The Arms Race

Events

U.S. atomic bomb on Japan

1945

Dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which started U.S. nuclear monopoly.

NATO formed

April 1949

Defense pact between the U.S. and its allies, excluding the Soviet Union - further escalated tension.

USSR test atomic bomb

August 1949

The successful test effectively ended U.S. nuclear monopoly, which shocked U.S. officials who did not predict Soviets would develop an atomic weapon so quickly.

US develops hydrogen bomb

1952

Further escalated the arms race.

Eisenhower's "New Look"

1953

The new domestic and foreign policy sought to assert U.S. nuclear superiority through stocking nuclear weapons and funding research in missiles.

"Bravo" hydrogen bomb test on Bikini Atoll

March 1954

The massive bombing on Bikini Atoll was a) demonstration of strength and b) successful testing of more hydrogen bombs.

SEATO formed

September 1954

The security pact between the U.S.' eastern front (including United Kingdom, France, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, Thailand, and Pakistan) in order to combat Soviet control.

Warsaw Pact

May 1955

Formed to counter NATO, and acted as a security pact between USSR and its satellite states. Military tension between the two nations continued.

Russell-Einstein Manifesto

July 1955

A warning issued by Russell, Einstein, and many other acclaimed scientists on the danger of the arms race - sought to end the testing of nuclear weapons.

Sputnik put into orbit

1957

Showed Soviet's advance in the space race, and shifted U.S' perception of USSR in terms of technological superiority.

NASA was formed

1958

Mostly to counter the Soviets' advance in space.

U-2 spy aircraft shot down

1960

Ended the potential diplomatic solution to the Cold War between Eisenhower and Khrushchev.

Soviets test the Tsar Bomba

1961

It was the most powerful bomb ever tested (58-megaton atmospheric nuclear weapon).

Cuban Missile Crisis

1962

When Soviet missiles were discovered in Cuba, the U.S. immediately issued a blockade of Cuba. And from there, the standoff between USSR and U.S. began. The conflict nearly exploded into a nuclear war between the U.S. and the Soviets.

Nuclear Test-Ban Teaty

1963

Kennedy's attempt at making peace with the Soviets, and partially banned nuclear testing (added more restriction to where and when one can test).

Non-Proliferation Treaty signed

1968

An agreement signed detailing that all non-nuclear-weapon states must never acquire nuclear weapons, and that all nuclear-weapon states must begin disarmament.

Disarmament Rally in NYC

1982

The biggest disarmament rally ever held - urging the United States to disarm completely.

Reagan and Gorbachev discuss nuclear abolition

1986

Meeting between the two leaders in Iceland to discuss complete nuclear abolition.

Intermediate range missiles banned

1987

The Soviet Union and U.S. sign the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty to eliminate all land-based missiles held by the two states with ranges between 300 and 3,400 miles.

Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

1996

At the United Nations, the treaty was signed by China, France, the UK, Russia and the US. India refused to sign the treaty.

Other Nations

China turns Communist

October 1949

UK nuclear test in Australia

1952

France nuclear test

1960

India nuclear test

1974

Israel nuclear programme revealed

1986

Revealed that Israel may have up to 200 nuclear weapons.

India and Pakistan nuclear test

1998

North Korea conduct nuclear test

2006