125 votes
Accepted

Why won't President Obama apologize for the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

It is hard to explain why conventional bombing of a city is principally better, morally, than a nuclear bombing of a city. If Obama apologized for the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he ...
user31264's user avatar
  • 1,539
71 votes

Why does China have so few nuclear weapons?

"Only 250"? That's plenty for their purposes. Nukes are meant to be seen, not heard. Even if the US could intercept 99/100 missiles, having 250 means china can deliver a devastating enough attack ...
dandavis's user avatar
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71 votes
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Why is Former President Trump criticized for leaving the Iran Deal and his 'Maximum Pressure' campaign?

Regardless of the pros and cons of Trump leaving the agreement for, valid or not, issues with JCPOA, this is eroding international trust in the US's capacity to agree to something and then to stick to ...
Italian Philosophers 4 Monica's user avatar
69 votes

Why did the US invade Iraq for weapons of mass destruction but not North Korea

Because there's no oil in NK. And there's the Sino-North Korean Mutual Aid and Cooperation Friendship Treaty, which would make a war with NK a (nuclear?) war with China.
Martin Schröder's user avatar
69 votes
Accepted

Why does Russia view missile defense as a strategic threat?

The logic behind nuclear peace is mutually assured destruction: Anyone who uses nuclear weapons will also be destroyed by the counter-strike. As long as there are multiple nuclear powers who all have ...
Philipp's user avatar
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68 votes

Why don't all countries attempt to get rid of all nuclear weapons?

According to mutually assured destruction, you lose your insurance that other countries won't nuke you A commonly cited reason is the concept of mutually assured destruction (MAD), which is similar to ...
Thunderforge's user avatar
  • 7,647
66 votes

Why does Russia view missile defense as a strategic threat?

In 1914 the defensive technology (trenches, machine guns) was more effective than the offensive (infantry charge). It lead to quagmire and stalemate. Clearly, the effective defence did not prevent ...
James K's user avatar
  • 115k
62 votes
Accepted

What does it mean for Russia to put its nuclear deterrence forces on ‘high alert’?

Very hard to say what the actual changes are without looking at the specifics of Russian nuclear protocols (which nuclear countries do not generally share much, preferring to remain ambiguous). Russia'...
Italian Philosophers 4 Monica's user avatar
62 votes
Accepted

Would a (nuclear) strike that hits an NATO member state embassy/extraterritoriality in Ukraine be considered a (nuclear) strike against NATO?

The NATO charter is not a smart contract that executes automatically. Article 5 doesn't just "trigger" and automatically launch jets and missiles. The first point of the article is giving ...
Therac - Peace for Palestine's user avatar
58 votes
Accepted

Is it accurate to compare the nuclearization of North Korea with that of Pakistan and India? Why or why not?

It is important to understand the vast geopolitical differences between the two situations of India and Pakistan developing nuclear weapons and North Korea developing nuclear weapons. India/Pakistan ...
Gramatik's user avatar
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55 votes
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What are the drawbacks of the US making tactical first use of nuclear weapons against terrorist sites?

There is no particular benefit to using a nuclear weapon. We have some conventional bombs that rival a small nuke in terms of destructive power, without the lasting fallout. Using a nuke would ...
abelenky's user avatar
  • 2,552
52 votes
Accepted

Is "Mutually Assured Destruction" still valid considering so many conventional missiles are currently getting shot down?

ICBMs are notoriously hard to intercept. In their final flight phase (where normal anti-missile systems intercept), they are very fast, usually split into many different targets, and have ...
Philip Klöcking's user avatar
50 votes
Accepted

Why is the U.S. turning a blind eye to Israel's nukes?

There are several points that invalidate the comparison of South Korean situation to Israeli one. First, "ballistic missile" does not equate "nuke" - there are plenty ballistic ...
Danila Smirnov's user avatar
49 votes

Why do the US media keep claiming that Iran is violating their nuclear deal even though the deal was withdrawn by the US?

The deal was not only between the USA and Iran, as other countries and the EU were signatories: China France Germany European Union Russia United Kingdom The situation with those signatories is ...
SJuan76's user avatar
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48 votes

Why is Former President Trump criticized for leaving the Iran Deal and his 'Maximum Pressure' campaign?

