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The advent and proliferation of nuclear weapons distorted and changed the nature of international security. During the World Wars, nations like Germany were more aggressive and characterized by confrontations. With the end of Second World War emerged two super powers namely; The United States of America and The Socialist Soviet Republic.
These two nations possessed nuclear weapons. Experts warned that the use of nuclear weapons could bring devastating effects to the globe as nuclear weapons are deemed to cause havoc over a wide range. Instead of military confrontation, the two super powers turned to ideological clash, which sparked the cold war (Gallagher 45).
In the cold war, there was restrain from using weapons because of the threat on nuclear weapons, instead the two powers instigated conflicts in other parts of the world. This created tension and havoc in other parts of the world as the world was divided into two ideological canters. The first couple of years saw more political competition than military.
They went at each other at the UN summits, articulating their own formulas on how the then post war world should have looked like, and the best methods for ensuring development. Later militarization became a hot issue. This is mainly after communism took over China, the Truman Doctrine and the Korean War. The spread of communism across Asia saw the US becoming more wary.
When the communist North Korea invaded the capitalist Republic of Korea in the south, Truman feared that this would lead to the south being taken over, by communism. He authorized the then general in charge of Japan to offer the south support. The US forces entered the war to deter the north from conquering the south, which brought more tension and verbal threats.
During the 1960s, the USSR had started to erect missiles in Cuba. Prior to this, the two super powers had signed treaties that no nation should mobilize missiles without notifying the other. The Soviet erected missiles in Cuba without the knowledge of the US.
When US intelligence discovered what the Soviet had been doing, there emerged a standoff between the two nations something that is touted would have sparked World War 3 very easily. However, the Soviet withdrew the missiles from Cuba and war had been averted. Nuclear possession was the sole reason why these nations were very cautious not to enter into military confrontations and world peace had been safeguarded.
As noted, the fact that the two superpowers possessed nuclear weapons was one of the main reason they avoided direct confrontation during the cold war. In fact the two nations entered into treaties on nuclear non-proliferation, with nuclear weapons manufacturing being banned, limiting nuclear weapons possession to the five nations that already possessed them namely the US, Russia, Britain, France and China.
In the contemporary modern world nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction has been discouraged. Nations that are deemed to support and encourage nuclear proliferation are internationally rebuked, at times sanctions being imposed. Iran is a good example of a nation that is perceived to be in the process of making nuclear weapons.
The Iranian government is widely condemned with sanctions being imposed. Military action has not been ruled. The Iranian regime has threatened to attack Israel something that has threatened international peace (Lambers 70).
The advent of nuclear weapons has changed the nature and sources of international peace. Emphasis has been shifted on the need to discourage any nuclear weapons proliferation. The US attacked Iraq claiming that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction thus a threat to its national peace. The Iraq nation has become a failed state since then, becoming a haven for terrorist groups. The rise of terrorist groups has threatened the peace of the region and that of the world in general.
Gallagher, Nancy. Arms Control: New Approaches to Theory and Policy. New York: Frank Cass Publishers, 1998.
Lambers, William. Nuclear Weapons. New York: William Lambers, 2006.