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Foreign Policy Analysis
Why Only 9 Countries Have Nuclear Weapons (feat. It’s OK to be Smart!)

Why Only 9 Countries Have Nuclear Weapons (feat. It’s OK to be Smart!)


(light music) – Nuclear weapons, they’re a lot like Pirates of the Caribbean movies. There’s way to many of ’em, we certainly don’t need any more, and if you actually think about what goes into making them, they’re pretty scary. I mean come on, Johnny Depp,
I mean the first one was cool, but after that it was just to
waste everybody’s time, man. But anyway, nuclear
weapons have been around for more than 70 years. And despite numerous
negotiations and treaties to get rid of them, they’re
not going away anytime soon. (upbeat music) If you followed the news or
hopped on Twitter recently, you really can’t escape the
feeling that nuclear war might be on the horizon. In a New Year’s Day speech,
North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, boasted that — and I quote — “The entire mainland of
the US is within range of our nuclear weapons
and the nuclear button is always on the desk of my office.” President Trump tweeted
a response that he too, had a nuclear button at
his desk, that was much bigger. Then less than two weeks later, people in Hawaii received
this emergency alert on their cell phones. (siren wailing) It turned out to be a false alarm, but worries about a nuclear
armed North Korea are no joke. In September 2017, the
country successfully detonated the largest nuclear
bomb it had ever tested. The international community’s no fan of North Korea having nukes. They’d prefer they
didn’t have them at all. In fact, North Korea’s
one of only nine countries that has nuclear weapons. So how did we get here? Why do some countries
have nuclear weapons, while others don’t? Before we dive in, let’s
hear from Joe Hanson over at It’s Okay to Be Smart, about why nukes are so dangerous. – Nuclear weapons can unleash
a level of destruction that’s pretty much unmatched. Conventional bombs rely on
chemistry to create explosions. The ingredients inside a conventional bomb transform one set of
chemicals into another, releasing energy along the way. Nuclear weapons however,
derive their destructive power from altering the atoms themselves. These nuclear reactions
can take two forms. With fission, one atom is
split into two new atoms. The two bombs the US dropped
on Japan on World War II, were fission bombs. They killed more than 200,000 people. Fusion on the other hand,
combines two atoms into one. These hydrogen, or thermonuclear bombs, have the potential to be a
thousand times more powerful than fission bombs. In 1961, Russia detonated a fusion bomb that was 10 times more powerful than all the conventional
weapons used in World War II. But with nukes, the massive explosion, vaporizing heat blasts
and immense shock wave, are only part of the damage. All that fusioning and fissioning also releases huge amounts of radiation. This mutates DNA, kills cells, and if it doesn’t poison you immediately, may eventually lead to cancer. The destructive power of atomic weapons is so great, the clouds
of ash and dust they throw to the sky may even block enough sunlight to create a so-called nuclear winter. Contributing to the destruction
of whole ecosystems. You can see why these are
looked at as cool bombs. – It may seem crazy that we created these insanely destructive weapons at all. But when they were first being developed, it was a crazy time. Let me set the scene for you. Late 1938, just nine months before the start of World War II, scientists in Nazi Germany accidentally discovered nuclear fission. Physicists had known for
about 40 years that an immense amount of energy was
locked inside the atom. But here, finally, was a way to unlock it. As news of the discovery
spread and World War II began, every major industrial nation raced to build their own atomic bombs. The US got there first. In 1945, on a summer night
in the desert of New Mexico, they tested the world’s first atomic bomb. It took some of the brightest
scientists of the day and over 22 billion
dollars in today’s money to make it happen. Because these bombs
cost so much to develop and require such advanced technology, only the richest and
most powerful countries were able to make them. By the mid 1960s that was a small club. Only the US, the Soviet
Union, Great Britain, France, and China had nuclear weapons. But then, the Cuban
Missile crisis happened. In 1962 it looked like
nuclear war might just happen. It was discovered that the
Soviets had nuclear weapons in Cuba that were pointed
directly at the US. War never happened, but the 12 day crisis that freaked out the world eventually led to the landmark Treaty on the Non-Proliferation
of Nuclear Weapons in 1968. The core of the treaty states
that have nuclear weapons would take steps to get rid of them, and countries without nuclear
weapons won’t try to get them. In the decades that followed, nearly every country ended
up signing the treaty, With few notable exceptions. India, Pakistan and Israel. North Korea did sign,
but withdrew in 2003. All four of these countries
went on to develop their own nuclear weapons. Today it’s estimated that
there are approximately 15,000 nuclear weapons in existence. Now that may sound like
an insanely large number, but it’s actually down
from a peak of 70,000 in the late 80s. Russia and the US own
about 93% of all nukes. The remaining 7% is owned by
just seven other countries, China, France, the UK, India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea. Many countries without nuclear
weapons don’t want them. They might be allies with
countries that do have nukes, or maybe they’re not
interested in spending a bunch of money developing
and maintaining them. But for countries with nukes, it doesn’t mean that they’re itching to start a nuclear war any time soon. The goal isn’t to use them. Instead, it’s part of a larger strategy to discourage other countries
from attacking them. It’s called the Deterrence Theory. And has been a heated topic
of debate for decades. To illustrate how it works, let’s look at the
ultimate nuclear rivalry. The US verses Russia. Basically, a nuclear
attack is so destructive that Russia would never
directly attack the US, because the US could respond
with an attack of their own. But for this to prevent war, Russia would also need nuclear weapons so the US couldn’t attack them. Since neither country
could attack the other, both will be forced to use diplomacy to solve any disagreements. You know, they basically
just have to talk it out. In his 2018 State of the Union Address, President Trump singled out
deterrents as a key reason why the US should keep
its nuclear weapons. – We must modernize and
rebuild our nuclear arsenal hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and so powerful, that it will deter any acts of aggression. – Supporters of the Deterrence Theory, argue that it has kept the world safe. In the nearly 70 years
that rival countries have had nuclear weapons, there’s
been no nuclear attacks. However, more and more critics
think that the theory doesn’t hold up in the modern world. The risk of an accidental
launch or a terrorist group getting its hands on a
nuke is way too high. Think about it. If a suicide bomber were
able to get a nuclear weapon would they really be deterred by another country that had them? If we’re ever really going to be safe, these critics thing we need to get rid of all nuclear weapons. Okay guys, so this is more than
just another history lesson. Right now, as you’re watching this video, the US is planning on spending
over one trillion dollars, trillion with a T. Over the next 30 years
to modernize their nukes and stay ahead of the game. What do you guys think about that? As always, let us know
in the comments below and like and subscribe. Oh yeah, first of all, we gotta thank Joe at It’s Okay to Be Smart for you know, coming on and sharing all
that information with us. Thank you Joe, you’re awesome. If you guys haven’t checked out his show, you should do that. And if you like this video, you should check out internet trolls because people just say
mean things on the internet. And you should watch facial recognition because they’re keeping tabs on us, guys. Remember that. Stay Above the Noise,
til next time guys, bye. (upbeat music)

