By Laurence & Danielle

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  • Becomming nuclear, increase in nuclear strength.
  • Vertical proliferation: one nuclear state develops more nukes.
  • Horizontal proliferation: more & more states become nuclear.
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In the late 1960's us & USSR began to co-operate,

  • Hotline between two Presidents.
  • Start of disarmament talks (SALT).
  • Partial Tes Ban Treaty: no underwater (Bikini Attoll) or above ground testing > not comprehensive.
  • 1970 Non-Proliferation Treaty: attempt by UN to persuade all countries, bar permanent 5, to never develop a nuclear bomb & allow IAEA inspectors in regularly.
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Why did many states sign the Non-Prolif' Treaty?

  • NPT states can share nuke energy technology.
  • Saves money to have nukes.
  • Most states either in NATO or in Warsaw Pact > reliance on US or USSR for protection.
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What is a nuclear umbrella?

Firstly initiated by Raegan 'star wars' was a way of defending the US from nuclear attacks. The bomb would be destroyed (in space) before it had the chance to do any damage.

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Did nukes keep the peace in the Cold War?


  • Nukes produced concept of 'linuted war' > US & USSR deterred from full-scale conventional (non-nuke) or nuke attack.
  • Nukes had moral repugnance (Hiroshima).
  • Nukes created a balance of terror.


  • They increased proxy wars > there was still not peace.
  • Anti-war feeling from bloodshed pof World Wars.
  • Bi-polar structure of two evenly matched alliance systems.
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Why does a state want nukes?

  • Stategic: to deter other states from aggression towards them e.g. Pakistan, who wants protection from India.
  • Power/Prestige e.g. Iran and Iraq, under Saddam who wanted Iraq to be the leading Arab nation.
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Changes post-1990:

  • USSR collapsed - Belarus & Ukraine gave up their ex-USSR owned nukes BUT fears that nuke security was flawed > technology & materials missing/sold.
  • Brazil gave up nukes - no long a threat frrom Cold war.
  • Reduction in US & Russian stockpiles.
  • Horizontal proliferation DRNK (N.Korea), Iran. (Libya & Iraq, under Saddam, gave up nukes due to War on Terror.)
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What are the various theories about nuclear?

  • Realist/Liberals: less useful for nuke's than on other topics > their divide is not strong enough to really help.
  • BUT the secuirty dilemma (Realists) helps to explain Arms race.
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What is the nuclear situation in Iran?

  • Iran has a nuclear enrichment programme which was previously kept hidden for 18yrs.
  • Wants to control the process of inspecting nuclear by itself in its own country > does not let IAEA inspectors in.
  • Until recently China had been breaking UN sanctions & supplying Iran.
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