This post will review an article written by Francis J. Gavin on Nuclear proliferation and non-proliferation during the Cold War, making it one of the most relevant articles to this blog. F. Gavin received a masters and a Ph.D. in diplomatic history, and is now the first Frank Stanton Chair in Nuclear Policy studies and a professor in Political sciences at MIT. Nuclear strategy and arms control is one of his main interests and area of study. Showing how qualified and trusted his writing is and how relevant the article is. Continue reading “Francis J. Gavin article review.”
South Africa’s nuclear capabilities are ambiguous, both in terms of its reasons for developing the bomb and the secrecy surrounding the development. It has been suggested that South Africa’s development of the bomb was linked entirely to national ambition. It is perhaps plausible that South Africa developed the bomb simply to be as technologically advanced as possible, in order to equal great international superpowers, like the US and Russia. This mentality was enhanced by South Africa’s isolation in the 1970s and 80s, due to its domestic turmoil caused by the apartheid movement, making South African government more determined to prove themselves on an international scale.
Another perhaps more pragmatic reason for South Africa’s nuclear development was the political and military advantage of having nuclear weapons. The bomb for South Africa meant security; having a nuclear arsenal that could be revealed at the last minute would ensure foreign intervention, not necessarily support, if there was ever to be a Soviet attack on South Africa, given its anti-communist stance. This interpretation would explain the covert nature of South Africa’s nuclear weapons program as these plans would require secrecy in order to be successful. Continue reading “South Africa and the NPT”
Horizontal proliferation is the spread of nuclear weapons to new countries by banning the trade of nuclear arms and to stop any capability of producing nuclear weapons. From the first successful nuclear detonation in New Mexico in 1945 the spread of nuclear weapons has posed a serious threat that America sought to stop to best of their ability, with refusing to share this new technology in contrary to their previous agreement even with their close allies in Great Britain as they felt it was too much power. However, it can be seen earlier on that although they did not share this new technology it wasn’t till the 1960’s that they began to start to realise that they needed to come to an agreement with the rest of the world on how to stop proliferation. This came with the form of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty of 1968 banning the trading of nuclear weapons with states that did not have them, and to focus efforts towards finding sustainable energy resources rather than weapons. With all the countries in the world that had nuclear weapons at the time the signing the agreement it seemed like a success. Continue reading “Horizontal vs. Vertical proliferation.”
“One nuclear weapon exploded in one city – be it New York or Moscow, Islamabad or Mumbai, Tokyo or Tel Aviv, Paris or Prague- could kill hundreds of thousands of people. And no matter where it happens, there is no end to what the consequences might be- for our global safety, our security, our society, our economy, to our ultimate survival.” – President Barack Obama
The treaty on the Non-Proliferation of nuclear weapons (NPT) set out to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology as well as promote peaceful uses of nuclear energy. There are a handful of nations uninvolved in the treaty that have, or at least thought to have, developed nuclear weapons, these countries will be my focus, looking particularly at Israel and Pakistan and the controversy that surrounds their nuclear weapons programmes. The NPT came into force in 1970 with 190 parties having signed it, five of these were nuclear weapon states.
Deterrence theory in terms of nuclear weaponry is the idea that nuclear weapons are intended to deter other states from attacking with their nuclear weapons through the promise of retaliation and possibly mutually assured destruction, however when this theory comes into practice, does it hold up?
The beginning of the history of the atom bomb is usually associated with the successful test of the American atom bomb in June 1945. However, the history of the atom bomb begins earlier in time than this date if we consider the Science behind the bomb, which I consider as the starting point of the atom bomb.
Our first blog post is a timeline on the outline of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons from the early 1950s until the 1990s, along with a brief summary of present day events. To access this Prezi timeline, please follow the link below.