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Fourth installment of campus-wide nuclear awareness survey

Soon after the development of nuclear weapons, the international community realized that if it did not obstruct the development of these weapons, they would inevitably fall into the wrong hands. After several failed efforts to limit nuclear proliferation, the international community finally agreed to a treaty, the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), that would strive to eliminate the threat of nuclear weapons to global security. The NPT entered into force in 1970 and outlined the roles of nuclear and non-nuclear powers. Nuclear-armed nations promised to pursue ?measures relating ... to nuclear disarmament.? Non-nuclear nations, while able to reap the benefits of the peaceful aspects of nuclear technology, promised not to pursue the development of weapons.

Though the NPT has been marginally successful in preventing the spread of nuclear weapons, nations seeking to covertly develop weapons capabilities constantly challenge its goals. As a signatory of the NPT, the U.S. must weigh the checks and balances of its security against its responsibilities as an armed nation when developing its policies.

1 Assuming Iran and North Korea develop nuclear weapons capabilities within the next 10 years, which of the following nuclear nations do you think will be a significant threat to U.S. national security? (select all that apply)

a) China
b) Russia
c) Iran
d) North Korea
e) Pakistan
f) None of the above

2 Over the next 10 years, what scenario do you believe will pose the biggest threat to U.S. national security?

a) a nuclear attack against the U.S. by a rogue state
b) an accidental meltdown of a U.S. nuclear reactor
c) a nuclear attack against the U.S. by a terrorist group
d) an accidental nuclear launch by Russia against the U.S.

Please e-mail your responses to currentaffairs@thetartan.org.