Is the World Prepared for Nuclear War?

By Akshat Ambekar

Ever since the first Atomic bombs were dropped more than 70 years ago, countries all over the world started building their nuclear arsenal. Now the world is witnessing another war. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is all over the news, and everyone must deal with it, but are we prepared? Can we, as a people, truly confront this war and its ramifications? More significantly, do those in positions of authority have any power at all?

Since the war began, leaders of many countries have condemned Russia with Joe Biden saying the invasion will “[…] Bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering”, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying, “[…] This is a catastrophe for our continent.” 

However, while these countries are condemning Vladimir Putin, they have not dispatched any armed forces to Ukraine, which are sorely needed. People all around Ukraine are receiving humanitarian aid such as food and supplies, but Ukraine lacks weapons. Because Ukraine’s military is significantly smaller than Russia’s, citizens are being forced to take up arms and fight for themselves. Even President Zelenskyy is fighting, but no one could have predicted that ordinary people would be enlisted to combat one of the world’s most powerful militaries.

However, while these countries are condemning Vladimir Putin, they have not dispatched any armed forces to Ukraine, which are sorely needed. People all around Ukraine are receiving humanitarian aid such as food and supplies, but Ukraine lacks weapons. Because Ukraine’s military is significantly smaller than Russia’s, citizens are being forced to take up arms and fight for themselves. Even President Zelenskyy is fighting, but no one could have predicted that ordinary people would be enlisted to combat one of the world’s most powerful militaries.

https://www.voanews.com/a/6472487.html, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/world-leaders-condemn-russian-invasion-ukraine-turning-point-history-of-europe/

Citizens throw molotov cocktails at Russian forces.

Another major issue is the United Nations, or UN. After the terrible massacre that was WWII, the United Nations was established to keep the world at peace. The UN had an ambassador from every recognised country and had 5 permanent members of the National Security Council or NSC for short, and 10 other countries rotating based on current events. The United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, and Russia are the five permanent members of the NSC. Each of these countries has an absolute veto over all UN procedures.

When you’re a world leader, you’re under a lot of scrutiny. You must make decisions that the general public approves of, yet there is no way to do so without disturbing a large number of individuals. This can be a serious issue when making a major decision like joining a war because of the risk of escalation.

When you declare war and send in forces, the opposing side has to one-up you, and you have to one-up them, which is why people don’t want to join in war because so many awful things can happen; however, if you do nothing, countries can do whatever they want without fear of being stopped.

Both of these circumstances are extremely stressful, as there is no such thing as a “correct” option in combat. The ideal middle ground is to either refuse to fight, as India, China, and the United Arab Emirates did when they voted against a US-led security force against Russia. (Russia voted against the measure, while the rest of the world voted in favour.)

Another factor that makes this even more stressful is nuclear war. Nuclear war is the definition of the worst case scenario and has been on our minds ever since 1945. Even with the best case scenario that includes a nuclear war the lives lost and cities levelled would be immeasurable. As such no country or world leader would ever make a decision that could lead to nuclear war, especially if a nation has threatened to use them.

The problem becomes if no one is willing to make a move in this situation any country with nuclear weapons can do whatever they want if they threaten nuclear armageddon. This means that world leaders can do basically nothing against people like Putin that hold nuclear weaponry. 

Because of all of these factors there is literally no one, no world leader that would ever be able to make a move during a nuclear war and because there is no right option this means no world leader ever has any amount of power to do anything in the situation of war in modern times.

This is why I question why world leaders have any authority about these situations of war. If we can’t prevent an invasion disrupting a time of peace simply because world leaders are too spineless to take a decision nearly 2 months after its beginning. Then world leaders are truly useless.

Akshat Ambekar is a person who loves to play music, video games and read. He likes to talk about many different topics like science, geography, and geopolitics. He likes to swim however isn't that good at it but it is his only real sport hobby.

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