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Nuclear peace is considered a theory of international relations proposing that under some situations, nuclear artilleries can induce stability and reduce the chances of escalation of predicaments. Nuclear arsenal are considered to have induced stability in the course of the Cold War, when both the USSR and the US possessed joint second-strike retaliation capacity, eradicating the chance of nuclear victory for both sides. Advocates of nuclear peace contend that regulated nuclear proliferation may effective for promoting stability (Smith, Owens and Baylis, 2014). Critics, on the other hand, assert that nuclear proliferation heightens the chance of conflict and develops the chances of nuclear arsenal being in possession of violent groups who may use them against innocent people. 

The main debate on the topic is between Kenneth Waltz, the brainchild of the neorealist theory of international relations and Scott Sagan, a prominent advocate of organizational theories related to global politics. Waltz contends that nuclear nations will utilize their nuclear capacities to daunt threats and preserve peace. Sagan is against the idea of nuclear artilleries and argues that novel nuclear states many at times lack proper organizational regulations regarding their weapons. This may lead to accidental or deliberate nuclear war and may at times be stolen by terrorists perpetrating nuclear terrorism. 

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As per the neorealist theory in political science, countries exist in an anarchistic universal background that calls for reliance on self-help to safeguard their national security and sovereignty. Owing to the massive damaging power of nuclear artillery, all nations that seek to uphold national security needs to balance against all competitor states in possession of nuclear weapons by owning them. This means that nations must merge and develop policies related to control of the destructive weapons (Sagan, 1996). Countries without nuclear arsenal can join hands with stronger nations to ensure protection. Countries with nuclear weapons across the globe have policies governing their use. A nuclear peace is evident when the expenses of war are high for all sides involves. In a two-sided conflict where joint second strike capability characterizes both sides, the defense is almost impossible therefore the very prospect of taking part in the battle and not the likelihood of losing it that encourages restraint. Kroenig (2013) notes that in situations of joint assured destruction, civilian hostages are witnessed in both parts involved in nuclear war; situations that ease cooperation by operating as a casual contrivance of contract enforcement between nations. Economic equivalents of similar informal mechanisms can be deployed to influence credible commitment, in the form of corporations using hostages to deter franchises and subsidiaries from cheating. 

According to Rosen (2006), nuclear artillery acts towards reducing a nation’s dependence on cronies for matters of security, thereby deterring allies from dragging one another into combat. The author calls this phenomenon chain ganging largely believed to have caused World War I.  Because the demise of civilians is a vital section of jointly assured obliteration, one normative ramification of the nuclear arsenal is that battle lacks its historical function as a measure of national strength and symbol of glory. As a model of averting a destabilizing arms race, the construct of minimal restriction highlights one of the ways of cracking the security dilemma in addition to avoiding an arms race. 

Sagan (1996) conducted a quantitative study evaluating the nuclear peace hypothesis and discovered that nuclear weapons promote and enhance peace and stability. The author asserted that whereas nuclear artillery enhance strategic stability and avert large scale wars, they concurrently permit for lower concentration conflicts. The existence of a nuclear monopoly between nations with one of the country being in possession of nuclear artillery with such weapons lacking in the other state, there exists greater chances of conflict. In contrast, in cases of joint weapon ownership with both states claiming ownership of nuclear artillery, the odds of battle are fundamentally less. 

On the other hand, there are some authors and war experts who contend that nuclear weapons do not promote peace and stability. For instance, Sagan (1996) argues that war is likely to take place regardless of conditions of jointly assured destruction.  This is thanks to the fact that players in the nuclear world are not often lucid, as internal intrigue and bureaucratic procedure may lead to sub-rational results. Reinforcing and related to that notion is the fact that there is often an aspect of uncertainty. Despite the fact that nuclear weapons could additionally be developed to operate either as a deterrent against irresistible conventional military intimidations or as forcibly tools to compel alterations in the status quo, the ultimate emphasis on nations’ replies to emerging nuclear risks is considered the most prevalent as well as the most parsimonious description for nuclear artillery proliferation. 

Rosen (2006) notes that proliferation effects proliferation which suggestd that developing nuclear arsenal each time by a nation initiates a balance in contradiction of its major opponent. Additionally, the nation produces nuclear weapons to sustain its domestic as well as national security. From this point of view, the history of nuclear proliferation could be projected to be a strategic chain reaction that leads to peace and stability. According to Kroenig (2013), countries taking part in World War II did not have any idea of nuclear bombs but understood other nations were contemplating making the bombs. 

In conclusion, the debate on whether nuclear bombs promote peace and stability is a twofold argument. This is because on the one hand, countries with nuclear arsenal wade off potential attacks from opponents who may be seeking to take advantage of resources. With proper policies and regulations, countries with nuclear weapons offer adequate protection to its citizens and territory at large. On the other hand, nuclear artillery may be very dangerous more so when deployed in the wrong way. Many civilians have lost their lives in the past thanks to such deadly weapons. Terrorists may take advantage of nations with nuclear weapons but without the ability to manage them to cause harm. This, therefore, means all nations with nuclear artillery should come together to lay down strategies controlling their weapons since the weapons may cause mass destruction.  

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  1. Kroenig, M., 2013. Think again: American nuclear disarmament. Foreign Policy, (202), p.42-49.
  2. Rosen, S., (2006). After Proliferation: What to Do If More States Go Nuclear. [online] Foreign Affairs. 
  3. Sagan, S. (1996). Why Do States Build Nuclear Weapons?: Three Models in Search of a Bomb. International Security, 21(3), p.54 – 86.
  4. Smith, S., Owens, P. and Baylis, J. (2014). The globalization of world politics: An introduction to international relations. 6th ed. Oxford (Inglaterra): Oxford University Press, pp.372-385.
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