Nuclear Arms Race

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Nuclear arms race can be described as the competition by the world’s largest economies to stock the deadliest and the most effective nuclear weapons. It is the race among countries such as United States, Russia, among others trying to equip themselves in case there is an emergence of war. The aim of this essay is to describe this rhetorical problem in details. What does this nuclear arms race entail? Who are the major participants and what is their goal? What is the major cause for the race to acquire these sophisticated nuclear weapons? What consequences should we expect in case this problem is not addressed? Why should this race concern you if you are not a citizen of the states involved? In a nutshell, these are some of the questions that this paper aims to provide answers for. In addition, it will also discuss the rhetorical strategy that can be put in place to ensure that even if we do not completely do away with the problem, we will reduce the risks associated with it significantly.

Description of the problem

The nuclear arms race is a defining problem of this century and if the growing concerns on social networks are anything to go by, then we need to be worried as a human race. It is clearly evident that nations are gearing up for a third world war (Macmanus and Doyle 1). Countries such as the United States and Russia have their armories full awaiting the slightest provocation from any perceived enemy. Other countries that are involved in this competition include China, North Korea, Pakistan, and Israel. It is also predicted that Japan, Iran, and South Korea will soon join the others in stocking nuclear arsenals making the total number of nations directly involved to be 9 (Macmanus and Doyle 18). The problem has severe effects on everybody around the globe because there is unnecessary tension building up and this may affect important inter-state interactions such as trade. Moreover, the use of these weapons has detrimental effects on our health as was witnessed in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan after they were hit by the US in 1945 (Schossler). If indeed we fail to curb this issue, the impending disaster is so dire that we risk extinction from the face of the earth.

The emergence of the problem

The first nuclear bomb in the world was detonated by scientists from America around July 16 in 1945 (Fuller). The scientists had been working on the project for around three years and on that day, in New Mexico at a test site known as Trinity, the excitement in the air could be felt in the “blinding flash of light, intense burst of heat and deafening boom” (Fuller). Initially, the bomb was being developed to beat Germany’s concerted efforts in nuclear advancements. It, therefore, came as a surprise to many people in the world when the US decided to launch an attack on Japan even after the world war had ceded (Carlton, David and Carlo 6). The effects of this attack on the 2 cities in Japan knocked the United Nations into its senses and it came up with the Atomic Energy Commission which was tasked with the disarmament of all nuclear weapons in the world (Fuller).

 The United States presented two reports titled Acheson-Lilienthal Report and the Baruch Plan in an effort to establish a monopoly over the production of nuclear weapons (Carlton, David and Carlo 12). The Russians, however, refused to accept the conditions laid down sighting the fact that the Americans were being placed at an advantageous position. They went ahead to test their own weapons and this led to the announcement from the US that their halted research and development of these deadly weapons would continue. This is when China and France decided to join the race with exclusive nuclear designs (Fuller). Several talks were held to address this issue but countries were not adhering to the measures put in place. Fast forward to the current times and this race does not show signs of going away any time soon. In fact, it is even getting worse with the increasing appetite for developing countries to arm themselves with nuclear arsenals as a show of might and also in preparation for war.

Evidence that there is a nuclear arms race in the world

For the first time since 2010, the annual exports in the industry of global arms have increased significantly (Wallace and Michael 3). Between 2015 and 2016, there was a 1.9% increase in the revenues of the most powerful producers of weapons in the world according to Stockholm International Peace Research (Wallace and Michael 3). Comparing this data with that obtained in the year 2002 when the named institution started recording figures, the increase is around 38% (Wallace and Michael 4). It is believed that North Korea already has a hydrogen bomb in its stores in addition to its revered Hwasong; a combination of 15 missiles that have the ability to carry warheads, chaff, decoys among others to the United States. Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is estimated to be the fastest growing if at all the recently acquired Hatf-9 low-yield warheads are anything to go by (Schlosser).

Russia has not been left behind too and they are constantly coming up with new nuclear weapons. They have a missile popularly known as Satan-2 that can carry about sixteen warheads. This has the potential of destroying all American cities that are a home to more than 2 million people. Astonishingly, Russia is planning to develop fifty other Satan-2s (Schlosser). China, on the other hand, is working on the Dongfeng-41 ballistic missiles with the intention of getting them on trucks with capacities of 10 warheads capable of reaching every corner of the United States (Schossler). Realizing that it is the target of most countries, United States has been working on its defense strategies and its ballistic missile defense review (Fuller).  Although claims of an impending war have been severely refuted, people are still living in fear as is illustrated by the numerous researches done on the internet concerning this issue (Broad, William, and David, 32). Again, governments are directing a lot of resources to this race that could have been channeled to bettering the lives of citizens. It is estimated that the US spent up to $80 billion in the Star Wars project, which never even came to be (Fuller). This money could have been used for the development of the world but instead, it was used in this race, a clear evidence of the resources we are wasting.


To deal with this problem, we need to encourage dialogue among the leaders of the world's greatest economies. The talks should then be followed up to ensure that whatever is passed is completely adhered to because such dialogues have failed in the past due to non-commitment (Carlton, David and Carlo 28). Dialogue is a rhetoric approach that will save the world a lot of time and resources. It will require far much fewer resources to keep an eye on each other and to punish defaulting countries than to pile up weapons. Furthermore, dialogue between the leaders will restore peace in the world without having to shed blood or lose any human life (Broad, William, and David). If the leaders agree to talk, they can help each other in developments rather than get involved in destruction. This will lead to prosperous economies throughout the world and the respect the states will have to each other will be enough deterrence for re-emergence of this issue.

Works Cited

Broad, William J., and David E. Sanger. "Race for latest class of nuclear arms threatens to revive Cold War."The New York Times (2016): 1.

Carlton, David, and Carlo Schaerf, eds. The Arms Race in the 1980s. Springer, 2016.

Fuller, J. "How the Nuclear Arms Race Works."24 Jan. 2018,

McManus, Doyle. "The New Nuclear Arms Race."Los Angeles Times (2016).

Schlosser, E. "The Growing Dangers of the New Nuclear-Arms Race."24 May 2018,

Wallace, Michael D. "Arms races and escalation: Some new evidence."Journal of Conflict Resolution 23.1 (1979): 3-16.

November 24, 2023

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