It’s true that Nuclear weapons are terrible devices that can cause unimaginable amounts of suffering and destruction but would the world be safer if we lived without them ? Although they are dangerous, we have to take into account of how Nuclear weapons does away with the prospects of full scale wars. An example of this is that if we didn’t have them in the 1950s or 60s, the U.S. and Soviet Union would have went to war with each other just as how rival powers usually do. Instead, the presence of Nuclear weapons have made the cost of war all to high. According to Dylan Matthews of Vox articles, “India and Pakistan used to fight brutal wars with some regularities, the pace and scale of conflicts declined significantly after Pakistan acquired nuclear weapons, giving itself a deterrent against an already nuclearized India”. After getting their hands on nukes, India and Pakistan’s behavior mellowed down a bit. This further proves that there has never been a nuclear attack between two states that possess them. “Because the threat of nuclear exchange raises the cost of conflict, scholars have argued that nuclear weapons deter international war and may have contributed to an unprecedented period of great power strategic stability”, states Kroenig of the article Nuclear Superiority and The Balance of Resolve; Explaining Nuclear Crisis Outcomes.
Nuclear weapons deter aggression by preventing adversaries from taking action that initiate retaliation. According to Sechser of the article, Crisis Bargaining and Nuclear Blackmail, “the possession of nuclear weapons is not likely to bolster the effectiveness of a challenger’s compellent threats”. Nuclear weapons have limitations as tools in compellence. First is that it would be difficult to seize land and other objects with nuclear weapons. Second, launching a nuclear attack would Provoke sanctions, encourage nuclear proliferation, and provoke other states to align against you. Just as we have discussed in class, if war is a means to an end then it is always inefficient and costly. Nuclear arms reminds us of how the cost of war can outweigh the benefits and therefore helps to lessen conflict.