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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6 answers
4k views

Why weren't any sanctions imposed on India for not signing the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons?

Why weren't any sanctions imposed on India for not signing the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons?
13 votes
5 answers
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Why did the US support of Israel shift so dramatically?

From what I remember reading, during the Kennedy administration, the US considered bombing or taking over Israel's suspected nuclear development sites. However, now, many people and both major parties ...
1 vote
11 answers
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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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
167 views

Has Trump expressed any opinion about US allies like Germany, Japan, or South Korea getting their own nuclear weapons?

Opinion in other US allies may be lowers on this, but A poll published in May by the conservative Asan Institute for Policy Studies suggested that more than 70% of South Koreans support their country ...
-3 votes
2 answers
361 views

How can the US prevent Russia from deploying nukes in orbit/space without starting WW3? [closed]

NYT reported on Feb 14: Officials said that the new intelligence, which they did not describe in detail, raised serious questions about whether Russia was preparing to abandon the Outer Space Treaty ...
11 votes
1 answer
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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&...
23 votes
11 answers
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Why would a state retaliate to a nuclear strike if the consequences could be human extinction?

The entire mutually-assured destruction (MAD) concept is based on game theory and mutual belief. Suppose we have two states (A and B) with massive nuclear arsenals which together suffice to plunge the ...
4 votes
2 answers
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MAD fails to account for a clash of civilisations - why would a state doomed by a first strike NOT retaliate? [closed]

I am too new to answer peoples questions, so I decided to post my own to frame the problem a different way. People assume that nuclear states hold nuclear weapons only to deter intimidation from other ...
1 vote
2 answers
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Threats by MRBMs / IRBMs in the 1960s and now

Graham T. Allison explains in Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis: First, consider the brute facts. For a combination of technical and budgetary reasons, the Soviet government ...
-4 votes
1 answer
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Can China or the IAEA end Israel's nuclear program? [closed]

Li said China has been actively supporting the region's efforts to establish a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other WMDs. Li urged Israel to accede to the treaty on the non-proliferation ...
29 votes
8 answers
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Is "Mutually Assured Destruction" still valid considering so many conventional missiles are currently getting shot down?

Apologies if this is posted in the wrong place, but I couldn't find "military" stack exchange so this site appears to be the closest. While following the current Russia/Ukraine war, it ...
3 votes
3 answers
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Is there any international law that prohibits the use of nuclear weapon against another country?

Since around 2018, Chinese experts have concluded that Washington’s nuclear posture now poses increasing challenges to China’s deterrent. In particular, they have been concerned about shifts in U.S. ...
11 votes
4 answers
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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 ...
23 votes
11 answers
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Why would Russia care about NATO troops on its borders if it has nuclear weapons?

In a related question on why Russia is against Ukraine joining the EU, @user4012 writes the following: Basically, Russia has no natural defensive perimeter of its core. Thus, its permanent strategy ...
2 votes
2 answers
557 views

Why isn't there a similar pressure on Israel to join the NPT, like with Iran?

According to many sources, including Reuters, Israel is not a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Why hasn't Israel been pressured and sanctioned in a similar manner to Iran when it actually ...
-2 votes
2 answers
398 views

To what extent could India, Pakistan, China, France, and/or the UK individually destroy the U.S. and/or Russia with their nukes if it came to that? [closed]

Some of these match-ups are obviously highly implausible such as France vs. the U.S. (well, they did rename their fries once...). Others are not completely improbable, such as China vs. the U.S. or ...
17 votes
7 answers
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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’...
1 vote
1 answer
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About N. Korea's Nukes and Delivery Systems

Sorry if this question is inappropriate for this SE or perhaps too technical but it is frankly a genuine concern for me. Basically, the question is, how much should the claims of NK be believed? My ...
-6 votes
1 answer
244 views

Does it make sense to nuke the whole planet as a country if you get nuked and you don't know which country nuked you? [closed]

Does it make sense to nuke the whole planet as a country if you get nuked and you don't know which country nuked you? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutual_assured_destruction Mutual assured ...
23 votes
3 answers
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Does nuclear propulsion applied to military ships fall under civil or military nuclear power?

