclear state for full compliance. However, Iran has proven to be a huge hurdle. This is because they pretend to comply, but they do not. This is because they refuse to reveal their past progress on nuclear weapons. They have continued to carry out their research and come up with ways through which they can increase their power and dominance. On various occasions, they have been caught buying and testing weapons that may be used with this technology. This is something that causes the reason for worry.

In some cases, there are states that have dangerous motives and intentions with respect to the US and its allies. However, they are not willing to take the risk that is involved in these actions. This is because the US does not treat any acts of terrorism lightly. Therefore, these nations take advantage of others, which may be willing to take extremist measures for the sake of revenge or any related reason. The US, according to their policy, has to deal with extremists. This is because they are the ones who have found the courage to cease terror among innocent citizens. However, these are just treated as mercenaries who have been sent to execute intentions of another party. The US holds the mastermind accountable for these actions. Therefore, they have to deal with perpetrators of terrorism acts. For example, Hezbollah has experienced a terrorist threat in the recent past. There are people who may have different views of people who have planned the attacks. However, it has been established that the two major nations that were behind this threat were Iran and Syria. These are people that the US holds accountable for their actions. In the case of nuclear warfare, it is easy to see that the same thing would apply. The use of these weapons would not show people that planned such attacks. This is because it could as well be another scenario where proxies have been used. This is the reason as to why the US does not only intend to deal with nations that possess such weapons. Instead, it wants to stop further research on the same issue. They believe that there should be no taking of chances when it comes to these weapons (Cimbala, 2006).

There are some states that are not in NATO. These are states that cannot be controlled easily. It is hard for the US to enforce treaties against nuclear weapons. However, they can still use their influence on the same. There are some nations that can be used as an example in this fact. China is one of them. This is one nation whose poser has been increasing through the increase and advancement in technology, as well as improvement of their economy. In the Asia-Pacific region, the US has no much interest. However, the influence of China in this region cannot be exaggerated. The US tries to encourage China to enforce peaceful measures in this region. They have done the same on the issue of nuclear weapons. They urge them to convince other nations in the region. This way, they will achieve the much desired peace and be instrumental in the fight against nuclear weapons (Utgoff, 2000).

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Critical Interpretation

For countries that have power, the US always finds ways to negotiate. However, this is not the case for countries without power. Before any criticism is raised, it is important to remember the main aim of nuclear disarmament. Peace is the major motivating factor. There is a global desire for peace. This can be important in ensuring that the world is a habitable place. However, this cannot be allowed by weapons of mass destruction. The US has taken numerous measures to obtain authorization from world organizations such as the UN. However, their power in such bodies remains a huge question. Furthermore, there are some nations that are not a part of these bodies. The campaign against terrorism and weapons of mass destruction should be as peaceful as possible. In some cases, the use of force may only make things worse. Working on paranoia can cause them to take measures that can be considered as hasty and lead to more casualties. A perfect example was that of Iraq. When the US suspected that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, they obtained a permission to attack this nation in search for these weapons (Doyle, 2011).

However, they were not found even many years after the attacks. This may go to show two things. Firstly, information and findings of the US were inaccurate. Secondly, it may show that they had different motives. In a bid to fulfil these motives and still appeal to the humanitarian community, they used their power in the UN to obtain the authorization to attack Iraq. There were many casualties in this war. The negative factor is that no weapons were found. One might argue that Sadam’s reign deserved to end. This may be true. As a matter of fact, this should be a topic for discussion in another research. However, the fact remains that the attacks were not relevant with reference to the reason why they had been authorized. Therefore, there is a great need for transparency. These are mistakes that should not be afforded in the war against nuclear weapons. This is because it will cause other nations to lose their trust in the US. When this happens, it will mean that the main character of this campaign has no power. This could lead to chaos and lack of peace, i.e. a counter result of what is expected (Carranza, 2013).

The fact that the US is using the same nuclear weapons they campaign against for their defense is hypocritical. If they have nuclear weapons, it means that they have decided to conduct research on them. For this reason, it would be dictatorial for them to urge other nations to desist from the same. This can be shown by powerful countries that have noticed the flaw in their strategy. Russia is one of these nations. The US finds picking a fight with Russia disastrous. This is because the nation has declared possession of nuclear weapons. Just like the US, they have claimed that these are defensive strategies. President Vladimir Putin has stated that his nation is ready to use nuclear warfare when it comes to defending itself. Therefore, they believe that they also have the right to have these weapons.