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Q: Cold War ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Cold War
Category: Reference, Education and News > Homework Help
Asked by: doncas1984-ga
List Price: $40.00
Posted: 07 Nov 2005 08:14 PST
Expires: 07 Dec 2005 08:14 PST
Question ID: 590113
How did the invention of the nuclear bomb change international politics?
Subject: Re: Cold War
Answered By: wonko-ga on 07 Nov 2005 09:40 PST
The invention of the atomic bomb had numerous implications for
international politics.  First, the atomic bomb catapulted the United
States to preeminence as a military power, giving it much greater
weight in world affairs.  In contrast, " 1939 the United States
is far behind other countries when it comes to military prowess. Most
of its weapons and tanks are vintage World War I, and its relatively
small armed forces are ranked only 17th in the world."

"The Bomb that Was Meant for Hitler" By Klaus Wiegrefe, Der Spiegel
(August 1, 2005),1518,368205,00.html

Most importantly, though, the atomic bomb forced nations to revisit
their assumptions that large-scale wars were both inevitable and an
essential tool of foreign policy.  Up until 1945, developments in
technology had resulted in exponentially increasing fatalities and
destruction in large-scale warfare.  775,000 soldiers were killed in
Napoleon's military campaigns from 1805 to 1815, World War I killed 15
million, and World War II killed 60 million.  "But it was the atom
bomb, the biggest destructive force known to man, that ultimately put
an end to this spiral of death and destruction. It was the cosmic
destructive force of the new nuclear weapons that forced the world's
superpowers, for the first time in history, to deal with their
rivalries with primarily peaceful means. Despite the fact that Soviet
communism and Western democracy were diametrically opposed to one
another, World War II wasn't followed by a third world war, but by the
Cold War, which in fact was -- as US historian John Lewis Gaddis calls
it -- a "long peace."

It was precisely the ability to extinguish one another and, in the
future, all of mankind, that deterred the Americans and the Russian
from resorting to what US President Harry Truman called the "energy of
the sun" to settle their rivalries."

"The Bomb that Was Meant for Hitler" By Klaus Wiegrefe, Der Spiegel
(August 1, 2005),1518,368205,00.html

As General MacArthur put it, the atomic bomb introduced "the fear of
total annihilation... that has forever changed world politics."  While
this resulted in the Cold War staying primarily cold once both sides
possess nuclear weapons, the Cold War also had some of its origins in
Soviet fear of America's atomic bomb.  Stalin's insistence on
maintaining Eastern European nations as buffer states and on
possessing the world's largest Army and Air Force was at least
partially motivated by the American monopoly on nuclear technology.

Another important result of the atomic bomb was the perception among
nations that nuclear weapons are prestigious as a symbol of national
power.  In no small part, this has inspired the nuclear activities of
Pakistan, India, North Korea, and Iran.  Conflict over which countries
the United States will permit to be nuclear powers plays a significant
role in international politics currently.

Additional Sources:

"Nuclear Weapons Have Eliminated Large-Scale Warfare" Der Spiegel
(August 4, 2005),1518,367260,00.html

"Effects of the WWII Atomic Bombs"
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