Friday, April 3, 2009

The Problem with Nuclear Disarmament

Photo: Trinity Test, 1945, US D.O.E. (Mannhattan Project)

In 1945, not long after testing this atomic bomb, America dropped dual nukes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, bringing to a swift end a war that the Japanese were planning to draw out for years. With these same bombs, it held down an expansionist and empowered Russia through the 40's, and created a culture of meek innocent dependency among all the other powers of the world, even England. When stable-headed Russia acquired it's own atom bomb, however, it was finally able to regain steam and act quickly to advance itself across the globe.

Now, America did not have the worst intentions. For the most part, after 4 long and bloody years of war, we just wanted peace. We were even willing to concede a little to both independence oriented peoples like the Fillipinos and expansionist empires like the Soviets, just so long as they realized we had Mr. Bang-Bang and thus fighting us was worthless; we did not wish to overuse this power, however.

And when the Soviets did acquire their own bomb, they were led by a bloodthirsty but levelheaded and slightly paranoid dictator named Joseph Stalin who realized -or at least agonized- that, even if he won a nuclear shell game against the US, he would be weakened by the fight and risk rebellion or China.

Now, let's switch roles here. Let's say that, instead of the US acquiring an atom bomb, it had been Germany. They would've tested it over Isreal, London, Moscow or New York and then imposed their will on the nations they were fighting. Even if some of the Western powers continued to fight, one of them submitting would have guaranteed a much bloodier, lenghtier conflict at the least, and chances are that the additional length would have made it possible for Hitler to build yet more bombs.

Let's switch another role. The US still made the atom bomb, but instead of cool as gun-steel Stalin at the helm, you had a hot-tempered dick like Ahmnehjahd. The US finds out that they have atom bombs, and instead of standing back and saying, "yeah, they figured us out, it's time for round two," he says, "start the countdown."

The best possible outcome of no nuclear weapons is exactly what happened before, with a single, selfish or desperate nation (preferably desperate) acquiring a nuclear weapon to threaten another nation, and a cool-headed second competitor outrunning them cooly and successfully.

The most likely outcome is global oppression. Nations willingly submit, just as they did to the US, but this nation is not as kind and had intentions far worse then anything in FDR's heart. A kind of globlal slavery ensues. The only separation between this and the best possible outcome is intention.

The worst possible outcome is the competitor acquires their competing weapon, is found out, does not react smoothly, and both nations launch, creating at the very least destruction of innocent life on a level beyond Darfur or Rwanda, at the worst, nuclear ahnillation of our species, all hinging on the effectiveness of production.

Mankind has already cheated nuclear death once. Please, Mr. President, don't put humanity through this again.

1 comment:

bereezy said...

The idea of Disarmament gets pretty scary when you realize that if not every single country does it %100 then we end up with at least a temporary situation like the one you described. The idea of complete disarmament seems kinda pointless to me considering that no government in their right mind would EVER get rid of every single bomb, and even if they did, making a new one would be pretty easy. As much as I wish we could ignore the idea of nuclear holocaust, the most effective way to prevent it is to scare everyone else so they don't. Or make a magical missile-destroying lazer. If you're into that kinda stuff.