(1) A small group of people still believe in nuclear weapons, but (2) the facts dictate that nuclear weapons not only should be eliminated but (3) they can be eliminated .(4) The opposing arguments are that nuclear weapons hastened the end of World War II, they deter nations from going to war, they have kept the peace, and nuclear technology is irreversible. But (5) nuclear weapons did not persuade the Japanese to surrender. (6) New research shows that the real reason Japan surrendered is because the Soviets renounced neutrality and entered the war. And (7) before losing two cities to nuclear weapons, Japan had already lost sixty-six to conventional weapons. (8) Two more made little difference. Also, (9) history shows that nuclear weapons are ineffective as a deterrent. (10) They did not deter the U.S. during the Cuban missile crisis, and (11) they did not deter Argentina in the conflict with Britain over the Falklands. Furthermore, (12) there is no good reason to think that nuclear weapons cause peace. (13) Peace means the absence of war, but (14) the absence of something can be explained in countless ways. Lastly, (15) the argument that you can't stuff the nuclear genie back in the bottle is specious. (16) The question is not whether nuclear weapons can be disinvented but whether they are useful. (17)This is doubtful given that (18) not one has been used since 1945 and (19) the trend in modern warfare is toward smaller, more effective precision- guided weapons. (20) Banning nuclear weapons will not be easy, but (21) the existing ban on chemical and biological weapons shows that it can be done.
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