It is estimated that as at 2017, there are about 9,220 nuclear weapons in the world.
That led me to wonder what happens to the human race in case someone gets crazy enough to press the first nuclear weapon button.
Call me crazy, tell me I’m a pessimist …whatever, but you really can’t deny the irrefutable validity of that thought.
So what is a nuclear weapon? A nuclear weapon is an explosive that has such an intense power behind it such that the form of weaponry can cause massive amounts of damage in faraway places. A single nuclear device can devastate an entire city by blast, fire and radiation.
There are nine countries that currently possess nuclear weapons in varying quantities:
- Russia with 6,850 nuclear warheads
- United States of America with 6550 warheads
- France with 300 warheads
- China with 280 warheads
- The United Kingdom has 215 nuclear warheads
- Pakistan has 145 warheads
- India has 135 warheads
- Israel has 80 warheads
- North Korea has 15 warheads
There is this treaty that gives 5 countries the legitimate right to have nuclear weapons. The treaty is known as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of nuclear weapons (NPT). The five countries with this legitimate right are the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom.
So the remaining countries on the list (Pakistan, India, Israel and North Korea) can be said to be illegitimately in possession of nuclear weapons. But hey! Who dares punish them for having something that a treaty doesn’t allow them to have. They’ve got something scary enough that the world doesn’t want to mess with.
In the events leading to the 2nd World War which lasted from 1939 to 1945, one man got crazy enough to think he can dominate the world and wipe out a whole race of humans.
With weapons like pistols, rifles, sub-machine guns, hand grenades, artillery, tanks, mines, etc used in the 2nd World War, an estimated 45 to 60 million people were killed within the space of 6 years. If Adolf Hitler had access to nuclear weapons back then, most part of planet earth would be lifeless by now.
Even in the 1st world war (august 1914 to November 1918) where the weapons used were of lesser sophistication compared to the 2nd World War, an estimated 9.5 million people were killed equivalent to 6000 deaths per day.
The first nuclear bomb was detonated by the US in war against Japan on the city of Hiroshima on the 6th of August 1945. The explosion wiped out 90 percent of the city and immediately killed 80,000 people. Tens of thousands more died later from radiation exposure.
3 days later, a plutonium bomb was detonated over the city of Nagasaki in Japan leading to the loss of 200,000 lives along with increased rate of cancer and chronic disease among the survivors.
90 percent of physicians and nurses who entered the cities to provide assistance died from radiation. The incidence of leukemia among survivors increased noticeably five to six years after the bombing. A decade later, survivors began suffering from thyroid, breast, lung and other cancers at an abnormal rate. Even unborn children exposed to radiation in their mother’s womb were medically proven to more likely have intellectual disabilities and impaired growths, as well as increased rate of developing cancer.
Think about what 9,220 nuclear weapons can do to planet earth if activated. The possible destruction cannot be accurately comprehended even in the wildest imaginations.
It is more than 7 decades since the 2nd world war ended and nuclear weapons production has grown in sophistication and destructive force. Those weapons are lying in secret warehouses in different parts of the world waiting for a Hitler-like a mad man to get hold of power in any of the nukes-capable countries and unleash them on the world.
God forbid, if any of those nukes gets livened from their current inert state, the world will be nothing like we presently know it to be.
The recent nukes threat spat between Donald Trump of the United States and Kim Jong Un of North Korea is a reminder of the sleeping destruction that could be awakened by uncouth leadership. Both leaders sits at the helm of power of two nuke capable nations and threatened to wipe each other out of existence.
On the 14th of September 2019, drones were used to attack the state-owned Saudi Aramco oil processing facilities. This attack was alleged to have been orchestrated by Iran, thereby creating global tension.
Russia with the highest reserve of nuclear weapons in the world is under a dictatorial government headed by Vladimir Putin. Same goes for China and North Korea. These countries have a governmental system that could make allowance for a single man at the helms of power to unilaterally initiate a war. That is a big red flag!
Israel, a nukes-capable nation, exists within a geographical location surrounded by hostile Arab neighbors. One of those neighbors is Pakistan, which is also a nukes-capable nation. Another big red flag for a potential global war!
The United Nations created after the 2nd world war to ensure that conflicts among nations does not degenerate to a 3rd World War has been doing a great job at that. However, its capability to ensure nations does not actually go to war is very limited as a lot of global tensions has shown.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was created to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy and to discourage its use for military purpose. Still, IAEA was unable to stop North Korea from producing nuclear weapons just as it is unable to stop Iran from making progress in its quest to create nuclear weapons.
The only way the world can be truly safe for most of us, if not everyone (especially if a global war occurred again), is if all forms of nuclear weapons were completely wiped out. But that’s never going to happen!
The endless desire of countries to dominate each other, the fear of being vulnerable to attacks from known and perceived enemies and the strong bargaining chips for economic and political gains that being a nukes-capable nation provides will always ensure that nuclear weapons only increase in number and sophistication rather than decrease.
So the only valid question is – when will it happen?
Who is that person with the recklessly inhumane mentality of Adolf Hitler, who would find his way into power in one of the nukes capable nations? Kim Jong Un came close but not close enough.
May I not be alive when that time comes. May every peace-loving human not be alive when that time comes.
It will be nothing like the wars and holocaust that has ever been recorded in the history of mankind. Nobody, no country, no continent would be safe.