The Torch

Filed under Opinions

The U.S. Should Be Spending Less On Nuclear Development

Back to Article
Back to Article

The U.S. Should Be Spending Less On Nuclear Development

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

The United States has the most impressive nuclear arsenal in the world. Both the U.S. and Russia have a little over 4,000 active or deployed warheads.

However, The U.S. spends an extremely large amount of money on its nuclear arsenal compared to that of Russia and the seven other nuclear powers in the world: about $25 billion in 2017, compared to Russia’s $1 billion. Is this huge amount of money necessary for national security, or should it be used elsewhere?

Today, perhaps the biggest threat of a nuclear war comes from North Korea. North Korea decided to go nuclear back in 2011, and since then they have done countless tests.

But, from 2011 to 2017 they have only spent $3 billion on all aspects of nuclear missile development.This is a huge part of their estimated $10 billion military budget. This is about a third or a fourth of their estimated GDP (gross domestic product.)

Credit: US Department of State

A nuclear war with North Korea would be catastrophic, however the U.S. has something to defend against that. The missile defense system includes 44 rockets based in Alaska and California that can protect the whole nation from ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles.)

In the event that North Korea launches an ICBM at us, there is a good chance that it would be shot down. Following the attack, the government should refrain from retaliating with nuclear bombs to spare the tens of millions of civilians, and the neighboring countries of South Korea, Japan, and China.

This is why more money should be put into improving our missile defense system, not our ICBMs. The first priority of the government is protecting the American people, not destroying North Korea.

Our nuclear weapons don’t need the huge budget they get because they have always been able to destroy whole cities. The atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 created a fireball 1,200 feet in diameter at 10,000 degrees fahrenheit.

The W88 warhead is commonly used in the United States nuclear arsenal today and has a blast yield over 30 times that of the Hiroshima bomb. That bomb dropped on Hiroshima instantly killed 70,000 people; so why do we still spend billions on a weapon that was perfected 70 years ago?

Nagasaki before and after atomic bomb Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Also, if the U.S. government lowers the amount of money spent on nuclear development, that is one step closer to the goal of the Non-Proliferation Treaty signed in 1964. The goal of the treaty is to stop the spread of nuclear weapons to other countries, promote peaceful uses of nuclear technology, and to achieve nuclear disarmament in all countries.

The U.S., Russia, France, the United Kingdom, and China are the nuclear-weapon state ratifiers. However, India, Pakistan, and Israel never signed it, and North Korea withdrew. The world would be a better place without nuclear weapons, and the Non-Proliferation Treaty is a great way to get there.

Money from nuclear development does not only have to go towards other parts of national security, but anything within the government. In his campaign, President Trump said one of the first things he would do in office is improve our infrastructure. Why not put it towards new and improved roads or better public transportation?  

The government could also back innovative transportation businesses, such as Hyperloop One, who want to make commuting quicker at a fraction of the cost.

New commercial technology should be embraced and encouraged because it ultimately benefits the American people, which politicians always say is their number one priority.

Also, another huge part of President Trump’s campaign was getting a wall built at the border with Mexico. Funding could be pulled from nuclear development instead of coming from taxpayers.

The Environmental Protection Agency and other groups always need more money to expand their operations. These groups work to keep the remaining wilderness in the U.S. safe and teach people how to cut back on the waste they produce.

President Trump has already shown little interest in the EPA  and other environmental groups, so this is very unlikely. In today’s world the budget for the EPA and similar organizations should be increased, not decreased.

The U.S. government should be focusing on improving America, not creating war. Nobody really wins a war if it comes at the cost of millions of lives. Especially today, with nuclear weapons that can be sent across the world and kill off entire countries.

The United States should spend less money on nuclear development not only to improve America, but to contribute to world peace. The “Long Peace” has gone on since the end of World War II, and it needs to continue for the sake of civilization.

Featured image credit: Wikimedia Commons

About the Writer
Patrick Connolly, Staff writer

Patrick Connolly is a 15 year old Sophomore and a first year writer. He plays track and field for Livermore and hopes to  play all four years of high...

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.

Navigate Left
  • The U.S. Should Be Spending Less On Nuclear Development


    Americans Lose Amidst the Shutdown

  • The U.S. Should Be Spending Less On Nuclear Development


    Mother Earth Screams for Help

  • Opinions

    “Happy Holidays”

  • The U.S. Should Be Spending Less On Nuclear Development


    Do Students Prefer Trimesters or Semester?

  • The U.S. Should Be Spending Less On Nuclear Development


    Our Silence Leads to Bloodshed

Navigate Right