Some notes on: Nature of WMDs, deterrence, types of weapons, bio/chem weapons, Nuclear proliferation, Cold War period, 1968 treaty, implications for peace, tactical use.

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Kate
  • Created on: 07-12-10 09:53

The Nature of WMDs

WMD= nuclear, biological, chemical weapons, or any other with the capability to cause mass destruction.

WMDs are widely viewed as 'non-legitimate' or 'inhuman'.

They have the effect of deterrence.

Biological- anthrax

Chemical- Nerve gas ( e.g. WW1 + hallabjah), mustard gas, chlorine gas


1 of 6

Nuclear states

In order to become a nuclear state, many resources are required. A state must have relevant technological and scientific knowledge, scientists to perform research, materials to make nuclear weapons (enriched uranium). The process of developping nuclear weapons is lengthy.

The USSR was the second state to develop nuclear weapons (1949), after the US (1945), who leased the technology to the UK (under Attlee in 1952). Some people say Britain's nuclear capability is not independent.

1960- France, 1964- China, 1974- India, 1998- Pakistan

2 of 6

Nuclear deterrence

The idea that war is prevented because both sides fear each other equally and would suffer equal destruction.

For nuclear deterrence to be successful, both sides must:

- believe that the other side would use nuclear weapons

- have enough nuclear weapons to destroy the other at the same time, making it impossible to win a nuclear war.

3 of 6

Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT) 1968

It was created to dissuade all countries apart from the permanent 5 from developing nuclear weapons. Countries who signed agreed to allow the IAEA(International Atomic Energy Agency) to inspect them.

Many states DID sign because states in NPT could share nuclear ENERGY technology and it is cheaper not to have nuclear weapons. Also, Warsaw Pact and NATO meant that US+USSR could share their nukes to protect coountries in these organisations.

By 1990, the only states developing NWs were India, pakistan, D.R.N.Korea, Israel, Apartheid S. Africa(who gave up in 1994) and Brazil(who gave up in 1990).

4 of 6

Nuclear and implications for peace

Kept peace:

- deterrence, moral repugnance, balance of terror

- 'limited' war - countries can only go so far

- proliferation since 1990 = more unstable regimes, and stronger states helping weaker ones can be good for international relations.

- NPT = more regulated, the permanent five are less likely to use nukes

5 of 6

not kept peace cont.

Have not kept peace: 

- more global tension, cold war was essentially about building up of weapons, what if n. weapons did not exist in the first place?

- what about other factors on peace, such as the end of WW2?

- bi-polar structure of power in the world (two evenly matched alliances, NATO and Warsaw Pact) might have been enough, without nukes

- creates tensions between countries e.g. Iran possibly having n. weapons.

- Iraq was invaded for developing WMDs, however no real evidence.

- Major unease between west and Iran, as Iran has signed the NPT but will not allow IAEA in.

6 of 6


No comments have yet been made

Similar Government & Politics resources:

See all Government & Politics resources »See all Global issues resources »