Quester, George H.
October 1974
Foreign Affairs;Oct74, Vol. 53 Issue 1, p77
This article focuses on the issue of nuclear nonproliferation in the context of recent nuclear explosion conducted by India. India detonated a nuclear explosive below the surface of the Rajasthan desert on May 18, 1974. This has ended all the possibilities of world's nuclear club being limited to the five nations that have possessed the bomb since 1964. Can the further spread of nuclear weapons now still be contained after the Indian explosion, or must the United States reconcile itself to a seventh and a twelfth and a twentieth state with nuclear explosives? Proliferation is indeed still bad for the world. The spread of nuclear weapons in some cases may make war more likely, because such weapons temptingly suggest preemptive strikes by the air forces of a region. And in most cases the spread of nuclear weapons will make far enormously more deadly and destructive, as entire cities become vulnerable to the strike of a single bomber. If one concluded that the Indian detonation made the further spread of nuclear weapons inevitable, then the author suggests that detonation would be a disaster for the world.


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