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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Nuclear weapons and stability [closed]

What are the arguments that nuclear weapons can provide some form of global stability in a multipolar and/or bipolar world?
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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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Why won't President Obama apologize for the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Why won't President Obama apologize for the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? He will be visiting Hiroshima soon, and he has said that he isn't going to be apologizing.
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Why did America only attack Japan with atomic bombs and spare Germany?

Why did America use atomic bombs to end WWII with Japan but not do the same to end the war with Germany?
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What laws govern the use of nuclear weapons by the USA?

My understanding of the United States' first, second, and strategic nuclear strike capacity is that any nuclear strike must be directly approved by the President, and follow a very specific chain of ...
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Will a nuclear country use nuclear weapons if attacked by conventional means by another nuclear country?

I am a learner of the Russian language and saw the following statement by a vice-president of the Russian Academy of Geopolitical Problems: Скажу лишь то, что в условиях обычной войны, если на нас ...
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What exactly constitutes a “Weapon of Mass Destruction?”

There was a huge controversy because we didn't find stockpiles of chemical weapons after saying there were WMDs. Now we have charged in court people who use an IED at a marathon with using weapons of ...
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What are Russia's views on nuclear proliferation in South Asia?

I am going to attend a Mock UN session soon, so any fast answers optionally with sources would be amazing. South Asia has been a region of conflict since a long time, but things are heating up a lot. ...
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Why doesn't North Korea just silently build their nuclear weapons?

North Korea's desire to acquire nuclear weapons is entirely understandable from both a practical perspective (more power) and a moral perspective (a deterrence tool in order to defend its own ...
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Why are US nukes still stationed in Germany for use by German pilots and not French ones?

So, recently Germany somewhat controversially ordered 45 F-18 fighter jets, supposedly for replacement of the old Tornado fighter jets to still have jets capable of delivering US nuclear bombs, given ...
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How to implement an assured financial mutual destruction mechanism to restrain super powers from large scale trade wars? [closed]

The existence of nukes essentially made wars between super powers obviously unprofitable, hence eliminate one of the main motivation of war. However there are still beliefs that trade wars could be ...
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Do any treaties include punitive damages from a nuclear attack?

So far there have been two nuclear strikes against populous areas world wide, those being Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Since then, while tests and threats have been somewhat common, there has never been a ...
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Have the contents of the letters of last resort ever been revealed?

The letters of last resort are the letters written by the UK Prime Minister to the naval officers in command of the four nuclear submarines which provide the UK's nuclear deterrent, containing ...
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To what extent are nuclear weapons a precondition for global power or influence?

Clearly the possession of a nuclear arsenal - or at least the ability to build one - ensures that a country will be taken seriously on the global stage and will wield a certain amount of influence ...
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Has Iran threatened to leave the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty before?

News is that Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on Monday that Tehran would withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if Europeans continued with what he called “their improper ...
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Did the USA violate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty?

America and Russia recently abandoned the INF treaty, with both sides blaming each other. Since then I've heard that the US has tested short-range missiles. I read headlines and thought: It's ok, as ...
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Why do the US media keep claiming that Iran is violating their nuclear deal even though the deal was withdrawn by the US?

I keep seeing articles in the US media recently, claiming that Iran is in violation of a 'nuclear deal'. For example: The head of Iran's nuclear program said on Monday that Tehran was now operating ...
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Why was Thatcher apparently unwilling to use Britain's nuclear deterrent in negotiations with China over Hong Kong's future?

Apparently during the negotiations that led to the Sino-British Joint Declaration, the British were hamstrung because they were in a much-weaker position militarily, and Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping ...
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Why does China have so few nuclear weapons?

From the wikipedia page about the number of nuclear weapons we see that China only has 250 nukes, which puts it in the same league as France or the UK, and way under the 1000+ actives held by Russia ...
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If I get arrested for having a nuclear weapon, is my right to bear arms being violated? [duplicate]

If I were to build my own nuclear weapon, without the intention to detonate it, and got arrested for it, would my second amendment right be being be violated? This is assuming that I had it properly ...
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What's the point of having thousands of nuclear missiles?

According to Wikipedia, the US and Russia have close to 8,000 nuclear warheads each. Other known nuclear powers, the UK, France, China, India, Pakistan and Israel has a couple of hundreds each. The ...
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Can Iran easily restart the heavy-water reactor construction at Arak, after supposedly it filled with concrete?

Under JCPOA Iran was supposed to change the design of the Arak IR-40 research reactor to make it harder to produce (weapons grade) plutonium. Iran announced in 2016 that they filled the core of the ...
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Russian government warned North Korea about the use of legal force against their nuclear threats. What is the general procedure in that case?

Basically, the Russian government warned North Korea that it will create legal grounds for an international forceful intervention when they become a legitimate nuclear threat, so my question is, what ...
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Why is North Korea developing nukes?

North Korea threatens to start a war by working to develop nukes. These nukes, however, are tiny compared to larger nuclear powers. Their largest nuke is 10kT compared to 15,000 kT for the largest ...
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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 ...
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Can the US president hand-off the nuclear football to the vice president?

