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traci asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 4 years ago

1. What proposal does Eisenhower make in his speechregarding the use of atomic material?

2. What was the purpose of Eisenhower's proposal?

3. Why did Eisenhower think it was important that the Soviet Union be "principally involved" in the plan he proposed?

1 Answer

  • 4 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    In his December 1953 speech before the United Nations (known as the "Atoms for Peace" speech), President Eisenhower proposed that each nuclear power begin to give away an identical amount of its nuclear material (uranium, plutonium, etc.) to the custody of the Atomic Energy Commission (which is a body set up and run by the United Nations), and that the AEC would then be responsible firstly for keeping the material from being used in weaponry, of course, but also for determining peaceful uses for the material (such as nuclear power), and putting the material to that use for the benefit of all nations.

    It was not really Eisenhower who suggested that the USSR be "principally involved", however. Earlier in the year, the UN had passed a resolution using those words, calling on the nuclear-empowered nations to begin talking to each other and take steps, in which all those nations would be "principally involved", to ensure peace. All Eisenhower did was propose what he thought would be a good plan for those discussions, and said that this is what he would like to suggest to the Soviets.

    (Obviously, though, Eisenhower and everyone else agreed that the USSR should be "principally involved" in any plan, since it was important to the Free World to control the nuclear capabilities of the Soviets. And of course it would have been foolish for Eisenhower to commit the USA to giving away its nuclear material without an agreement from the Soviet Union to do the same; this would have led, likely, to certain weapons superiority for the Soviet Union, at a time when the two powers weren't 100% sure how many weapons and how much material each other held.)

    Under Eisenhower's plan, each year, a larger and larger amount of material would be contributed by the nuclear nations, hopefully so that (a) nuclear weapons would be kept to a minimum (b) the peaceful uses for nuclear material would be well-researched and (c) peaceful use would be shown to be better than wartime use, encouraging peace, and encouraging nuclear disarmament.

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