100 comments on “Why Only 9 Countries Have Nuclear Weapons (feat. It’s OK to be Smart!)

  1. I'm really disappointed at good biased this PBS video was, with all the selective facts – no mention that the first nuclear bomb was an international effort, how it was used unnecessarily against Japan, how the original 5 nuclear countries did not eliminate their nuclear weapons prompting other countries to research weapons. A very uninformative video.

  2. "Deterrence" is basically the same argument as regular gun nuts use, and as most sane people know, it's a very very bad argument. The world not be safer if every country had nuclear weapons.

  3. next time please get the right maps of the countries you show on your videos!!! entire Azad Kashmir is missing from Pakistan…

  4. 1 trillion dollars? Imagine the amount of awesome science we could do with that! Why is it going towards making weapons of mass destruction that we don't even plan on using?!

  5. if the US spends Trillion dollars on nukes I'm leaving the US and going to go live in China or I'm going to become president and make sure that this never continues an attempt at eliminating all nukes around the world. Also if Trump runs the modernizing of the nukes, humanity does not have much time left.

  6. NPT is the most one sided pact ever made. 5 world powers develop nukes and suddenly doesnt want anyone else to have them. I know its because they consider it dangerous but why didnt they start by getting rid of it first. Also US and its allies condemning some countries who develop nukes and breaking their NPT promises is another incredibly discriminatory act, they promise to get rid of their nukes in exchange for other countries not having one of their own and yet the US is actually using it to bully other nations instead of getting rid of it

  7. 4:30 you fucked up India's map more than anyone has ever dod that i can't even complain. I m literally ROFL. You gave Indian lands to China which it doesn't even claim and is very much part of India. According to ur map delhi is right next to China 😂😂😂😂 Chinese can't even see your videos. Whom are you pleasing then?

  8. Not at all more like make a war bigger its probably better if no country had nukes but also less military all together and talked out any problem by forgetting the past get younger generations to sort the differences because they usually have less biased opinions.

  9. Fix the map of India. Jammu & Kashmir is no where to be seen here. Same goes with Arunachal Pradesh. Its not even a seperate country how can you kick them out?

