If all but five of the world’s countries have signed a treaty that says they won’t make or use nuclear weapons, there is still a risk of nuclear war. This is called the Non-Proliferation Treaty, or the NPT for short. It’s not clear where the exact locations and numbers are, but a few countries are known to have these weapons of mass destruction. As a result, they could wipe out a million or more people with one push of a button.
The Nuclear Weapon Leaders:
There are a lot of nukes in the world, but not very many of them are owned by the US or Russia. And when we say “most,” we mean “almost all.” There are about 12,700 nuclear weapons on the planet, and an estimated 90% of them belong to one of these two countries.
In the late 1940s to the end of the ’80s, there was a lot of tension and fear between the United States and the then-USSR. Both countries tried to make nuclear weapons during World War II. The US was the first to do so, and their bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are the only times nuclear weapons have been used in war so far.
As time went on, the two nations’ nuclear arsenals would grow dramatically. They would have thousands of nuclear weapons. More than 70,000 nuclear weapons were in the world by the mid-1980s. The USSR had about 40,000 over the years, and the US had more than 31,000.
It was crazy for the US and the Soviet Union to build up so many weapons in the 1970s and 1980s, even the people who made the decisions said. Richard J. Burt, who worked on the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty under President George Bush, told the New York Times in 2019. “Both sides overbuilt without knowing what would happen.”
The result was mutually assured destruction, which is better known as MAD. In the end of World War II, Los Alamos scientists thought it would only take “around 10 to 100” of the weapons the two countries had in order to wipe out the world. They had 30 to 40 thousand of them. Each. Both had also come up with ways to fire these nuclear weapons even after they had been attacked.
You can’t nuke me, because then I’ll nuke you.
Donald Brennan came up with the acronym MAD to make fun of the idea that in a nuclear war, or even a large conventional conflict, both sides should be ready to destroy the other’s cities and society. Robert Jervis, a political scientist who died in 2009, said that back then.
People who support MAD said that this goal was not logical, but that was the point: Both sides would be scared away from starting a nuclear war, or even taking steps that might lead to one.
This group has 30 members: 28 from Europe, two from North America, and two from Asia. Among those, only the UK, France, and the U.S. have nuclear weapons.
Compared to the third member of their nuclear NATO team, France and the UK have very small nuclear arsenals. They each have about 290 and 225 nukes in their arsenals. It’s still a lot of weapons, but when you think about how much damage one of them could do, that’s still a lot.
It doesn’t mean that the rest of NATO’s 27 countries don’t have any nuclear weapons at all. A few countries in the alliance are home to an estimated 100 US nuclear weapons as part of a program called “nuclear sharing.”
US Air Force personnel keep these weapons safe while they are in Germany or Italy. The host country’s air force can use them if certain world leaders decide to kill everything.
List Of Countries With Nuclear Weapons 2023: