Accession Number:



Living with the Devil: Stability in the 21st Century World With or Without Nuclear Weapons

Descriptive Note:

Research paper

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



The prevailing tone regarding nuclear weapons is that a world without nuclear weapons will be both safer and more stable. Yet, this latest push for eliminating nuclear weapons comes at a time when adversaries of the United States are actively pursuing nuclear technologies and enhancing their current stockpiles. The intent of this paper is to briefly review the history of weapons, their impact on warfare and to discuss whether or not the world would be safer with or without nuclear weapons. The technology required to create nuclear weapons is widespread and therefore will always exist. Nuclear weapons will continue to play a major role in politics, military strategy and security even if the current nuclear powers are able to reduce or eliminate their own nuclear arsenals. If the world continues to push towards a nuclear zero, we are disregarding historical lessons and eliminating our most powerful deterrent capability. We have already halted progress and innovation within our own nuclear enterprise and - in this authors opinion - if we are not progressing, we must be falling behind. While an arms race is not desired, a strong and unwavering approach towards nonproliferation policy, compliance and restrictions combined with a modern and effective nuclear arsenal will provide our country with a degree of safety and stability not yet known. For this to occur, we must first overcome the fear of all things nuclear and not immediately discard its proven potential for establishing peace and preventing war.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Nuclear Warfare

Distribution Statement: