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Lecture 4

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HIST 103
Jeffrey Byrne

Nurul Hanisah Kamarul Zaman Week 4 18499129 The Soviet-American Nuclear Rivalry: The Benefits to the Common Good The first time the nuclear weapon was used, it led to the death of thousands of innocent Japanese civilians in Nagasaki and Hiroshima, leaving Japan’s economy crippled for many years. The impact of the nuclear weapon was so profound that it caused Stalin administration to concentrate its effort on increasing its military potential which later on, was joined by nations such as China, France, and North Korea as a part of their defensive military strategy. Nonetheless, each nation realizes that no one benefits if nuclear war did occur. Gradually, the notion that mutual cooperation is needed to handle nuclear weapon led to the effort to promote global peace through the establishment of the United Nations in 1945 (Keylor 196). From the perspective of international relations, the need to have mutual cooperation in tackling the issue of nuclear weapon arises from each nation’s self-interest to remain peaceful and to protect its economic interest. This is demonstrated by the US Secretary of State, John F. Dulles who views that the US commitment of wars inAsia, economic aid to other nations, and military expenditures are not a sustainable way to preserve the global security (Dulles). Such view then becomes one of the bases for the formation of global alliances such as the United Nations. Under the alliance, nations are willing to forego their short term interests for the benefits of the common good in the long term. The year 1954 was truly a sensitive period whereby the US and the Soviet Union could easily start a global nuclear war. This view is expressed by General LeMay during the briefing on US plans for nuclear warfare in 1954 where he confessed his disinterest in engaging a preventive war (LeMay). Such a hostile view heightened the possibility of nuclear war which was depicted in the film entitled Dr. Strangelove. Nonetheless, the casualties that were observed by the world in Japan have prevented the leaders from each nation to start a nuclear war. Nurul Hanisah Kamarul Zaman Week 4 18499129 1) Did the Soviet-American nuclear rivalry actually help promote global peace? - in part, yes. Not only Soviet that has been overwhelmed by such magnitude of weapon mass of destruction but the world too - from the perspective of international relations: there are no winners in the nuclear war - the concern pertaining the nuclear war led to th
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