WHAT DROPPING THE BOMB MEANT FOR THE FUTURE
This page is focused what dropping the atomic bomb on Japan meant for the future of nuclear war. The page will discuss the events such as the Cuban missile crisis and most recent developments as the Gulf War with the ultimate question being asked, what if we did not drop the bomb?
The decision to use the atomic bomb was controversial. Some have claimed the bombing was unnecessary to defeat Japan. Some claim that the United States utilized the atomic bomb to scare the Russian and make them respect American military power. But regardless of the reason, purpose, or motivation, the bomb ended the war quickly and preserved the lives of many ...view middle of the document...
The height of the Cold War and the event the had the United States on the tip of nuclear destruction was the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. Russian premier Nikita Khrushchev made the decision to install nuclear weapons in Cuba, a Soviet ally after a 1957 revolution. The world, fearing nuclear war, waited through a tense week when the United States and the U.S.S.R. threatened each other back and forth until the Soviets finally backed down.
Tensions were relieved, when in 1963, the United States and the Soviet Union brought the Cuban missile crisis to an end when the two nations concluded a Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Although the Cold War had not ended, the fear of nuclear war was temporarily put to rest.
The world is now entering a new, more dangerous era. The era of mutual destruction may be behind us, but we are now encountering a new bomb material, one that can be circulated in civilian commerce -- the material is plutonium.
The plutonium is produced as a by-product of civilian electrical power reactors and is being produced at massive amounts because of the great numbers of the civilian reactors. The problems lies in the fact that many countries, including the United States, use and transport this material with typically relaxed security. This is a concern because even the smallest amount, less than 25 kilograms, could make a nuclear weapon. There are international programs in place convert existing reactors and build new ones that utilize material that cannot be made into bomb, but many nations, including Belgium, France, Germany, and South Africa, are not cooperating.
The second problems exists in a small number of nations where the reprocessing plants that separate the plutonium -- once exclusive to bombmakers -- have reached the public sector. By the turn of the century, 1,400 metric tons of...