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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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Why do the US media keep claiming that Iran is violating their nuclear deal even though the deal was withdrawn by the US?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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Is it accurate to compare the nuclearization of North Korea with that of Pakistan and India? Why or why not?

I heard a prominent university professor say on the radio the other day that we shouldn’t worry about North Korea going nuclear, because Pakistan and India both went nuclear peacefully - is this an ...
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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 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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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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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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What are the drawbacks of the US making tactical first use of nuclear weapons against terrorist sites?

The US presidential Republican nominee Donald Trump stated that he did not rule out using nuclear weapons in the fight against the terrorist organization ISIS. I would like to gain more information ...
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Why has Israel not acknowledged or denied its nuclear weapons?

Looking at the map in the upper-right of this Wikipedia article, I see that Israel is the only country in the category "states presumed to have nuclear weapons": Israel is also widely known to have ...
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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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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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Why not rely on submarines to avert a mutual nuclear destruction by mistake?

In the past, there were many false alarms in US and Soviet Union or Russia, about a nuclear attack from the other side. In a few minutes, and under great pressure, they had to decide whether to ...
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How exactly are further sanctions meant to prevent North Korea from continuing their nuclear program?

I understand that sanctions in general work in a variety of ways, such as preventing new technologies from being developed, encouraging unrest among the populace, etc. However, it appears to me that ...
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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?
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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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Why is Israel refusing to let the International Atomic Energy Agency inspect their facilities?

For years Israel has refused opening their nuclear facilities to IAEA inspection and Israel signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. 45 member states, including Turkey, Russia, China and Iran, ...
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Why is nobody worried about Pakistan's nuclear program?

I'm asking about what seems to me to be a double standard in the level of concern, in the media and among world leaders, regarding the nuclear capability of two states in the Greater Middle East. The ...
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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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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 ...
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Russia attacks Ukraine. Why is world's reaction so slow? [closed]

Russia has occupied Crimea, and Russian soldiers are getting ready to attack Kharkiv this night. About Crimea - this has been obvious for last few days. Just words. Russia don't do it, this is bad. ...
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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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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 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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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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Why is the USA threatened by ballistic missiles from North Korea?

The USA all of the sudden appears vulnerable to intercontinental missiles from North Korea. Doesn't the USA have a defence system that would easily destroy an approaching ballistic missile before it ...
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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 did the USA want to pull out of the nuclear deal with Iran?

Donald Trump has recently pulled US out of the Iran Nuclear deal: US President Donald Trump says he will withdraw the US from an Obama-era nuclear agreement with Iran. Calling it "decaying ...
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How do Russia and the US know the other side keeps nuclear arsenals at agreed levels?

There are treaties between some countries that obligate the signatories to have not more nuclear weapons than specified in the treaty. How does the US know that Russia doesn't have more weapons than ...
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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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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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Are Japan's neighbours opposed to a US apology for Hiroshima?

In the discussion about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I've heard about opinion within the United States, and opinion within Japan, such as the the Pew Research Center's article 70 ...
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What exactly is the purpose of the Non-Proliferation Treaty when nuclear weapons can be substituted with conventional explosives?

With the destructive power of nuclear weapons, it's understandable the concerted effort by many world bodies to vigorously regulate and control the ownership of nuclear weapons. The NPT is one of such ...
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Why does Iran oppose nuclear inspections?

It's obvious that Iran is not in favor of regulatory IAEA design safety reviews and among the talks she is firm that the nuclear program is merely for "peaceful purposes." Is there a legitimate ...
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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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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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Under what conditions would North Korea be likely to negotiate a nuclear deal?

I've been reading more and more reports indicating that North Korea would be willing to open talks with the U.S., something Trump has expressed a willingness to do as well. South Korean President ...
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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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Why didn't Britain, France & Russia object India on the successful test of Pokhran-II?

After the successful Pokhran-II nuclear test series, India was sanctioned and heavily criticised by all powerful countries except Britain, France and Russia. From the Wikipedia page, ...However, ...
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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 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 ...
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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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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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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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Legality of UN sanctions against North Korea

From a Guardian article: "North Korea is banned from nuclear tests .... under UN sanctions dating 2006 and most recently ..." What is the exact relation between UN and North Korea ? Where comes the ...
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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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What was George W. Bush's explanation at the time, for unilaterally withdrawing from the ABM treaty?

The Wikipedia page on the ABMT says Supporters of the withdrawal argued that it was a necessity in order to test and build a limited National Missile Defense to protect the United States from ...
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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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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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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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Why isn't there Israel nuclear talk? [closed]

Iran is suspected of building nuclear weapons, then world powers hold Iran nuclear talks in order to prevent them from obtaining nuclear weapons. Meanwhile Israel most likely already has nuclear ...