  10. so this is funny…here one side we are talking about world peace and another side america is building continuously the nuclear weapons…..and its funny too dt america doesn't want other countries to build….what do america think ? we indians are friend with everybody bt dt doesnt mean dt we are afraiding of somebody,we know the mind of america n we dont think america is the father of the world….n ya american buddies we use to love ur previous president barrack obama bt this time u got a……..u all are friend of us dude

  11. "When you're born, you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat." – George Carlin

  12. The only thing that can make human peace and band together is global natural disaster, huge asteroid impact, or contact with extraterrestrial intelligent being 🙂

  13. Deterrence theory might have working but not until now, not in a "information" age of fake news echo-chambers, and toxic emotional, short-term-oriented politics
    The level of propaganda and disinformation are so high, I'm sure at some point, some states will start assuring its citizens, that survival of humankind mean nothing if the nation (the embodiment of TRUE humans, of course) can't respond to threats and show its power; that it be necessary, that it is no choice but to show true glory and self-sacrifice in destroying everybody

  14. I love that my country has a nuclear deterrent. It brings safety and makes me feel secure in the knowing that no other nuclear armed country would dare attack us seeing as we have the ability to strike back and wipe them out. I think M.A.D Mutually Assured Destruction is perfect and clearly works. Yes our bombs are more powerful but they are also more accurate and we have advanced some of our weapons to release much less radiation and simply destroy an accurate space. Dropping those bombs on Japan will always be the best decision ever made as it saved several million lives and destroyed the evil ideology of Japan at that time. We created a peaceful beautiful place that stays out of war. Proving that the ideology of ISIS can be destroyed if we try harder

  15. I hate nukes they take the fun out of war. I wish America would declare war on Russia and China. I am so FUCKING sick of hearing about Russia on the FUCKING NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Note: hydrogen bombs are actually based on both fusion and fission. There are multiple stages to the reaction. Importantly, fusion reactions don't produce any radioactive fallout. Thermonuclear bombs do, however, because fission occurs too.

  17. I think that we should get rid of all the nukes because they're way to destructive and if the first nation fires the others will follow pretty much immediately and earth is going to hell. And we might have proved the Fermi paradox right

  18. This is just plain offensive to Indians. You totally remove Kashmir , Himachal Pradesh (this isn't even disputed) and Arunachal Pradesh from Indian map but you have no problem giving it to Pakistan and China ? wtf ! Good look getting audience from Pak and China !

  19. WTF is this indian map? Removed the whole Jammu and Kashmir. Some portion of Kashmir is under dispute and is under pak's control but rest of it is unquestionable part of india. Chutia channel!

  20. We acknowledge and appreciate all the comments from our viewers about our map of India and Pakistan. Many of you have pointed out that the map in the video doesn't show the disputed region of Kashmir and inaccurately represents national boundaries of India. While there is still an international dispute over those boundaries, we apologize for not showing all of Indian territory or highlighting the disputed region. Here is a link to the current U.N. map of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir territory. We have also added an info card when our viewers see the map that leads to a PBS Newshour video that provides more background about the current conflict between Pakistan and India. http://www.un.org/Depts/Cartographic/map/profile/kashmir.pdf

  21. Waait les be smart ok if you shoot a bomb/nuke itll explode in about a minute so the more bigger the nuke is the more explosive stuff is in it witch makes a bigger explosion so if anyone shoots the nuke on accedent then that country dooooomed

  22. thank you. What I don't get is why Iran doesn't have the right to have a nuclear weapon when the USA openly plan to reinforce its nuclear stock. It doesn't respect the protocol. Why does it have the right to act like that? I mean it's not fair at all.

  23. Nukes will eventually kill us all. Some old computer somewhere will malfunction. We could prevent it but we won't. Climate Change won't have time to kill us. Nukes will, and it could happen during your reading of this Comment.

  24. NPT was the most biased treaty ever. A true failure. And correct the India map. Great final conclusion though!

  25. Solid video. In a perfect world, no one has nukes. Countries with nukes are unlikely to use them (save crazies like Iran). Denuclearization will never happen as Nukes are not so much a weapon as an insurance policy. See North Korea. They will never give up their Nukes as they are the only deterrent against an invasion (not that that is a likely scenario).

  26. Iran should has nuclear weapons before they got nuke by UK USA FRANCE ISRAEL another IRAK AFGHANISTAN SUDAN LIBYA SYRIA LEBANON YEMEN tragedy.

  27. At the end of the day, nuclear bombs have been the biggest peacekeepers in modern history. The only thing that kept the Cold War cold was nuclear deterrent. World war is a thing of the past, conventional conflict between superpowers is a thing of the past.

  28. you may get rid of the nukes but you cant get rid of the knowledge on how to develop them
    the pandora's box is open it's out there

  29. Nuclear weapons are the ultimate leverage and give small countries a voice. No one is going to wipe you out in a conventional war if you have alot of nukes.

    We are taking you in … oh wait you have nukes … let's talk about this lol. The number of nukes is largely meaningless, its who controls them.

  30. If it wasn’t for America, you’d be living under the boot-heels of either the Nazis, the Soviets, or the imperial Japanese.

    Yes, let’s go with that and just be grateful for whatever freedom you have. We’d rather you just thanked us and then stay away from our borders and shores.

    I guarantee nobody is trekking a thousand miles across desert to try to get INTO YOUR Country! 😆😅😂🤣

    So, we don’t care what envious opinions you express about our great country. We know that you’d sell your mother for her organs just for a chance to live in America.

    There are only two kinds of people: Americans and those who wish they were.

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