Motivations for the Arms Race

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  • Created on: 01-06-14 12:56
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Motivations for the Arms Race
· Weapon of the Cold War- it became a method to fight a Cold War, and thus
prevent actual warfare
· Both able to prove their superiority and national pride as they developed
nuclear weapons. If one side developed a nuclear weapon, the other side did
as well, this led to a vicious circle of developments.
· National security. As tensions grew, it became a matter of security that each
country could protect themselves from the other side, and were able also to
protect their allies and sphere of influences.
· Could be used as a bargaining tool to push others into concessions. The threat
of nuclear weapons, due to their destructive nature, was able to push the
other side into conceding and result in them achieving their aims. This is
demonstrated in Khrushchev's "rattling his rockets" during the 1950s.
· Domestic pressures, especially in the US where the public feared that they
were behind the USSR, and where the military industrial complex reigned
supreme- they wanted to keep defence spending up to ensure that they kept
making money.
· Detterence Principle. If both sides had nuclear weapons, they knew the risk of
attacking and thus deterred either side from attacking.


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