From sticks and stones to nerve agents and nukes, there is nothing, absolutely no other endeavor that humans have worked on with such dedication since the dawn of time - which has seen so many resources invested upon, money thrown to develop, invent, and innovate - as the art of killing their fellow human beings with greater efficiency.
There is an old axiom “to have peace, prepare for war”. Simply put, no one wants to fight the strongest man around, or nothing makes one feel safe as possessing the biggest and baddest weapons in the neighborhood.
Nuclear Bombs in all their horrendous glory are the ultimate weapons; they can kill more people in a larger geographical area from a further distance than anything else. The potential for devastation is of such a magnitude that they have only been used twice in all history. Today, the U.S. and other Western powers are prepared to go to war to prevent their proliferation.
However Nukes are also the ultimate deterrents. Possessing a nuke means not having to worry about conventional warfare on your own soil. There are a total of eight countries* which possess these weapons, and not one of them has ever been attacked in the conventional sense since they came to possess nukes. It simply isn’t worth the risk to attack these countries.
So back in 1994, one wonders, why three former members of the Soviet bloc – Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine - agreed to voluntarily give up this deterrent of deterrents? Especially since the possibility that their former co-citizens could have second thoughts about losing, especially in the Ukraine, what amounts to choice strategic real-estate.
“The Budapest Memorandum: According to the memorandum, Russia, the US, and the UK confirmed, in recognition of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine becoming parties to the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and in effect abandoning its nuclear arsenal to Russia, that they would:
- Respect Belarusian, Kazakh and Ukrainian independence and sovereignty and the existing borders.
- Refrain from the threat or use of force against Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.
- Refrain from using economic pressure on Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine in order to influence its politics.
- Seek immediate UNSC action to provide assistance to Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, "if Belarus/Kazakhstan/Ukraine should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used".
- Refrain from the use of nuclear arms against Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.