Elimination or reduction of nuclear weapons is referred to as nuclear disarmament. It is aimed at doing away with nuclear weapons globally. Several demonstrations have taken place to eliminate nuclear weapons. The biggest anti-nuclear demonstration in the history of America took place in 1982, in New York. The advocates of nuclear disarmament believe that it will reduce the chances of nuclear war taking place thereby reducing conflict in the world. The US efforts to decrease the number of nuclear weapons will contribute to less conflict in the world. This paper focuses on the increased efforts of the US government towards a nuclear-free world. It also discusses whether this movement by the US will lead to a world with increased or reduced conflicts. It will conclude by discussing whether the US can influence other nations to adopt its nuclear weapon policy.
Despite the efforts demonstrated against nuclear weapons in the US at the beginning of 1990, George Bush constantly pushed to finance policies that would promote the use of nuclear weapons after the Cold War. So far, the US Congress has declined to finance most of the policies advocating for nuclear weapons. Conversely, others feel that allowing for such programs damages the integrity of the United States as a supporter of nonproliferation (Norris and Kristensen,p52).
During the time of the cold war, there was a strong probability of a nuclear exchange taking place which would have led to the end of civilization. Although the world is currently not living with the fear of a nuclear holocaust taking place, these are dangerous times. For example, the Americans working in Iraq are losing their lives every day, and a nuclear bomb has been tested in North Korea, and Iran will certainly follow suit. The crisis in Georgia built a lot of strain in the relationship between Russia and the United States. Furthermore, the growth of more states with the potential of nuclear weapons has increased the chances of the utilization or lack of regulation of nuclear weapons or components that make them. The United States, therefore, aims at using all obtainable tools to stop the use and further attainment of nuclear weapons. The US President; Barack Obama has promised to lead in the pursuit of a world without nuclear weapons, and practice it. He has maintained that until his objective is attained, he will uphold a safe and secure arsenal to prevent any antagonist (Hook and Spanier, p70).
In a recent statement, by the US defense secretary, the US has pledged not to employ nuclear weapons on any non-nuclear countries. This declaration followed Obama’s administration of improved nuclear policy where the United States consigned itself not to create or analyze any additional nuclear weapons. This new policy is aimed at being the global leader in reducing nuclear supplies (Hook, p25). Some critics say that the US could endanger itself if other countries do not follow the same suit.
A recent analysis on the nuclear policy of the US in reducing the global number of nuclear weapons; reveals that the policy notably influenced the diplomatic postures and nuclear policies of a few countries. The analysis revealed that notable progress in the world with less conflict. This was possible due to its nuclear posture which assured other countries without nuclear weapons that the US will never use its nuclear weapons against them, as long as those countries promised to comply with their responsibility of nuclear nonproliferation, which removed an entire class of the delivery systems of nuclear arms from the arsenal. It also advocated for the reduction of nuclear weapons in the US and Russia and pledged that the US will only employ the use of nuclear arms when it is under nuclear attacks from other nations.
In the effort of minimizing the danger of nuclear weapons, the US will also take part in programs intended to uphold its nuclear disincentive. For the United States to maintain its nuclear policies, it has ascertained that, in the future, it will continue to uphold nuclear forces, which have the capacity to give reliable deterrence for them and their partners; and support this deterrent and comprehensive deterrence policy with safe, reliable, and secure nuclear forces.
The United States is leading in ascertaining that nuclear weapons are well protected. The famous US program for threat reduction; CTR has been a successful program although many people advocate for its increased funding to guarantee that all nuclear weapons are protected expeditiously (Lewis et al, p56). The CTR has initiated the creation of other significant programs supporting the safeguarding of nuclear weapons.
The Influence of US nuclear policy over other countries
The United States intends to influence other countries to follow suit in the renewed nuclear policies although some of the states have not adhered to the policy. They have either not signed the agreement or have gone ahead to engage in nuclear programs while not participating in the treaty. Most people see the new nuclear weapon policies as world peace and no dissemination. They have opted to find policies that hinder the proliferation of nuclear weapons to the rogue states.
There was a positive response from Russia on the bid of the US in reducing the number of nuclear weapons in an attempt to maintain peace. Russia was in the process of rewriting its nuclear doctrine to include the use of nuclear weapons but instead reviewed it to include the use of nuclear weapons only in defense of nuclear attacks. Countries without nuclear weapons like Germany, Belgium, and Norway supported the US (Hook and Spanier, p78). They advocated for the elimination of a few of the remaining strategic nuclear bombs on the bases of the US in the NATO terrains.
However, some nations like China and India still have doubt on the nuclear policy of the US, and see its declaration of reducing the global number of nuclear weapons as forthright rhetoric. Officials from the Chinese government have expressed worries that conservative improvements of the weapons increase the probability of the US terrorizing China in the future. One commentator from India referred to the US’s new policy as a posture and not a review.
It is evident that US efforts to minimize the number of nuclear weapons globally have had various reactions. Conflicts will immensely be reduced by this policy as most of the reactions are positive.
In order for the US to work towards a world with fewer conflicts, they should further reduce their nuclear weapons. The policy of a world without nuclear weapons cannot be attained easily, and neither can it relax with the policy done. The nuclear policy helped in moving the motion in many nations on a positive track, and formed new prospects for global cooperation in disarmament.
Lewis, Dunn, Giles Gregory, Larsen Jeffrey, and Thomas Skypek. Foreign Perspectives On U.S. Nuclear Policy and Posture: Insights, Issues and Implications. Fort Belvoir, VA: Defense Threat Reduction Agency, 2006. Print.
Hook, Steven, and John Spanier. American Foreign Policy since World War II, 18th Edition. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2010. Print.
Hook, Steven. U.S. Foreign Policy: The Paradox of World Power 3rd Edition. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2010. Print.
Norris, Robert, and Hans Kristensen. “U.S. Nuclear Forces, 2008.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 64.1 (2008): p. 52. Print.