NUCLEAR ARMS RACE - JOHN GADDIS

historian John Gaddis' viewpoint of the nuclear arms race

a2 history with edexcel

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John Gaddis `Long Peace' Argument on Nuclear Weapons
Gaddis argument What he means.
Possible examples.
`What seems most striking now about nuclear Nuclear weapons made people more rational
weapons is not that they were developed or The fear and status meant that other countries
that people feared them. It is rather that they no longer fought over what they used to
forced, slowly but steadily, the emergence of a
new kind of rationality capable of transcending
historical, cultural, ideological and psychological
antagonisms of the kind that had always in the
past, given rise to great power wars.'
`Nuclear weapons exchanged destructiveness Nuclear weapons stopped destruction but made
for duration.' it last a lot longer
Prevented conflict:
Cuban Missile Crisis
Berlin ­ Check Point Charlie
West Germany/East Germany
Actual conflicts:
Ussuri River
Czechoslovakia
Hungary
`USA's 17-1 nuclear missile advantage in 1962 It didn't matter how many they had; fear gave
was, according to McNamara, still parity, as fear them parity
of just a few explosions would deter the US.' Deterrence
`The ailing USSR fixated only on nuclear weapons Nuclear weapons make you look capable
as the focus for the Cold War so it built more Living standards, economy and technology
weapons to regain actual, not just effective
parity.'
`The Cold War should have ended in 1960. The The only way they could continue they Cold War
USSR was economically, politically, socially was the nuclear arms race
moribund but expansion of nuclear weaponry
kept it alive.'
`Neither the USSR nor USA ever attempted to Avoiding superpower warfare
invade the territory of the other.'
`The response of the superpower's during crises Cuban Missile Crisis
reassured rather than antagonised their enemy.' Helsinki
Peaceful Coexistence
The Thaw
Zero-sum Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) deterrence
Superpower conflict was avoided
Bi-proxy conflict wasn't

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