Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Nuclear Conundrum



List of States with Nuclear Weapons
There are currently eight states that have successfully detonated nuclear weapons. Five are considered to be "nuclear weapons states," an internationally recognized status conferred by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). In order of acquisition of nuclear weapons these are: the United States of America, Russia (formerly the Soviet Union), the United Kingdom, France and the People's Republic of China. Since the formulation of the NPT, three non-signatory states of the NPT have conducted nuclear tests: India, Pakistan, and purportedly North Korea. Additionally, Israel is also strongly suspected to have an arsenal of nuclear weapons though it has refused to confirm or deny this, and there have been reports that over 200 nuclear weapons might be in its inventory. This status is not formally recognized by international bodies as none of these four countries are currently signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iran has been developing uranium enrichment technology and stands accused by the United Nations of doing so for weapons purposes.

History of Nuclear Weapons

The United States was the first country to develop nuclear weapons with the Manhattan Project, from 1942 to 1946, where they won the race for the weapon with Germany and Japan. The United States was the first and remains the only country to have used nuclear weapons, in WWII, on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, on August 6, 1945, and August 9, 1945. The bombs together killed roughly 214,000 people, the majority civilians. Dropping the bombs arguably ended WWII early, preventing the planned invasion of Japan and saving many American and Japanese lives.

MAD

In the Cold War that followed WWII, Russia first developed nuclear weapons in 1949. Eventually, Russia and the United States had so many nuclear weapons that they could destroy each other in any all-out nuclear confrontation. This led to a kind of uneasy peace guaranteed by MAD (mutually assured destruction), the fear that the use of nuclear weapons by any country will also lead to its own destruction, by the sure retaliation of the attacked state.

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Since this time, the rest of the nuclear club has developed its nuclear weapons while avoiding using them again because of MAD. MAD has worked so far because all the countries with nuclear weapons, however illogical they may seem at times, appear to fear being destroyed. Another thing that has kept nuclear weapons from being used is that people all over the globe have come to the conclusion that Hirhoshima and Nagasaki were so horrible that nuclear bombs should never be used again. Plus, the civilized world now believes that targeting innocent civilians in war is no longer acceptable.

The Breakdown of MAD

Despite several attempts at curbing the development and spread of nuclear weapons, there are still enough of them in the world now to destroy the earth several times over. Plus, as was mentioned in the opening paragraph of this post, these kinds of weapons are now in the hands of eight or nine states.

MAD is still working, evidently, but the big fear is that one day soon it will no longer apply. When North Korea and Iran develop their full arsenals of nuclear weapons, these WMD's will be in the hands of rogue states, who have disregarded world opinion and appear unpredictable and even dangerous in their aggressive postures toward their neighbors. Iran, for example, has vowed to destroy Israel, another nuclear state.

Plus, terrorists like Al-Queda have been trying to obtain nuclear weapons for some time now. Unscrupulous characters in Russia, Korea or Iran could sell or give nuclear weapons to the terrorists. The terrorists, as evidenced by the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. World Trade Center Towers, seem unconcerned with killing innocent civilians, and unafraid even of their own destruction. They effectively lost a whole country, Afghanistan, but continue to proliferate underground. MAD does not seem to work with them.

It would take one nuclear bomb to destroy Israel. It would take about eight to effectively cripple the United States. It would take one in the U.S. to effect a catastrophe bigger than Katrina.

Iran and North Korea

Present world tactics to stop Iran and North Korea from developing and stockpiling nuclear weapons are useless. Both countries have every reason to enter the nuclear club, and the world is not united enough to punish them to the point where they will give up their ambitions. Both Iran and North Korea see what happened in Afghanistan and Iraq, and figure that this could not have happened had these countries possessed nuclear weapons. They are correct. Plus, having nuclear weapons gains a country respect and financial reward. Unfortunately, this is the truth.

Solutions

Our present solution to the nuclear problem is to try to keep the number of nuclear weapons in the world stable, or decrease it; and to stop nuclear proliferation, especially into the hands of rogue states. This tactic clearly is breaking down.

