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Journal Article

Nuclear Myths and Political Realities

Kenneth N. Waltz
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 84, No. 3 (Sep., 1990), pp. 731-745
DOI: 10.2307/1962764
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1962764
Page Count: 15
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Nuclear Myths and Political Realities
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Abstract

Two pervasive beliefs have given nuclear weapons a bad name: that nuclear deterrence is highly problematic, and that a breakdown in deterrence would mean Armageddon. Both beliefs are misguided and suggest that nearly half a century after Hiroshima, scholars and policy makers have yet to grasp the full strategic implications of nuclear weaponry. I contrast the logic of conventional and nuclear weaponry to show hoe nuclear weapons are in fact a tremendous force for peace and afford nations that possess them the possibility of security at reasonable cost.

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