United States Perspectives On International Nuclear Weaponry
Author: Jake Kupp
As the first country to develop nuclear weapons, and the only country to have used such weapons in warfare, the United States has always held a major role in international discussions and policies when it comes to the proliferation of nuclear arms. The current president of the United States, Barrack Obama, has showed sentiment favoring a world free of nuclear weapons. His policies have reflected this stance, as he has pushed to reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the United States arsenal while also drawing up more strict guidelines in which a nuclear strike could be justified. Public opinion in the U.S. may not hold as strong anti-nuclear views as Obama’s. A Rasmussen report in 2010 showed that 77% of Americans believed that the U.S. nuclear arsenal is at least somewhat important to the country’s national security, while 55% of American’s did not think that other countries would reduced nuclear weapon arsenals and development if the U.S. did.
In America, nuclear debates are defined by those who believe that strong nuclear capabilities are essential in deterring other countries from threatening national security, and those who believe that progress towards reduction of arms will ease tensions and set a precedent for other countries to follow suit.
Nuclear war between superpower countries is an extremely unsettling thought, but such a situation is a worse case scenario, and is thought to be unlikely due to the reality of mutual annihilation. Current American policy makers are more focused on preventing nuclear arms from getting into the hands of outlier groups, such as unstable leaders, aggressive countries, and terrorist organizations. Obama has claimed that Iran and North Korea fit this outlier definition, as tensions over nuclear development have escalated in recent weeks.
In the interests of international security, how should America go about defining its policy in order to achieve better world peace? What forms of policy should the U.S. pursue to prevent dangerous leaders from obtaining nuclear arms, while also promoting diplomatic means to reduce the possibility of nuclear strikes?
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