November 30, 2022

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We must hope that aggressors fear the cruel logic of nuclear weapons

We must hope that aggressors fear the cruel logic of nuclear weapons

Debate: In these times, we have no choice but to believe that the aggressors trying to deter the world with nuclear weapons are themselves deterred by the consequences of using such weapons.

Leaders of authoritarian countries know that the first use of nuclear weapons is likely to be a throwback to themselves.
  • Harald Liebich
    Harald Liebich

    Textbook author, Hjelmeland

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In the 1950s, the world became aware that all sides would lose in a nuclear war, as the result would be widespread civilian suffering and devastation, as well as uninhabitable land due to long-term radioactive contamination and climatic disasters.

By that time, Great Britain had conducted its first nuclear test in October 1952. In the same month, the United States exploded The world’s first hydrogen bombIt has an explosive power 500 times greater than that of the Nagasaki bomb. The Soviets followed this up with the detonation of a hydrogen bomb the following year.

When the Cold War ended, the arms race between the great powers seemed like a closed chapter. The relaxation that followed did not last. The contradictions between the great powers have increased in the past decade. Military rearmament and the modernization of nuclear weapons send signals to a more tense international threat situation. Russia is exploding from nuclear weapons in its warlike rhetoric against Ukraine.

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In a military analysis, researchers concluded that the nation needs less than 100 atomic bombs to achieve nuclear deterrence. Already in the 1960s, the great powers realized that an increase in nuclear strike power did not provide any additional military gains. It makes no military sense to multiply the capacity for mass destruction on a global scale by using nuclear weapons.

In the 1960s, the first agreements on restrictions were made in the arms race, but disarmament policy as such has been vacillating to this day, and many nuclear agreements have been suspended in recent years. Today, 1,800 nuclear missiles are ready to launch within a few minutes, and they have a total explosive power equivalent to 50,000 Hiroshima bombs. These bombs make up Only 10% of the total arsenal.

Leaders of authoritarian countries, despite their aggressive and irresponsible military conquests, nevertheless realize that the first use of nuclear weapons is likely to backfire on themselves. We currently have no alternative but to allow the abusers to deal with this reality.

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