If the world bans nuclear weapons entirely, will this help? The problem is that some countries will not go along with this, or will keep nuclear weapons secretly. Then, the countries that gave up their weapons will be at a disadvantage. This will be the worst case for the world. All the good nations will be defenseless and all the bad ones will be able to destroy the good ones.

What is the solution? I am not smart enough to say. There is no country on earth that has been smart enough to say.

The United States continues to tilt at windmills in its quest to keep Iran and Korea out of the nuclear club. I wish us well in this, but I don't see that we will succeed. These two countries will have nuclear weapons.

Plus, MAD will no longer work with the terrorists.

So, we're in an impossible situation.

I suggest we continue to think. We must come up with a solution. We should not give up in trying to keep Iran and North Korea out of the nuclear club, but we also need a vision that goes beyond this. It is not enough for us to pray, since I believe that God has given us this conundrum as a test whether we deserve to survive as a species. The answer to our prayers, I believe, is that God wants us to solve this problem ourselves.

Rock


(*Wikipedia is always my source unless indicated.)

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10 comments:

eyechan said...

Hey Rock, just a quick question regarding something you said:

...the civilized world now believes that targeting innocent civilians in war is no longer acceptable.

I would very much like to know who exactly you consider to be part of the "civilized" world.

Phil said...

Hello Mr Rock, I'm glad to see that you have exempted U.S.A and Israel from the civilised world. I realise they may appear to be civilised but you hit the nail on the head with ''Plus, the civilized world now believes that targeting innocent civilians in war is no longer acceptable.''
This is the very reason that there is so much condemnation of Israels war with Lebanon and the U.S.A invasion of Ahfghanistan and Iraq. The needless death of hundreds of innocent civillians (and by no means in pleasent circumstances given Israels use of WMD). And tens of thousands cilivilians killed in Iraq. If you are trying the tactic 'an eye for an eye' you have gone way too far. There are way too many reports that come out of the middle east that begin with x number (usually double figures) of women and childrern killed in an Israeli/American air raid.

The civilised world condems the U.S.A and Israel for targeting civilians. Terrorists are better at distinguishing between civillian and miltary targets than Israel/U.S.A.

Cheers

Rock said...

eyechan, you said:

I would very much like to know who exactly you consider to be part of the "civilized" world.

I'm not very optimistic about our world at this time. I see the U.N. as being not very humane a lot of the time. It doesn't do much against things like Darfur, yet will condemn Israel day after day. It doesn't condemn Palestinian targeting of Israeli citizens. I think my definition also defines who is civilized. Whoever condemns targeting innocent civilians, whoever condemns terrorism, and whoever acts against it, is civilized.

Phil said...

Hello again Mr Rock.

May I ask of you a favour? In the interest of Truth can you please not censor this comment? Could you please post the link below? I'm not sure if you have sen this sort of imagery before. Some of it reminds me of scenes from 911, only difference is scale, the age of the victims and the constant bombardment of more bombs. The truth here Mr Rock is that by America partaking in this war they have reduced their credibilty as a civilised nation, as no civilised nation could inflict the pain and suffering in the link below. By no means is Iraq or any terrorist organisation (there is no such thing as a terrorist nation!!!)civilised but why bring yourselves down to their level?

Anyway heres the link, please allow your readers to be enlightened by this.

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0304/S00005.htm

Rock said...

Phil, here we part company. You're so far off in these comments, as is the rest of the world who believe these kinds of things, that it seems to me you live on another planet. The U.S.A., as opposed to the terrorists, targets military targets, not civilians. You've been reading too many left-wing sources, who hate America.

There is a difference between walking into a market full of housewives with a bomb strapped on, and firing at soldiers or terrorists who have invaded a neighborhood. Terrorists have learned the despicable tactic of using civilians as human shields.

Israel's situation is the same as ours. Recently, a whole neighborhood of Palestinians acted as a human shield to protect a group of terrorists who were lobbing missiles into Israel to kill Israeli civilians. What is Israel to do? Who is trying to kill civilians?

