By Alexei Arbatov
Dr. Alexei Arbatov is the head of the Center for International Security at the Institute of Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations. He is a former scholar in residence with the Carnegie Moscow Center’s Nonproliferation Program. Formerly, he was a member of the State Duma, vice chairman of the Russian United Democratic Party (Yabloko), and deputy chairman of the Duma Defense Committee. He is a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and is the head of the academy’s Center for International Security at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations. Following is the complete text of his paper presented to the conference on ‘Perspectives for a world free from nuclear weapons and for integral disarmament’ at Vatican City on 11 November 2017 – The Editor
VATICAN CITY (IDN-INPS) – There is a commonly accepted view that nuclear weapons have saved the mankind from a third world war during the last 72 years after their immense destructive power was demonstrated in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. The main argument boils down to the fact that such a war did not happen during the age of domination of nuclear deterrence in the international strategic and political environment.
Only God knows whether this is true or not. There is no equation between “during the time of” and “as a consequence of”. The debate on this subject has been going for decades, and neither point of view can be irrevocability proved. However it should be noted that during the whole century between the battle of Waterloo in June 1815 and the catastrophe of August 1914 there was no large-scale war despite the absence of nuclear weapons, just like during a hundred and fifty years between the Thirty years war of the XVII century and sweeping Napoleonic military campaigns of the early XIX century. MORE >>>