It's been reported that the nuclear football will be coming with President Obama during his historic visit to Hiroshima. Could a president decide to give the nuclear football to the vice president ...
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When is the authority to launch a nuclear strike transitioned?

At what exact moment in a presidential transition does the outgoing president lose and the incoming president gain the authority to launch a nuclear strike?
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Why does the failure of a Trident test matter when we are going to replace it anyway?

So a Trident nuclear weapons test failed a few months ago and this has only just come to light. However, as far as I know, they want to replace the Trident system for something new anyway. Surely ...
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Is there any international convention/treaty/protocol that regulates how a country should behave if a nuclear incident happens on its territory?

There is a quite a long list of nuclear power and radioactive incidents that happened after nuclear power has been discovered. One of the most recent was the Nyonoksa radiation accident that happened ...
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Why would North Korea attack the United States or a neighboring country with nuclear weapons?

There's a lot of news in the media about how close we are to nuclear war and I understand North Korea's nuclear capabilities are getting better and better. However, I would like to know in what ...
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UK: “limited nuclear strike” policy (history, details, politics, etc)

In a recent submission to a UK parliamentary committee the former chief of the navy (Lord West) was talking about a policy change which surprised me, that "recently" (some point in the last 10-20 ...
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What is the reason South Sudan has not yet signed the NPT?

What is the reason South Sudan has not yet signed the NPT? On Wikipedia, it says South Sudan, founded in 2011, has not yet joined. Is there a particular political reason why they didn't join yet? What ...
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Why does North Korea test their nuclear weapons underground?

When the U.S. and the Soviet Union were testing their nuclear bombs during the Cold War, they did the testing above ground. Why does North Korea test their nuclear weapons below ground, and how is it ...
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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 ...
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Are there non-military uses of 20%-enriched Uranium?

Following the US pulling out of the JCPOA agreement last year, Iran has announced it may resume Uranium enrichment, up to a level of 20% of U-235 (the more-active isotope, as opposed to U-238). The ...
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Is there any objective reason why some states can have nuclear weapons but others can't?

Many countries around the world suspect that Iran is attempting to build a nuclear weapon. Regardless of whether this is true or not, is there any objective reason why the US, UK, France, and others ...
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Is Obama the first American president to ever visit Hiroshima?

In most articles about Obama's visit to Hiroshima, they say that the visit is the first to Hiroshima by a sitting U.S. president. This implies that there may have been visits by presidents before or ...
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Did Castro seek thermonuclear war with the US?

Here, via Andrew Stuttaford, is an excerpt from a letter Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev sent to Castro after the Cuban missile crisis. Ed note (the text is furnished from PBS) In your cable of ...
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Who controls the British Armed Forces?

I am trying to research this for a friend. I understand that the Government of the United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy, in which the Queen is the head of state and the Prime Minister is the ...
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Why would citizens of a country crave warfare against a nation that holds nuclear weapons?

If two countries both possess nuclear weapons, what reasons are there for why inhabitants in one of the countries would crave warfare against the other? Isn't that completely illogical, since warfare ...
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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 ...
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Why does Israel not have an energy producing nuclear power plant?

I think, in the case of such small countries, the existence of the peaceful nuclear energy production is probably more a political and not an economical question. It is because even a single power ...
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Does Iran have any remaining obligations regarding UN Security Council resolution 2231 and testing ballistic missiles?

In recent US government news, Iran allegedly test-fired a missile: The Iranian regime has just test-fired a medium range ballistic missile that is capable of carrying multiple warheads. The missile ...
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Why are some politicians saying the Iran Nuclear deal is bad?

I've been hearing about this nuclear deal that was reached with Iran today. It seems to restrict what Iran can do with a nuclear program, and allows international inspectors to perform inspections ...
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Why don't all countries attempt to get rid of all nuclear weapons?

As long as nuclear weapons exist and some countries possess them, other countries will also wish to possess them. This is unavoidable. Since we all want to avoid that, what stands in the way of some ...
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Why do the US and Russia not seem to support INF anymore?

According to Time, Donald Trump plans to withdraw US from Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty: President Donald Trump revealed Saturday the United States intends to withdraw from a 31-...
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Do countries inform each other about ballistic missile test launches?

Informing potential adversaries about intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test looks logical, to not trigger false alert. I can't find any info - do countries do it? Do some protocols exist for ...
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Why doesn't the USA allow all countries to have nuclear weapons? [duplicate]

Proponents in country A which has nuclear weapons support their existence by using the 'deterrence' argument. However, proponents in country A actively attempt to prevent country B from developing ...
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Is the theory of nuclear peace true?

Taken from Wikipedia: Nuclear peace is a theory of international relations that argues that under some circumstances nuclear weapons can induce stability and decrease the chances of crisis ...
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May the US president launch a nuclear bomb without any oversight on any target?

According to Article II, Section 2, Clause I of the Constitution, the President of the United States is commander in chief of the United States Armed Forces. Source: Wikipedia How does launching a ...