(This is mostly a repost of my answer to the now deleted question.) Iranian President Rouhani is a moderate (by Iranian standards) who took a risk signing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)...
JJJ's user avatar
  • 38.9k
47 votes
Accepted

Will a nuclear country use nuclear weapons if attacked by conventional means by another nuclear country?

Except China nobody has currently pledged this, and even the Chinese pledge is not considered credible (by some Western experts, at least): Most states with nuclear weapons maintain policies that ...
Fizz's user avatar
  • 144k
45 votes
Accepted

Why did America only attack Japan with atomic bombs and spare Germany?

Neither. Germany surrendered at the beginning of May 1945. The Trinity test was conducted in July 1945. The US dropped Little Boy without testing its design (it was simpler and there was much less ...
cpast's user avatar
  • 13.8k
45 votes
Accepted

What exactly is the purpose of the Non-Proliferation Treaty when nuclear weapons can be substituted with conventional explosives?

A single missile delivering a nuclear payload can wipe out a city. Needing to deliver hundreds or thousands of bombs or missiles to "simulate that" is a much more difficult proposition, in terms of ...
PoloHoleSet's user avatar
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45 votes

If everyone knows NATO can beat Russia using conventional weapons, doesn’t that force them to rapidly escalate to nuclear to have any chance?

Russia might also be convinced that NATO lacks the political coherence and will to fight, and that going nuclear would be a "Pearl Harbor moment" which turns it into a fight-to-the-finish. ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 106k
43 votes

Why did the US invade Iraq for weapons of mass destruction but not North Korea

WMD were only part of a complex reasoning that led to the Gulf Wars. The West had no serious problems with Iraqi WMD as long as they were aimed at Iran. But then Saddam Hussein miscalculated and went ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 106k
40 votes

Why is Russia not using nuclear weapons against Ukraine?

Russia has tried to justify its invasion of Ukraine in terms of getting rid of an undemocratic (and neo-nazi) government forced on the country in a coup orchestrated by the west. There is also talk of ...
PhillS's user avatar
  • 7,470
39 votes

Is it accurate to compare the nuclearization of North Korea with that of Pakistan and India? Why or why not?

More nuclear powers mean less stability. There used to be two. Then five or possibly six. But France and the UK were closely allied with the US, so adding them to the mix didn't complicate things very ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 106k
38 votes
Accepted

Does nuclear propulsion applied to military ships fall under civil or military nuclear power?

The treaty you're thinking of is the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (also known as the NPT or NNPT). The core of this treaty for non-nuclear weapon states is Article II, which says ...
cpast's user avatar
  • 13.8k
37 votes

What are the drawbacks of the US making tactical first use of nuclear weapons against terrorist sites?

Precedent. The world has a seventy year history of shunning the use of nuclear weapons as war fighting tools. Use of nuclear weapons by the USA or any other nation would be a huge line to cross, ...
Travis Bear's user avatar
36 votes
Accepted

Why does China have so few nuclear weapons?

There are different approaches to nuclear strategy, deterrence, and warfighting. For deterrence, you want a credibly survivable second strike capability. That is, so many and so well hidden or ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 106k
36 votes

Has any nuclear-protected country been under any significant attack by another country's military forces?

India and Pakistan. India most likely completed weaponized nuclear warheads around 1994 and tested them in 1998. Pakistan also tested their first nuclear weapons in 1998. Both had a war in 1999, the ...
NoDataDumpNoContribution's user avatar
35 votes

Why won't President Obama apologize for the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Other than the fact that apologizing is political suicide there are a few good reasons. No country really ever apologizes for acts of war, they may be sorry for starting a war, but its very rare that ...
Ryathal's user avatar
  • 13.9k
35 votes
Accepted

How would Ukraine joining NATO affect Russian security?

One key question is the plausibility of a preemptive, conventional or nuclear counterforce strike against the Russian nuclear force. For much of the Cold War, there was a commonly held belief that ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 106k
34 votes
Accepted

What does Corbyn mean by "can't we go back to when Ukraine was a nuclear-free country!?"?

This video is from March 9th, 2014, in the context of Russia's invasion of Crimea - not the most recent invasion which began in 2022. The quote is referring to the renewed debate at that time over ...
CDJB's user avatar
  • 105k

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