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 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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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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What's the point of non-nuclear nations signing an agreement to ban nuclear weapons?

There have recently been news about US protests over Sweden signing an anti-nuclear treaty: US Secretary of Defence James Mattis sent a letter to Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist warning ...
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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 is North Korea threatening the South and US more in 2017 than prior?

Why North Korea is constantly threatening US (who has allied with South Korea) with latest missile drills, nuclear drills in 2017? This is quite happening after 2016 & is now revving thru any ...
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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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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 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 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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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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Pakistan's testing of nuclear weapons in 1998 [closed]

See this video from 1:10. Bill Clinton says, "I continue to urge him to refrain from testing and I told them that I had done everything I could do to get other world leaders involved and both ...
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Why is North Korea criticized for having Nuclear Weapons?

There is a lot of media hype that criticizes North Korea for (having?) developing Nuclear Weapons and the international community has roundly condemned them, but why shouldn't they have them? Surely ...
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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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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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What are the conditions of Iran's nuclear agreement?

According to the agreement between "Iran" and "China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the UK and the US", Iran should not be able to produce weapons of mass destruction. But in reality the ...
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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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Is the “Mother of all Bombs” recently dropped by U.S. the largest since Hiroshima and Nagasaki? [closed]

I read that the bomb dropped was the "largest conventional bomb" ever used in warfare, so therefore would that make it the largest bomb ever used in warfare all together outside of the two uses of ...
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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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Why does India follow a 'No First Use Policy' for nuclear weapons?

I want to know why India follows a "No First Use Policy" for nuclear weapons. Is there any special advantage for doing so? Or it is done only to project an 'adult in the house'-like image to the world?...
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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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Why haven't North Korea already used their nuclear weapons?

I've heard lots of people saying that Kim Jong Un is crazy and mad and that he will cause war and destruction. However, there is one thing that confuses me about this statement: North Korea has had ...
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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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Can Obama put extra checks at this stage, on America's nuclear weaponry, with a Trump Presidency?

I don't know what that would involve, maybe making the command 3 or 4 leveled rather than the current 2. Well what can be done at this stage to secure America's nuclear weaponry, when the perception ...
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Why would Iran adhere to a nuclear non-proliferation agreement when North-Korea didn't? [closed]

In 2015, Iran agreed to a nuclear non-proliferation agreement in exchange for various sanctions to be lifted. However, an apparently similar agreement was made with North Korea in 1994. President Bill ...
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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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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 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 do countries typically build their own nuclear weapons rather than buy them?

Most countries with nuclear weapons seem to have built them themselves, possibly with help in the process from other countries, rather than buying a ready-made nuclear weapon off-the-shelf. ...
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1answer
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Why do the Scots not want the Trident (UK Submarine-based Strategic Nukes)?

The UK Parliament recently voted for (471 to 116) a renewal of Trident, the UK's submarine based nuclear missiles. (Pardon my ignorance--are these all the strategic warheads or are there also silos in ...
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Is there debate on keeping the French nuclear deterrent, like there is in the UK?

In the UK, there has been a lot of debate recently about whether to renew Trident, their nuclear deterrent. Most arguments are based on cost, usefulness in the modern world, and nuclear disarmament ...
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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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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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Does year of birth, or age, influence opinions on the atomic bombing of Japan?

Older Americans are more likely to support the atomic bombing of Japan than younger Americans, according to a poll by Pew Research: 70 years after Hiroshima, opinions have shifted on use of atomic ...
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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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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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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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Why is Obama visiting Hiroshima?

Obama will be visiting Hiroshima. He has said that he isn't going to be apologising, and it seems unlikely that he'll be there to praise the fruits of a government scientific/technological project ...
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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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Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and Indian politics

What are the hindrances for India to sign 'Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty` and how Indian politics is working for/against it?
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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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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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Consequences of a US attack on North Korea? [closed]

This week, the US is carrying out joint military exercises with South Korea in which they practice the steps they would go through in order to carry out 'rehearsals of surgical strikes on North Korea’...
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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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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 ...
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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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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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What is the timeframe of the Comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear program?

Media reports on the Comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear program focus on the things Iran must do in the near future to get the sanctions lifted but what happens after that? When would the ...
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What exactly is the permanent benefit of the agreement with Iran for P5?

Given the current agreement framework, what exactly is the long term (e.g., benefit in the situation in 2030) for everyone involved in negotiating with Iran as compared to situation today? I'm ...
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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 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 ...