Yes, the recent war in Lebanon was sloppy. Israel's tactics are no longer supreme, so collateral damage was higher than it should have been. Israel still, though, does not target civilians--only if terrorists are hiding in their midst.

To make the U.S. the villain in Iraq and Afghanistan is the height of illogic. You really are under the illusion that American commanders sit around and say, "Oh look, a group of Iraqi civilians, let's bomb them"?

Where do you get these vicious ideas about such a good country? Ditto with Israel. You've got the typical liberal moral universe as your prism. You've flipped the good guys and the bad guys. White is black and black is white. These ideas of yours do more to kill people than all the bombs in the world.

Terrorists will read things like this and say "Look, it's working. Those leftists let us get away with killing women and children. Let's plan our next bombing." Your kind of thinking makes waging war against evil very difficult. The good guys can't sustain war efforts because of the lies you believe and perpetrate.

Do you condemn Palestinian bombing of Israeli citizens? Do you condemn 9/11? Do you condemn targeting civilians? Show me when and where we targeted civilians, as opposed to the terrorists, who do this as an everyday policy.

Until now, Phil, I didn't know your political orientation. Now, I know. You're a liberal, without a doubt.

You need a good dose of truth, Phil, and a moral compass.

Rock said...

Phil, you said:

May I ask of you a favour? In the interest of Truth can you please not censor this comment? Could you please post the link below?

Truth? I published this vicious site just to show what kind of liberal claptrap you read. Who are these people? Are they some of the human shields terrorists force to stay in war zones? They certainly aren't the targets of Americans. For you to believe this means you spend too much time on liberal and "progressive" sites. We are all sorry for any collateral damage caused by war.

If you really care for these young people in Iraq, then I'm sure you'll join with me in celebrating the end of Saddam's vicious rule in Iraq, and join with me and our American soldiers in hoping that the Shias and Sunnis will find the strength to defeat the people who are leaving bombs in markets to target children like this.

We are in Iraq to save children like this. You've got the good guys and bad guys mixed up Phil. It's astounding.

Sites like this are such obvious propaganda tools of evil people, how can you fall for them?

God bless these children and good luck to America in making their lives free from violence.

Phil said...

Hello Mr Rock, I had no idea that you were so opposed to hearing what the rest of the world thinks about America. America is only one nation amongst many, I dont understand the isolationist idea that you have just presented?

''You're so far off in these comments, as is the rest of the world who believe these kinds of things, that it seems to me you live on another planet.''

Lets look at this statement logically. What you have said is that every country in the world has beliefs that are so far removed from what America beleives that they might as well be living on another planet!!! This makes no sense!!! American ideas are so far removed from the rest of the world that America should live on another planet is more appropriate!!!

Let me take the time to answer some of your questions. First question ''Recently, a whole neighborhood of Palestinians acted as a human shield to protect a group of terrorists who were lobbing missiles into Israel to kill Israeli civilians. What is Israel to do? Who is trying to kill civilians?''
In this regards to this event, is war not like a game of chess? you try and out smart your opponent? this was a very smart move by the Palestinians involved. More often than not, Israel does not offer a warning like they did in this case, and hence there is a huge civilian toll in Gaza. Let us also look at the facts as offered by wikipedia (you seem to trust them).

''As a result of the conflict, 1,191 Lebanese civilians were killed and 4,409 injured[22]. In addition, approximately 1,000,000 Lebanese were displaced and forced to flee to safer areas. On the Israeli side, 44 civilians were killed and approximately 1,350 injured. Estimates of the number of Hezbollah fighters killed range from 80 to 700, while 119 IDF soldiers were confirmed killed and approximately 400 injured.''

Only 80 700 Hezbollah fighters were killed. Compared to 119 IDF. I beleive Hezbollahs target was the IDF not civilians, they could have killed more civilians of they aimed at them. There are so many dead and injured Lebanese because of the IDF indisriminat bombing. Maybe they should have focused only on the hezbollah fighters.

