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Psychological Aspects of Nuclear Warfare Essay

What would you imagine when you hear the word, nuclear warfare? Fear? Sorrow? Despair? We do not know when nuclear warfare occurs because now many countries have nuclear weapons such as the United States, China, France, India and Pakistan. Once a nuclear bomb is launched, the earth could disappear in a moment. So we might not have time to feel fear or sorrow after it is launched. However, we are afraid of nuclear warfare itself. I would like to approach psychological aspects of nuclear warfare from points of the atomic bomb on Japan and the Cold War.

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On August 6th, 1945, the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and tree days later the other one dropped on Nagasaki. According to Jonathan Watts who wrote about the atomic bomb tragedy, more than 210,000 people were killed as a result of the bombs of both cities. Although it is about one third of population, the number is supposed to be underestimated. This is because many survivors have been reluctant to come forward because they fear discrimination. Many worry that their children will not be able to get married because of a widespread concern that the effects of radiation may be passed on to future generations.

Shizuko Yamazaki who experienced the bombing says, “I am getting old, but I cannot die yet. Though over 57 years passed since the bomb was dropped over Hiroshima, I don’t feel the war is over yet. The tragedy of Hiroshima hasn’t ended. My son and I are living proof.” Another survivor of the bombing, Hideko Tamura who works at the University of Chicago Hospital says that she cannot go close to a bronze sculpture by Henry Moore called “Nuclear Energy.” It is located a few blocks away from where she works. The reason is that the sculpture looks like a mushroom cloud. Even over half century later, the nightmare still remains in their mind.

The Cold War is a good example to describe a psychological aspect of nuclear warfare. According to Jack E Matlock who wrote The End of Cold War, the Cold War began in 1945 or 1946 and ended in 1990, when the iron curtain across Europe was dismantled and there was no longer an East-West military confrontation. Herbert Blumberg considers that they had developed newer and more dangerous weapons not to get behind. They were afraid that the rival gets new system or weapon. This psychological aspect let the Cold War speed up.

These two aspects, the atomic bombs on Japan and the Cold War, are psychological aspects of the nuclear warfare. The atomic bombs left hard memories over the people who experienced, and the Cold War left more fear of nuclear weapons by technological improvement. I hope all nuclear weapons are removed away from the world for peace.

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