From what I know very few countries are authorized to possess nuclear weapons, although a few others might secretly have some. But using nuclear power for civilian use (to produce electricity) is ...
-1 votes
1 answer
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How would a neutral observer compare the presence of US nukes in Europe to the presence of Russian nukes in Belarus?

USA in Germany Germany has no nuclear weapons of its own, but it stores 20 or fewer U.S. B-61 nuclear gravity bombs at Büchel air base, and maintains a fleet of aging Tornado fighter bombers to ...
29 votes
6 answers
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Why is deploying nuclear weapons in Belarus seen as a problem, and how would this help Russia?

Recently (May 2023) Russia decided to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus. This has been reported in many sources. At least Russia represents this as a serious escalation, something that they were "...
14 votes
3 answers
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Why did Ukraine give up nuclear weapons through Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances?

Through Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine gave up their nuclear weapons between 1994 and 1996. According to the same source: Before that, Ukraine had the ...
3 votes
1 answer
780 views

Which sovereign states currently have nuclear power stations but no nuclear weapons programs?

Put another way, which sovereign states besides the following have nuclear power stations? China France India Israel North Korea Pakistan Russia United Kingdom United States
6 votes
2 answers
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Depleted uranium shells in the Russian nuclear doctrine

According to the current nuclear doctrine of Russia, is the transfer/usage of shells containing depleted uranium considered as a nuclear attack on Russia? Technologically, can it be considered as a ...
-4 votes
1 answer
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Can the monarch prevent any Commonwealth realm from declaring war or launching a sanctioned military attack?

The USA requires that the president orders a (lawful) nuclear strike. The United Kingdom requires that the Prime Minister orders a (lawful) nuclear strike, although the Chief of the Defence Staff ...
22 votes
1 answer
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What does Corbyn mean by "can't we go back to when Ukraine was a nuclear-free country!?"?

In a talk show (apparently on BBC One) Corbyn said "Can't we go back to the point when Ukraine was a nuclear-free country?" I'm at a loss as to what he means by that. Is he talking about ...
2 votes
5 answers
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Could the Russian Federation really have tested a nuclear weapon without anyone noticing? [closed]

In an interview with Kurbanova Live, Russian blogger and a former political scientist Valery Solovei has made the claim that the Russian Federation has performed a test of a nuclear weapon on November ...
9 votes
1 answer
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Making sense of a vote about Israel and nuclear weapons at the UNGA

Israel must get rid of its nuclear weapons, UNGA majority decides Why did this voting take place? Did Egypt submit proof of Israel having nuclear weapons before proposing this vote? Why voted ...
7 votes
2 answers
481 views

What effects can the nuclear attack on a non-nuclear country have on the deterrence and nonproliferation?

The media occasionally mentions the possibility of the Russian Federation using a tactical nuclear bomb in Ukraine. The last and only case like that was back in August 1945, and after the Soviet Union ...
19 votes
4 answers
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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 ...
19 votes
7 answers
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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 ...
38 votes
7 answers
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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 ...
14 votes
5 answers
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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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1 answer
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What is the logic behind Putin's nuclear mobilization? [closed]

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/russia-nuclear-weapons-train-video/ https://nypost.com/2022/10/03/putin-deploys-worlds-largest-submarine-nuclear-convoy/ Putin is mobilizing his strategic nuclear weapons ...
1 vote
1 answer
188 views

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 ...
2 votes
4 answers
813 views

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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
343 views

Why has the US not ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty?

There is a known treaty about full banning nuclear tests, from 1996. Many states have signed it, but not all ratified. I can understand, why, for example, DPRK haven't signed it - it is critical for ...
7 votes
3 answers
876 views

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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
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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 ...
10 votes
4 answers
644 views

Has Ukraine's dismantlement of ICBMs had any impact on its sovereignty?

In 1994, Ukraine dismantled its nuclear arsenal and ICBMs. According to present-day Ukraine, was it a mistake? What do Ukrainian political leaders and scholars/intellectuals say about this? What do ...
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1 answer
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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 ...
20 votes
3 answers
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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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1 answer
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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 ...
-6 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
9 votes
4 answers
675 views

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 ...
-5 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
303 views

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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
5 votes
3 answers
986 views

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,...