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November 19.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Lilach Gilady

November 19, 2012 The Nuclear Age Nuclear Bulletin 1949  the USSR atomic bomb caused the nuclear clock to move to 3 minutes to midnight 1953  United States decides to pursue the hydrogen bomb, a weapon far more powerful than any atomic bomb. In October 1952, the United States tests its first thermonuclear device, obliterating a Pacific Ocean islet in the process; nine months later, the Soviets test an H-bomb of their own, clock strikes 5 to midnight 1963 After a decade of almost non-stop nuclear tests, the United States and Soviet Union sign the Partial Test Ban Treaty, which ends all atmospheric nuclear testing. While it does not outlaw underground testing, the treaty represents progress in at least slowing the arms race. It also signals awareness among the Soviets and United States that they need to work together to prevent nuclear annihilation– better management 12 mins to midnight 1968 7 mins because new players in nuclear war China and France 1969 ten mins Nearly all of the world's nations come together to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty 2012 five minutes to midnight – proliferation + the environment + biosecurity, Why? Scary amount of dangerous material missing We are currently in a period of increasing tension In the shadow of the Bomb  62 years since the first, and only, use of nuclear weapons in war  the main role of nuclear weapons since 1945 has been as a source of deterrence o Nuclear strategy o The logic of deterrence Nuclear Strategy 1) Counter Value  Use NW to blow up what is of value to the opposition (capital cities etc) 2) Counter-force  First strike  ABM (Anti Ballistic Missiles); NMD (National Missile defense)  Tactical nuclear weapons – smaller and more precise Problem: first strike means we have no time to wait, unstable situation We need a new notion of “balance” means – one not based solely on the number of missiles The Schlieffen Plan - Bismarck: avoid a two-front war - Ww1: Germany finds itself in a two front war - Russia is slow to mobilize - End the war in the west wuickly use rail to move forces to the earern front - No time to waste; a first strike is an imperative - Leads to.. The Offense/ Defense Balance  The propensity for war is higher when there is a perceived advantage for the offense  strong incentives for a first strike (WW1 – cult of the offensive; barbed wire + machine gun)  The propensity for war is lower when there is a perceived advantage for the defense  sit and wait  What affects the balance
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