Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade September 2001

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Atomic Essay "Are nuclear weapons necessary?" No they are not. Nuclear weapons are capable of destroying all life on this planet, and there will never be a situation where that is necessary. Three examples of why nuclear weapons are unnecessary are: the amount of funds spent on nuclear weapons is staggering and could be better spent, tension from the cold war is relaxing and with that nuclear weapons no longer serve any purpose, as well nuclear weapons pose a tremendous threat to our planet.

The total amount the United States has spent on nuclear weapons since research began in 1940 to present day is well over 5,481 billion dollars. That is 5,481 billion dollars too much spent on weapons capable of destroying every one on this planet many times over. That figure contains money spent on building over 67,500 nuclear weapons and 4,860 nuclear bombers. Today there is a nuclear disarming treaty in place that calls for the U.S.

and Russia to bring their nuclear arsenal down from an estimated 12,500 weapons each to 5,000. So if spending all that money on nuclear weapons was so necessary then why did the two nuclear superpowers decide that it is a good idea to reduce the amount of their nuclear stockpiles.

If there ever was a purpose for nuclear weapons it was during the cold war. Some may argue that if it wasn't for the existence of nuclear weapons we may have had a third World War. If the threat of global destruction was not hanging over the superpowers heads they might have chosen to settle their differences in a bloodier manner. There is a certain amount of credibility to that argument, however the Cold War is over and any reasons for having all the nuclear weapons that we do went with it. The nuclear weapon was become a major symbol of the Cold War, and a major source of the animosity between the two countries. Now that tensions have relaxed, in order for good relations to exist between the two countries they have to stop threatening each other with nuclear weapons. The existence of nuclear weapons is a major barrier to any kind of lasting peace between the two.

Lastly and the most important reason of all, the purpose of a weapon is to kill and as long as we have nuclear weapons the potential exists in them to kill. And no matter what government regulations are put in place or how many peace treaties are signed the potential for global destruction still looms overhead. As well the use of nuclear weapons would place the world in a very ironic situation, they are the most powerful weapons on this planet, however if nuclear weapons are ever used in a full-blown war no one can win. As soon as a country launches a nuclear weapon at another nuclear country they have committed suicide. A nuclear retaliation is inevitable. Even if a nuclear country fires on a non-nuclear country, the aggressor country is not justified, no matter what the actions of the other country. With nuclear weapons the destruction is so extensive that tremendous civilian casualties are inevitable. If a country today ever uses nuclear weaponry on another country they are essential declaring war on the human race.

One could argue that nuclear weapons are an effective deterrent of war. But this is not the case; the turmoil in the Middle East is a perfect example. In fact the existence of nuclear weapons is a sure sign that peace in not on the minds of many world leaders. Fear is effective as a preventative against war for a time but will never be answer to peace. The cost of nuclear weapons, the end of the Cold War, and most importantly for the lives of every person on the planet; all nuclear weapons should be disposed of. If the UN outlaws possession of nuclear weaponry and nuclear weapon technology, the world would be a little safer, there might still be wars but at least the whole planet won't the battlefield and every citizen won't be a potential causality.