The Future of Nuclear Weapons

One of the most important aspects of Giddens’ globalization analysis of nuclear weapons and the observations that those economists who observed and termed this period as ‘post modernity’ in the 90’s had no inclination of the invention of nuclear weaponry before their time. “Not just the threat of nuclear confrontation, but the actuality of nuclear conflict from a basic part of the ‘dark side’ of modernity in the current century….should even a limited nuclear engagement be fought, the loss of life would be staggering, and a full superpower conflict might eradicate humanity altogether” (p. 9-10).  Gidden’s observations were a century ahead of those intellects that he included in his analysis of globalization. And while much of his notes about globalization reference from an economic and social POV, products that are now global, companies that achieved a conglomerate status, and a general sense of interconnected-ness between communities of all sizes. While he debates and presents some valid points of how the world has grown and improved thanks to globalization, there are many aspects that still are not clear about how they will develop in the near future of (specifically) western globalization. Although war and warfare is not as extensively covered in Giddens’ book as other subjects relative to globalization, he does leave an open-ended question on p. 32, “–in other words, nothing ventured, nothing (potentially) lost. Inaction is often risky, and there are some risks which we all have to face whether we like it or not, such as the risks of ecological catastrophe or nuclear war.

The published book “Guns and Butter” by Gregory D. Hess examines the aspects of globalization that are often overlooked but are still just as potentially dangerous and life-threatening as we continue to innovate and manipulate the Earth’s materials for our own use and benefit, we also take in a risk as well if we choose not to respond at all to the growing problem. In essence this book expands on the few statements that Giddens’ does make in his book on the topic of war and extends on the subjects that Giddens’ presents. The focus is to discuss how war has evolved due to globalization, the innovations of weapons, the cost of war, the evolution of terrorist groups and organizations, and how many countries are now in the race of creating nuclear weapons. The Cold War is a primary example. During the race to arms, many nuclear and space technology was built, and media coverage on TV and radio discussed almost daily updates of each nation’s new innovation. However, when it ended and as the world shifted its attention elsewhere, the discussion ended. But what happens to the nuclear weapons? Are they destroyed or hidden away? What if they are accidentally activated? What if they fall into the wrong hands? Hess addresses this, “Whereas the economic costs of destructure warfare were relatively low, nations continued to pour resources into their respective military, and the costs of insecurity were far from negligible.”  Our nations now spend billions of dollars invested into military weapons and development, as globalization increases, it seems that insecurity and distrust also increases. Giddens and Hess write their books around the same time, and seem to agree on many points that warfare is often if not entirely overlooked by other aspects of globalization.

Abstract of Essay: Globalization has created a more rapid development of inter-connectivity between nations and communities over the past few decades that touch every aspect of human interaction. This essay discusses the effects of globalization and modern warfare and the use of nuclear weaponry. The Cold War between the US and Soviet Union left unused and dangerous nuclear weapons that have the ability to kill millions of people. These weapons and other military innovations created since are being largely ignored as globalization may contribute to the threat against any kind of world peace in the near future.

3 thoughts on “The Future of Nuclear Weapons

  1. Although the super powers of the world are cutting back on the amount of nuclear arms that they have, they are still a major threat to humanity. Today Russian aggression is at an all time and nuclear war is a possibility. Your post is extremely interesting and insightful. I don’t believe that Giddens was ahead of his time as you said because everyone had feared for nuclear war during the Cold War. I believe that Giddens idea of Risk can be applied to this also because each country takes a risk whenever they do anything that a country they aren’t very friendly with may not like, like sanctions.

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  2. Just like the blog post I commented on earlier, this post has to do with the negative impact globalization could have on the world as a whole. The advancement of nuclear weapons, and all weapons for that matter, is one of the worst negatives to come out of globalization. The only positive that I see is the when one country makes better weapons, you can make better weapons to protect yourself (and this is a stretch). I like when you said, “Our nations now spend billions of dollars invested into military weapons and development, as globalization increases, it seems that insecurity and distrust also increases.” This is the perfect way to say it and connect it to Giddens’ ideas of trust and risk. We trust that a country we are hostile with, will not launch their nuclear missiles randomly one day, and wipe out a good chunk of us, and they trust us to do the same. By advancing weaponry, we take the risk that one country will not want to beat us and make better weapons and the prove it, using them on us. Do you think the advancement of weapons will ever reach a peaceful endpoint?

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  3. Humanity made a Pandora’s box on one hand the first alien species we meet is going to get a hell of welcome cake with special candles, but beyond nuclear weapons are aspects of power projection and raw strength. They act as the ultimate equalizer. “. The focus is to discuss how war has evolved due to globalization, the innovations of weapons, the cost of war, the evolution of terrorist groups and organizations, and how many countries are now in the race of creating nuclear weapons.”, globalization and the idea global superpowers of binary interlocked stalemate, each ideologically fanatic and really dedicated to its own selfish goals really, Nuclear weapons are fearsome but the goal is for them to be never used, just a constant set of chips in balance at the table. What other aspects of the globalized world, fit into this mold?

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