A2 Government and Politics: Nuclear


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WMD (Weapons Of Mass Destruction- First defined by the UN in 1948 as meaning Nuclear, Biological, Chemical or any other weapon withe similar destructive capabilities.

Nuclearisation- Increase in Nuclear Capability.

Nuclear Proliferation- The Spreading of Nuclear weapons.

Horizontal Proliferation- More states become Nuclear.

Vertical Proliferation- When a single Nuclear state increases its Nuclear Technology and Stockpile levels.

MAD (Muttally Assured Destruction)- When both sides will simultaneously and equally destroy eachother with no clear victor. 



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1945- USA develop Nuclear weapons and drop two Atomic bombs on Japan (Hiroshima and Nagasaki)

1949- USSR develops Nuclear weapons

1962- The Cuban MissileCrisis, shows the world the strength of Nuclear Deterrence.

1964- All 5 of the UN security Council (China, France, USSR, UK and USA) have access to Nuclear weapons.

late 1960s (Detente) cooling of relations between the US/USSR, creation of the 'Hotline' between Washington and Moscow, start of disarmament talks, a limited test ban treaty and the signing of the Non-proliferation treaty in 1970.

by 1998 states like India and Pakistan have Nuclear weapons which causes concern. 

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Non-Proliferation Treaty

Was an attempt by the UN to persuade all countries apart from the permanent 5 to promise never to develop Nuclear weapons and to submit to regular inspection from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) - many states have signed because:

  • NPT states can share Nuclear energy technology
  • Saves money not to have Nuclear weapons
  • Most states were in either NATO or the Warsaw Pact, US+USSR could use their Nuclear weapons to protect them.

by 1990 the only states developing Nuclear weapons were India and Pakistan (early stages) North Korea, Israel, Apartheid South Africa (gave up after 1994) and Brazil (gave up in 1990).

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Did Nuclear weapons keep the Cold War from going h


  • Stopped the Cuban missile crisis from getting out of hand.
  • Nukes the produced concept of a limited war.
  • US and USSR deterred from full scale conventional or Nuclear attack
  • Hiroshima led to moral repugnance, US did not use them in Korea even tho USSR didn't have them and so deterrence not a factor.
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