Why are Nuclear weapons still usable in any situation?


So, I was watching a YouTube video (Two Minutes Till Midnight by Aperture) and it in, he said that if two superpowers like the Untied States and Russia ever go to war and use nuclear weapons, that’s it for humans. If they did this, they would both go all out and try to cause as much destruction as possible to each other. So, why are nuclear weapons not banned when they have the capacity to destroy all life on Earth?

Edit: Thanks for the quick responses. I feel I get it a little better now. Have a good day!

In: Technology

Who is going to enforce such a ban? The nations that have them include by far the most powerful nations on Earth.

(And as a side note, even at the height of the Cold War – when nuclear arsenals were much larger than today – they still wouldn’t have been enough to completely wipe out humanity, although nuclear war would still be Very Very Bad.)


Because banning them isn’t gonna stop people from getting their hands on them. Right now the policy is mutually assured destruction; it’s like two guys in a fuel tank both holding matches. No matter who lights it, it’s game over. People are terrible, that’s the absolute short answer.

Well, it comes down to this: Who’s going to enforce the ban? If countries give up and dismantle the nuclear weapons they claim they have, then you’ve got a bunch of countries with smaller, hidden nuclear weapons. That’ll still leave enough nukes in the world to destroy everything on the planet should one be set off. In the aftermath of that nuclear Armageddon, who’s still going to be alive to point the finger at country X and say “Your fault.”?

No country will decomission their weapons while the others have theirs. The best approach is an existing pact for not being the first country to launch the nuclear weapon, signed by most nations but the US, basically estabilshing that everyone’s safe to look fierce with their nuclear crap but nobody gets to use it, unless attacked first.

Because humans are selfish.

If one country was to be nuked. The choices are. 1) mutual destruction( because they are different and we don’t want them ruling the world)

2.) Do nothing. ( now all my friends and family will die and the guys who did it will get off scot free)

When thinking about that amount of destruction, you feel scared and anxious. So you kinda want to protect yourself. One solution to that is again, possible mutual destruction to scare them.

2 build better defenses. But that is actually more expensive than the weapons themselves

Who would ensure such a ban is upheld?

As long as there’s a possibility one country has them, no country in the world is going to willingly dismantle ALL of their nuclear arsenal.

No one wants to be in the position of having dismantled all their nukes only for a rival nation to spring a surprise on them that they kept one.


A bunch of people have come up with “Who is going to enforce such a ban?”
Ignoring how Chemical Weapons have been banned.

The answer to why Chemical Weapons got banned, while nukes haven’t is hardly edifying.
The answer is that Nukes would be highly effective, while chemical weapons can be defeated by a biochem suit/sealed armored vehicle.

Nations only ban weapons that are:

1. Ineffective
2. They can’t use.
3. They can’t get.

Nukes are not any of the above for the countries that have them.

“ban them” lol

those are the words spoken by people who have little understanding of how the world works. who will ban them? and how? in order for a ban, or *any* kind of law, to be worth anything, it needs to be enforced. someone and something has to have the capabilities to enforce the law, otherwise that law is nothing more than words on paper.

in geopolitics, there is no greater power than the nation state. the geopolitical world between nation states is literally a free for fall, where every nation is responsible for protecting and defending its national interests and security, both from natural forces and from other nation states. a nation state cant call the cops on another nation if they do something they don’t like, because there is no higher authority than the nation state. it would be up to that nation state to respond in a way it sees fit, according to its national capabilities.

certain nation states maintain a nuclear arsenal for deterrence. russia would never dare nuke the usa, because russia knows that the usa would nuke them back and vice versa. and for nations like the usa, russia, france, the uk, china, etc… there is very little other nations can do to stop them from doing something they want, because they are the overall most powerful states on the planet.

so, a nation like zimbabwe demands all nuclear weapons are disarmed and dismantled, and declare them to be banned… and now what? what does that mean in practice?

it means jack shit, and a weak nation state like zimbabwe is in absolutely zero condition to demand anything from any nation. they do not have the capabilities to enforce their demands, and so, they are ignored, especially by the united states of america, the most dominant and powerful nation state on the planet by a wide margin. america has its own national interests to look after, and maintaining a large nuclear arsenal, with a plethora of delivery capabilities, is among the many national interests of the worlds only superpower.

>So, why are nuclear weapons not banned when they have the capacity to destroy all life on Earth?

Simple; who do you think would actually enforce the ban? How do you propose *forcibly* confiscating all nuclear weapons?

Despite all the movies where villains must give a speech and a fighting chance, throwing down your gun in a hostage situation is probably not the best idea

None of the major countries want to get rid of them first. Especially with the US and Russia, the country that got rid of nuclear weapons wouldn’t have anything to deter an attack.

There have been some treaties to limit the amount of nukes, but basically, no one wants to be the first to put down their weapon. If it was, say, Russia, then the US could nuke them without them nuking us back. As long as both superpowers have them, no one will push the button