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With the End of the Cold War What Issues of Nuclear Stability Remain

Essay by   •  April 27, 2011  •  Essay  •  438 Words (2 Pages)  •  2,235 Views

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The end of the Second World War and the bombings of Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, came yet another period of fear across the world as the Soviet Union and the United States of America entered into a war of nuclear deterrence. For many decades, the two countries were in a stalemate of political conflict and tension with each country having the capability to cause extreme damage to the other. The end of this 'Cold War' however did not provide the world with the normal peace and tranquil feeling that the end of war normally supplies. There is still a sense of uncertainty about the stability of the world. This essay will analyse the issues of nuclear stability that remain in the post cold war era by looking at the countries which have held nuclear weapons in the post cold war era, the way in which the world attempts to deal with the issue and discuss whether these attempts are successful or not.

At the end of the cold war, there was a conflicting view at the dawn of a 'new age'. On one hand, optimists would argue that there has been no major wars since the end of the cold war as Mueller argues, it 'is surely clear that the prospects of major war became far lower after the quiet cataclysm.' (Mueller 1995:9 as cited in Clarke 2001:35). This lack of wars since the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki could be down to a fear of nuclear weapons, which again goes back to the question on nuclear weapons causing a tainted stability. Added to this is the sense of a new start or 'Year Zero' as Francis Fukuyama calls it. Even George Bush, the president of the United States explained that after the cold war came a 'new world order'. There was a sense of a new start and a feeling that peace was possible in the new era. On the other hand, pessimists would argue differently, that the end of the cold war 'did not return us to the conditions of peace that we knew at the end of previous wars,' (Kaplan 2000:171 as cited in Clarke, 2001:??) and that Fundamental rules and institutions underlying international relationships have not changed with the end of the cold war'. (Holsti 1999:289 as cited in Clarke, 2001:38), possibly 'leading to a more turbulent era' (Clarke 2001:39). This group would argue that the only thing that ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union was the nuclear tension between America and Russia and that the cold war simply moved from Europe to South Asia leading to a 'coming anarchy

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