This essay examines the impact of new stockpiles of low-yield nuclear weapons in various countries (specifically Russia and the United States) on the current international balance of peace, which is commonly held to be based on mutually assured destruction due to major powers' possession of nuclear weapons.

It is argued that while low-yield weapons might, in certain circumstances, contribute to nuclear deterrence, they introduce far too many destabilizing issues for any additional level of deterrence to be worth the risk. The possibility of miscalculations due to the frequent dual-use of launch systems for both high and low yield weapons and its accompanying risk of accidental launches, the lowered threshold between nuclear and conventional warfare, and the risk of escalation into full nuclear war make nuclear war more, not less, likely when nations add low-yield warheads to their arsenals.



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