Revisiting The Nuclear Balance Of Power Amidst Conflict In Eastern Europe And Western Asia

Abstract


Every nation tries to grab the opportunity to gain power and authority through conquest and war. The modern state has provided the weak with strategies of resistance and engagement to influence the dominant state. Diplomats and politicians throughout history have used the balance-of-power concept in many different circumstances. 

It has been observed that to gain any global order, two conditions need to be fulfilled.  First, confluence among the major powers, and second successfully presenting the outcome as a global public good to the rest of the world. The Global Nuclear Order (GNO) was no exception but at present it is under strain.  This paper seeks to understand the specific challenges nations face to balance the conquest of power. The geopolitical relationship between Europe and Western Asia is evaluated based on their effectiveness in improving the overall nuclear balance of power. Lastly, the paper sheds light on the amendments needed in the international system to improve the security among nations.

Keywords: Nuclear Power Development, Balance of Power, Nuclear Proliferation, Global Nuclear Order (GNO). 

Introduction

The present era has witnessed wide-ranging changes in regional security and patterns of regional conflict. However, in some conflict-prone regions, an encouraging process of conflict resolution started in the late 1980s (Southern Africa, Southwest, and Southeast Asia, and Central America), violent conflicts have erupted in places that had been calm at least since the end of World War II (in the former Soviet Union, such as the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan). In Western Asia, a major international crisis erupted and escalated to the Gulf War (1990 – 1991), when Iraq invaded Kuwait. The post-Cold War era has also witnessed a major U.S.-led initiative to advance the previously dormant Arab-Israeli peace process.

The significance of regional conflicts has been increasingly prominent since the end of the Cold War. Militarily, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the means of their delivery will eventually pose a threat to regional security. Regional conflicts will eventually endanger Western access to markets and resources, an essential resource being the Middle Eastern oil. For instance, in Europe, local conflicts may accelerate massive flows of refugees and thereby reinforce the power of anti-foreigner extremists, which in turn will challenge political stability even in leading countries. Great power involvement in regional conflicts will have regional and international security implications.

At present, the United States has successfully countered Russian influence in the former satellite states of Eastern Europe, and its approach has contributed to the rising conflict in the region. The support of the US for Ukraine has emboldened its government to take a more aggressive stance towards Russia, leading to an extreme level of human tragedy. In addition to the human cost, the world economy has endured rising energy prices and a sharp decline in the production of fertilizers and food produced in that region.

The History of Nuclear Power Development 

Nuclear power is said to have emerged from the exclusive atmosphere of the laboratories, as its “scientific” glamour diminished. As it was transformed during the 1970s into a hard industrial reality, the public became increasingly aware, interested, and concerned. Association with the bomb, destruction, danger, invisible radiation, secrecy, and fear of the unknown added to the disfavor towards nuclear power

In 1979, the first major accident in any nuclear power plant occurred in the United States, the Three Mile Island (TMI) plant. This shook up the nuclear industry worldwide. The negative trends of the late 1970s were further reinforced, and though installed nuclear capacity kept increasing as plants went into operation, new construction starts became fewer and many projects on order or even under construction were canceled. On 26 April 1986, the world’s worst known disaster in nuclear power plants occurred at Chornobyl, in Ukraine, with loss of life and many releases of radioactivity that crossed national frontiers. The impact of this accident was strongly felt worldwide. Environmental concerns have increased sharply, mainly in highly industrialized countries, and environmentalist organizations blossomed and quickly turned their attention to nuclear power as a suitable target to be attacked.

Nuclear weapons play a major role in persistent diplomacy against minor powers. The Pentagon has sought and obtained the capability to strike any military target anywhere on Earth within one hour. Israel – which strongly prefers to maintain its nuclear monopoly in the region was prevented from launching precision strikes against Iranian nuclear enrichment facilities. If Iran obtains a nuclear deterrent, the United States will be able to intimidate it, due to its enormous apparatus intended for escalation dominance against major power rivals. 

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Author: Sagarika Bopanna