Nuclear weapons act as a deterrent for war
Nuclear weapons serve as a deterrent for war. Currently, the most powerful countries in the world remain carefully peaceful towards each other due to the threat of Nuclear War. If there were no longer nuclear weapons and the threat of a nuclear war no longer loomed above world leaders, countries would have fewer reservations about global conflict. Mutual assured destruction (MAD) is one of the main principles of deterrence theory. MAD refers to the idea that if one country uses nuclear weapons against another country with nuclear weapons, the destruction would effectively annihilate both countries. The concept of MAD allowed for the end of the cold war and has since been the reason that no large-scale conflicts have erupted in the modern world.
Many people argue that recent studies have disproven the deterrence theory. According to Benoît Pelopidas, the scientific director of the masters programme in international security at Sciences Po (Paris), "threats intended to deter may have adverse effects, as can any other public policy. If one needs to constantly establish the credibility of a deterrent threat based on nuclear weapons, this will obviously lead to more risk-taking". The threat of nuclear weapons will not always act as a deterrent, and can actually cause the start of a conflict.