Proliferation Of Nuclear Weapons

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The Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons


In this study, we try to explore the concept of Nuclear Weapons in a holistic context. The main focus of the research is on Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The research also analyzes many aspects of nuclear weapons and tries to gauge its effect on various countries. Finally, the research describes various factors which are responsible for nuclear weapons and tries to describe the overall effect of proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Table of Contents



Discussion Analysis3

Nonproliferation Treaty Comes Into Force3

U.S. Commitment to Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Wavers6


Supporters Tout Treaty's Effectiveness8




The Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons


In May 2005, representatives of 187 signatory countries gathered in New York City for a Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference. The conference is held every five years to review progress on the treaty's goals of countering the proliferation of nuclear weapons. However, after nearly four weeks of talks, the conference ended with no agreement on the course of action for nonproliferation in the coming years. The stalemate underscored the degree to which nuclear nonproliferation has become a fractious and controversial issue. At the last review conference in 2000, the signatories reached consensus on specific steps the treaty's members needed to take to accomplish the NPT's goals. At the recent conference, however, delegates were not even able to agree on an agenda for talks, a failing that experts say threatens to put the treaty itself in jeopardy (Sokolski, 2004).

Since its enactment in 1970, the NPT has been considered the cornerstone of the international community's efforts to control the spread of nuclear weapons. The NPT is considered to have three pillars: disarmament of the five nuclear states at the time of passage, nonproliferation of nuclear weapons to nonnuclear states, and the right of those states to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. The treaty had gone into force during the Cold War between the U.S. and Soviet Union, a rivalry that had sparked a nuclear arms race and raised fears of nuclear war. Experts credit the NPT with helping to create conditions that lowered the danger of nuclear annihilation and led to the eventual scaling back of the superpowers' respective nuclear arsenals (Gardner, 2004).

But in recent years, the NPT--and the nonproliferation regime that it established--has suffered blows. In 1998, India and Pakistan, neither of which were signatories to the treaty, both confirmed that they had developed nuclear weapons. In 2003, North Korea pulled out of the NPT after it revealed that it had a nuclear weapons program. In 2004, Iran was accused of producing parts that could be used to develop enriched uranium for weapons, in violation of the NPT (von Hippel, 2008).

However, it has not just been the spread of nuclear weapons technology that has weakened the NPT's authority. Since taking power in 2001, the administration of President Bush (R) has signaled its doubts about the treaty, as well as about other international agreements. In the wake of Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the ...
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