Questions tagged [nuclear-weapons]

A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from splitting atoms. Because the long-lived nuclear material used is then spread into the surrounding area, it is considered the most devastating weapon of war known to mankind. Use this tag to discuss the politics of obtaining them and using them in diplomacy

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Vital US interests: how are they defined and are they different between Republicans and Democrats?

In March 2022, the White House declared the ultimate goals of the DoD in their National Defense Strategy (NDS). I did not read it, because as far as I know it is still classified, but I found ...
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How is the Chinese officialdom, press, or intelligentsia discussing Russia's possible use of nuclear weapons in the Ukraine war?

It's certainly known that the Chinese press and officials have openly blamed NATO and the USA more specifically for the war in Ukraine. On the other hand, China officially has a "no first use&...
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Has NATO recently threatened to nuke Russia?

In his 2022-09-21 speech (archived copy with https here), Putin referred to statements made by some high-ranking representatives of the leading NATO countries on the possibility and admissibility of ...
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Vagueness rather than specificity when the risks are enormous

Summary (Sep 27, 2022) Threats of nuclear retaliation are easily the most complicated political issues. In time historians might decide that Feb 24, 2022 was the launching date of WW3. In this ...
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What is the limit of the weapons that President Biden can authorize sending to Ukraine?

President Biden announced that he will not send combat troops to fight in Ukraine. That he does not want to have US armed men in the line of fire means that he also would not want to put US civilians ...
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Would Cold-War era nuclear-armed US ABM missiles cause a nationwide EMP effect while intercepting enemy missiles? [closed]

Interceptor missiles armed with high-yield nuclear warheads had flight ceilings of hundreds of miles (such as the Spartan interceptor: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LIM-49_Spartan) Given that a single ...
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Does the fact that China owns nuclear weapon improve the status of Chinese expat? [closed]

According to Chinese government propaganda, it is because of the development and deployment of nuclear weapons that the status of Chinese ex-pats is no longer discriminated against by anyone else. Are ...
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Is the concept of MAD becoming obsolete? [closed]

Is the concept of MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutual_assured_destruction less applicable today compared to say 40 years ago as seen by the West? My contention is ...
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Has there been publically shown any evidence that the Russian Federation has nuclear bunkers capable of preventing "decapitation?"

In light of the full-scale unprovoked war of aggression that the Russian Federation has waged against Ukraine, a number of countries have been providing military assistance to Ukraine. The aggressor ...
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Would mutually assured destruction help or hinder occupation of minor, non-nuclear countries?

Assume the following hypothetical scenario: There are only three relevant nations, two large ones (A, B) both with nuclear weapons sufficient to destroy everyone (MAD) and a smaller one without ...
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Does Japan have the capability of manufacturing nuclear weapons in a short period of time?

I read from here that Japan does not possess any programs for the development of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), but it is the only non-nuclear weapon state in possession of a full nuclear fuel ...
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Would a (nuclear) strike that hits an NATO member state embassy/extraterritoriality in Ukraine be considered a (nuclear) strike against NATO?

The NATO website has an article about Collective defence - Article 5 which reads The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an ...
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Why are Nuclear weapons exceptionally feared? [closed]

It has been general cultural knowledge since the US developed and dropped nuclear weapons in Japan that nuclear weapons are different to others, and a war with two similarly armed nuclear arsenals ...
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Does a policy of mutually assured destruction favor rogue states?

I wondered if a policy of mutually assured destruction favors rogue states. I think it is fair to assume that a rogue nuclear state would have less regard for its people and their life and wellbeing ...
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Why doesn't any nuclear power country which is supporting Ukraine hand them a Nuclear Bomb?

Some 25 nations were on the call and all said they would continue to contribute aid, some saying for the first time their support will include lethal assistance. NATO was also represented. In addition,...
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What are the actual implications of MAD? [closed]

Many people are against western intervention in Ukraine due to MAD (mutually assured destruction). But what does MAD actually mean? Is it just a war that would kill a lot of people? Or is it genuinely,...
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Why were India and Pakistan sanctioned in 1998 for nuclear tests?

