why do countries have nuclear weapons?
- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Well first it started with the Manhattan Project in America during World War II. The US developed the first weaponized nuclear devices and used them on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
After the war, the US and USSR got into an arms race and they figured that whoever had the most nukes would scare the other side into not fighting. This is called "Assured Destruction" or AD, since the person who fought a nuclear power would definitely get destroyed. Then after both sides had many nuclear weapons, they decided never to use them based on the principle of "Mutually Assured Destruction" or MAD, which means that if one fired, the other would fire, and the world would be destroyed, meaning nobody wins.
During this time and after the fall of the Soviet Union, several other countries learned how to make nuclear weapons. They pretty much treat them as a deterrent using AD, because the odds are they'll use them against a country without nukes. However, India and Pakistan (which are enemies) both have nukes and so they use the MAD formula, not the AD.
Israel is a country that refuses to confirm or deny if it has nuclear weapons, which is a strategic policy known as "deliberate ambiguity." Basically, they are saying "maybe we do maybe we don't..." because admitting one or the other would have negative consequences.
But because of the political, environmental, and just terrible nature of nuclear weapons, it's unlikely any respectable government would use them because of the backlashes. The exceptions to "respectable" are North Korea and Iran, the former of which definitely has nuclear weapons and the latter which is trying to make them. These countries have the potential to not care about the rest of the world and use nukes against their enemies.
Fortunately, making nuclear weapons requires a lot of money, resources, and science. This is why many countries do not have nuclear weapons.
The world has a few "nuclear non-proliferation" treaties in place, like between the US and Russia, where they don't make more nukes and they get rid of a lot of the ones they already had. I don't know the details, but you can look it up. This is a step in the right direction because nuclear war is not war, it's just total destruction.
But anyway, that's why there are nukes.Source(s): Look up anything on a topic called "GAME THEORY." Don't be fooled by the "game" part of the title.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Don't assume that all countries have nuclear weapons for the same reasons. The original reason to build the first atomic weapon was the fear that Nazi Germany would build one first and then conquer the world.
The reason to use the first atomic weapon was to try to reduce or eliminate large numbers of casualties in a conventional invasion of Japan.
It can be hard to fathom why some countries want them. North Korea, for instance, needs to feed its people and modernize its economy. Its economic problems are so bad that millions of people have died from them...but it still could find money to build a truly sub-standard A-bomb (only 600 kilotons! The Hiroshima bomb was 20,000 kilotons!).
Some people think that the USA's talk of building "bunker-buster" A-bombs constituted a breaking of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, in which the USA undertook to (with other nations, and among other things) not threaten non-nuclear powers with nuclear weapons that had signed the treaty. The USA was blathering about "regime change" and "bunker-busters" a lot 8 to 10 years ago.
- OnikaLv 44 years ago
The long term goal is to slowly decrease the number of nuclear weapons down to none but once the genie is out of the bottle, it is hard to put it back in. The main issue is control. So far, the nuclear-capable countries have maintained control of their inventory (or so we all hope) and have kept their government stable enough not to let a despot in that couldn't care less about releasing a nuclear warhead/bomb. Also, these countries are not in so dire of economic straits that they have considered (or so we hope again) selling nuclear weapons to para-military/terrorist organizations. The fewer countries that have nuclear weapons, the safer the world is as a whole.
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- Anonymous5 years ago
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- 1 decade ago
It's playing on fear.
If you have a twig, but I have a big stick you're not going to mess around with me.
But then sometimes I have a big stick and other people have a big stick too, so we eye each other down and make threats and scare the crap out of one another and everyone that has twigs (aka the Cold War lol).
The Nuclear Weapon is the Big Stick of the 21st century.
(Thus, The Big Stick is the nuclear weapon of the Stone Age)
Hoped my ramblings but into perspective!
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Call it a measure of security and power. They should never have been invented, but can't get rid of them either. Could you imagine if the great powers decided to get rid of their nuclear weapons, while others would create some to threaten nations? Nuclear weapons were created out of fear, since WWII.
- birdieLv 61 decade ago
Mostly because the US decided they should have them and has lent them money or technology for it. They lend your money by the way. If we give 10 billion to Pakistan (like GWB did) they are required to buy certain weapons with the money (yours) Those weapons have to do with who donated money to the recent crooks in our government.
I hope and PREDICT that there will be a new interactive "game" on the net from now on that will combine info on Corporate Campaign Donations to elected officials and subsequent weapons sales...Hey it would be fun and a multi-level on-line game!
- Glentoran_FCLv 51 decade ago
its called a nuclear detterent, your less likely to attack a country with nuclear weapons with one that doesnt
- remowlmsLv 71 decade ago
Up to this point in history, they have been used as a deterrent to keep from being attacked - a defensive weapon only. That would change if certain nations were to develop the technology...