South Asia: After the Bomb

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Amrutha Prasad


The effect of nuclear weapons has long been debated. Some argue that these weapons have a stabilizing effect on already volatile regions and rivals, while others fear that it will only further escalate tensions. In their book debating a nuclear world, Waltz and Sagan take opposing positions on the effect that the atom bomb had on the territorial issues India has with its neighbors Pakistan and China. The case of South Asia and the bomb is unique in the sense that while they are all ancient civilizations, their current regimes are all the same age. We are thus offered a cocktail of ancient civilizations, young regimes, territorial conflict, and history’s most lethal weapon. This paper seeks to discover if the presence of nuclear bombs has impacted the ability to resolve territorial disputes between these nations. After looking at the foreign policy of each country and the history of their development of nuclear weapons, I find that, yes, possessing nuclear weapons has delayed the resolution of this territorial issue.

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