The powers that be, the first world nations, have a general problem with third world and developing countries inventing their own nuclear weapons programs. Well actually any country these days. Including other first world countries that don’t already have them. They just don’t like it and they try to stop these countries from doing it by imposing sanctions and having talks.
Now for a while there a thought had crossed my mind. Why should we tell other countries what they can and cannot do? Who are we to tell these countries that “you can’t be like us”.
From the perspective of one of these countries I can see how they might take that.
“Well wait a minute, you guys have nuclear weapons, why aren’t we allowed to have nuclear weapons? Who says you’re the boss of us? No one told you that you couldn’t develop a nuclear weapons program. Why should you have all the power?”
Yeah, it’s not hard to see their perspective. So lets take a look at which countries currently do have a nuclear weapons program.
Non Proliferation Treaty
Non-Non Proliferation Treaty
Undeclared Nuclear Power
Accused of having nuclear weapons programs
Ok, so now that we have all of that sorted out, lets put all of this into perspective. All of the bombs dropped during world war II from 1939 to 1945 equaled two megatons of TNT (two million tons). Today, one thermal nuclear bomb is equal to two megatons of destructive power or more. As of 2009 there are currently 8,200 active nuclear warheads in the world. 23,300 nuclear warheads all together including those that are non-active. But we have made progress. At it’s high in 1985 there were 65,000 active nuclear warheads in the world. To think I was 6 years old then. Still, 8,200 nuclear warheads is roughly the equivalent of the total destructive power of world war II every second for two hours and sixteen minutes straight.
But these are conservative numbers. Today’s nuclear weapons are far more destructive. Russia alone has enough nuclear weapons to destroy humanity 29 times over. The United States has enough nuclear weapons to destroy humanity 18 times over.
We’ve all come to realize that nuclear weapons are out of control. It is far too much destructive power for we humans to have control over. The super powers of the world have realized this. Which is why they are slowly disarming their nuclear arsenals. But they will never go away. They will always keep some, for fear that their opponent will also keep some.
But if we has a species are going to survive our technological adolescence, we need to realize that more nuclear weapons are not a good thing. Indeed this is something we have realized.
So going back to our primary question. Should we stop other countries from developing their own nuclear weapons programs?