According to the Peaceful Nuclear Explosion Treaty, individual nuclear tests were banned beyond 150 kilotons, and group explosions were limited to 1500 kilotons. In 1998, both Pakistan and Indian ...
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What would be the worldwide response if Russia launches a nuke into Ukraine? [closed]

As NATO would not be directly involved, Article 5 would not be invoked. However, I presume a nuclear launch at Ukraine by Russia wouldn't go without a response. What (if any) international agreements (...
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Are there any checks and balances against nuclear escalation in Russia?

During the Trump years, there was conversation about nuclear command and control in the U.S. and the military's response to a rogue presidential nuclear strike order. Specifically, the question ...
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If Russia drops a nuclear bomb, is it realistically possible to prevent neutralize it without getting serious damage? [closed]

By "serious damage" I mean any kind of severe environmental damage and/or damage to the people health/life. I understand that there's a tiny probability for that to happen, but just in case, ...
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What does it mean for Russia to put its nuclear deterrence forces on ‘high alert’?

As can be read in various sources, for example The Guardian, Russia has put its ‘nuclear deterrence forces’ on high alert. What does that even mean? Isn’t the point of Mutually Assured Destruction (...
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If Belarus allows deployment of Russian nuclear weapons on its territory (as Macron claims) would that violate any commitments Belarus has undertaken?

News is that: French President Emmanuel Macron has asked his Belarus counterpart to demand that the country, Ukraine’s neighbor, quickly order Russian troops to leave, claiming Moscow has been given ...
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Why is Russia not using nuclear weapons against Ukraine?

Russia is suffering from the cost of war in both blood, money, and resources. The sanctions hurts their economy and the international condemnation hurts their reputation and pride. All of this will ...
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Has any nuclear-protected country been under any significant attack by another country's military forces?

Countries can have nuclear weapons of their own (e.g. Russia, US) or be protected by them through alliances (e.g. Baltic states via NATO, Belarus via Collective Security Treaty Organization, Warsaw ...
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Why is it assumed that would WW3 would be a nuclear war and what kind of conditions would have to be met to make it nuclear? [closed]

I'm curious as to why it's believed that WW3 would automatically be a full nuclear war instead of a conventional conflict. I understand the concept of MAD and a couple other Cold War policies but I ...
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How would Ukraine joining NATO affect Russian security?

The current Russian troop buildup close to Ukraine and the exercise in Belarus are partially justified by Russian security interests which, in particular, mean that Russia very much opposes NATO ...
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What's the benefits of US strategic nuclear forces in Europe?

If I understand correctly, the US have long been capable of a retaliatory strike against the USSR / Russia that is powerful enough to nearly completely destroy the target state. (If I'm wrong on that, ...
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Russian Experts on the Credibility of the Russian Nuclear Second Strike Capability

From Western news reports about Russian government statements, Russia seems concerned that NATO forces in the ex-Communist states would endanger the Russian strategic deterrence (which include a ...
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Are there efforts to encourage Pakistan to denuclearize in return for economic aid?

Currently Pakistan is undergoing a deep economic crisis. Is there any attempt by the international community to encourage Pakistan to give up its nuclear weapons in exchange for economic aid? Would ...
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List of prioritized targets in the United States

Is there a list of prioritized strategic targets in the United States? I live near a former military base that is probably a secondary or tertiary target, so I am wondering where it is on the list and ...
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If everyone knows NATO can beat Russia using conventional weapons, doesn’t that force them to rapidly escalate to nuclear to have any chance?

The logic goes like this: since both sides know, and they know that the other side also knows, the game theory conclusion for Russia to have any chance of something other than defeat is to massively ...
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Why China does not conquer North Korea now? [closed]

North Korea did not have a new nuclear test, and no rocket test since years ago. Its likely reason is economical (hunger), and political (doing this too much annoys all the big dogs around them - not ...
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Is Iran's claim of civilian uses for 60%-enriched Uranium valid?