Question 2, ''Where do you get these vicious ideas about such a good country? Ditto with Israel.'' The link I provided in my previous comment shows the result of liberation in Iraq, dead and dying civillians. Photos dont have, cant have, political bias. No matter how 'good' a country is, anything they do that results in the above is not 'good' in fact it is BAD. I have not picked up ideas from anywhere, I realise you may have seen the rest of the website and gathered the anti-american sentiments held in it. Yes it is a left wing publication, and it is not a reflection upon my idelogies. I have a fascination with photography. I could have provided you with a link with the same pictures if they appeared in any Publication produced by fox news, I just doubt their existence (please prove me wrong).

Fianl question, ''Do you condemn Palestinian bombing of Israeli citizens? Do you condemn 9/11? Do you condemn targeting civilians? Show me when and where we targeted civilians, as opposed to the terrorists, who do this as an everyday policy.'' terrorism does not always have to take the shape and form of bombing Mr Rock! Raping and murdering 14 year old girls is also a form of terrorism that could not have occured had there been no American occupation.
Here is further evidence to back up my point ''At least two Israeli fighter pilots have deliberately missed civilian targets in Lebanon as disquiet grows in the military about flawed intelligence, The Observer has learnt. Sources say the pilots were worried that targets had been wrongly identified as Hizbollah facilities.'' from http://observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,,1838437,00.html
There is no great conspiracy in the world, if there is war, there is death. If there is death, than the majority killed are civillians. Truth.

Phil said...

I dont beleive that those children pictured with their eyes bleeding and with limbs missing are targets. No, they are the result of poor intelligence. Their injuries and death are the result of American made bombs. To be sorry for collateral damage Mr Rock, is not enough. The world doesnt like what they see, I beleive these sorts of images are banned in America, would you like to see them banned Mr Rock? So nobody could feel sorry for the few terrorists that are killed amongst all those civillians?

You go round singing the praises of your troops that inflict this pain and suffereing, they must be real brave men. I myself pity them, being sent to a hell hole that they probably couldnt locate on a map before they left. They thought they were liberating Iraq. liberating a country that has been invaded and meddled with since before world war 1. Quite clearly not what they want. Even if it were, why wouldnt they now hate American Occupation because of what you are doing to their sons and daughters?

Mr Rock, These thoughts and ideas are not going to go away. You need to come up with better responses if you are going to keep any credibility. You can not get all aggresive defensive with comments like ''Truth? I published this vicious site just to show what kind of liberal claptrap you read.'' or ''You need a good dose of truth, Phil, and a moral compass.''
These sort of attacks are not responses one can use in any sort of debate before it dissolves into a mudslinging match. I want to debate ideas, lets keep our personalities out of this they are of no importance to this.

Rock said...

Phil, I've tried to use logic with you, but it doesn't seem to work. I find this all too common with liberals. I'm sorry you are trapped by these things you see and believe. I'll publish your comments but I honestly believe beliefs like yours cause suffering and death, and you besmirch the good guys and praise the bad guys. If logic would work with you I'd continue to use it. Otherwise, I'll restrain myself from doing what you said, descend into name-calling.

I just suggest that you broaden your reading to include sources that are valid and unbiased.

Rock

Rock said...

One more comment, Phil. I'm not here to prove anything to anyone. Proving things to people like you is impossible. Instead, I'm just hear to voice my opinion, based on a deliberate search for truth--rather than based on seeking evidence to promote my views.

You will come up with a thousand "proofs" that I am wrong. What you lack, though, is logic. You never answer any of my questions, except with an attack. I asked you to condemn bombing Israeli civilians, and you won't. It's amazing you defend tactics with the Palestinians that you use to condemn the Israelis. Facts will never get in the way of your biases.

I've expressed my opinion and suggested how you can broaden yourself. That's my only goal--not to convince you of anything. I just want to be an alternate voice in the world saying things to counter your kind of misinformation.

You are free to continue to believe the lies you believe. I can't force you, nor the mistaken people of the world, to see the truth. I can only proclaim it. It's up to you what to do with it. If your conscience is clear with what you have wrought on the world, then God bless you.

Rock