Imagine a world where the land is all barren and the skies are full of ash; cities, once filled with life turned into dust. A place where the only civilizations that exist have been basically reset back to the stone ages. With the invention of nuclear weapons, this is not a description of a horror movie, but a distinct possibility. This image can be created with just the press of a button. The world would be a much better place without these weapons.
The development of nuclear weapons in the United States began in 1942 as a countermeasure to the suspected German atomic bomb initiative. Under the codename “Manhattan Project”, scientists from the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada commenced research which would eventually lead to a weapon that would cause devastation across the world and take nearly two hundred thousand lives in a matter of seconds. Even the scientists who developed the first atomic bombs feared their potential for destruction and knew that their use would change all future wars.
Other countries watched the slaughter that these demonic weapons caused in fear, and realized that unless they also armed themselves with the same power, they could be the target of another atrocity. Thus began the race for nuclear weapons, and with it, increased hostility between nations.
As nuclear technology became more advanced and the abundance of bombs increased, tensions between global superpowers only grew more rigid. Each society began its own investigation on how to better their own weapons and become the most powerful nations. This mindset is what prevented us from being allies with the Soviet Union and started the Cold War. Even now, tensions created from this conflict stop us from lowering the amount of bombs in circulation.
The production of nuclear weapons has created the mentality that in order to keep peace, we need to be able to destroy everything. Although the constant threat of nuclear war does contribute to peace between nations, it only establishes it through fear and promotes selfishness through the act of self-preservation. I believe that as long as these weapons exist, we will not ever reach true world peace.