(This is a followup question, I suppose, to: Are there non-military uses of 20%-enriched Uranium?) Following the US pulling out of the JCPOA agreement in 2018, and the other signatories enabling ...
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Why does the US care so much about China's hypersonic weapons?

Example: Gen. Mark Milley calls China's hypersonic weapon test 'very concerning' If we currently have mutually assured destruction (MAD) where nobody can fire nuclear weapons because the other side ...
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How are French nuclear facilities and technology kept secret under the European Union? [closed]

France is the only nuclear power in the EU. How does it protect its facilities and maintain the secrecy of technology when the European Parliament has at least some say in French security and military ...
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Why does Russia view missile defense as a strategic threat?

A key hurdle in the talks has been Russia’s demand that the U.S. stop resisting limits on its missile defenses, which the Russians view as a long-term threat and the Americans see as a deterrent to ...
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Why doesn't the world compel Israel to join the NPT?

According to many sources, including Reuters, Israel is not a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), why does no one make Israel join, while they have nukes; but all of the pressure is on Iran ...
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Why is Former President Trump criticized for leaving the Iran Deal and his 'Maximum Pressure' campaign?

(Inspired by another question which was closed and deleted as a push question.) According to the Financial Tribune: The US special envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, said the maximum pressure campaign ...
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Why didn't the USA use nuclear bombs in Vietnam or Afghanistan to win the wars? [closed]

The USA stayed in Vietnam from 1955 to 1975 = 19 years. They also stayed in Afghanistan for 17 years. Arguably, they failed to achieve their objectives on both occasions. Why didn't the USA use ...
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Is there any consequence to nuclear proliferation to countries?

Is there any consequence to nuclear proliferation to countries? Let's say that there's a technology leak from Pakistan and it allows Iran and Syria to develop the nuclear weapons. Will Pakistan be ...
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In what situation can the U.S. military use nukes without the consent of the President?

In what situation can the U.S. military use nukes without the consent of the President, if any situation like this exists?
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According to international law, when is first-use nuclear strike justified?

According to international law, when is first-use nuclear strike justified? https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/24/china/us-china-taiwan-1958-nuclear-intl-hnk/index.html Hong Kong (CNN) — Military planners ...
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Why is the U.S. turning a blind eye to Israel's nukes?

SEOUL — South Korea can now develop ballistic missiles capable of reaching targets far beyond the Korean Peninsula, following the United States’ approval to lift a 42-year-old restriction on its ally’...
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Is Pakistan's nuclear capability giving it an advantage in its foreign relations and diplomacy? [closed]

we all know that nuclear weapons give deterrence. But, this question is about diplomacy and foreign relations. Is Pakistan's nuclear capability giving it an advantage in its foreign relations and ...
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Would defense based only on nuclear weapons work? [closed]

There's an article in the Japanese constitution forbidding the country from going to war. The country nonetheless maintains a substantial self-defence force. I'm wondering if Japan can feasibly ...
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Does IAEA conduct spot checks / surprise visits at Iranian nuclear facilities?

I have heard it claimed (in personal conversations) that when the IAEA wishes to make an inspection/visit to an Iranian nuclear facility, it is required to announce its visit a good number of days in ...
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Why does Russia have so many nuclear weapons? [closed]

In the Cold War, Soviet Russia produced 55,000 nukes, and it made 30,000 warheads in 1991. [Source] Russia became one of the nations to have the largest nuclear stockpile and it has a deteriorating ...
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Quickly prevent POTUS from initiating military or nuclear operations?

As Pelosi warns Trump could be impeached for a second time if he does not leave office imminently and willing, she has expressed in a letter about two things which stems this question... Taking "...
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How does the new President secure the nuclear football during a "contested" transition

Following on to this question... since a military aide is always near the President with the Football, how does the new President get the football if that aide with the football is with the now-former ...
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Why did Saudi-Arabia not launch its own nuclear program in response to Iran’s? [duplicate]

Saudi and Iran have long fought each other through proxy wars throughout the Middle East. However when Iran started its nuclear program, how come Saudi didn’t do it in response?