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Nuclear Tensions, Nuclear Weapons, and a Long History of Nuclear War


In the last year, tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, a false nuclear missile alert in Hawaii, and debates over the Iran nuclear deal have renewed public attention to the development of nuclear weapons and armament and the potential for war. But from the Cold War, to the Cuban Missile Crisis, to Chinese nuclear tests in the 1960s, the U.S. and the world have frequently faced these fears, and attempted to place particular countries’ access to nuclear weapons technology under international control. So how concerned should we be about nuclear weapons and who has them? How did the U.S. become so central in efforts to control them? And how can past attempts to limit nuclear proliferation inform how we address these questions today? On this episode of History Talk, hosts Brenna Miller and Jessica Viñas-Nelson speak with experts Christopher Gelpi, Dakota Rudesill, and Matt Ambrose to discuss the history of nuclear armament and control.

For more on this topic, see:

Johnathan Hunt - "Learning to Love the Nuclear Pariah: From China to North Korea"

Dakota Rudesill - "MIRVs Matter: Banning Hydra-Headed Missiles in a New START II Treaty," Stanford Journal of International Law Vol. 54, 2018

Matt Ambrose - The Control Agenda: A History of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, Cornell University Press, 2018

- Posted June 2018