Margaret Thatcher was not only the first woman to hold office in the United Kingdom but was the longest serving Prime Minister in the twentieth century. She was labelled as the ‘Iron Lady’ due to her strict and rigid view on politics. Her belief in the fact that the absence of nuclear weapons would create an unstable world was shared by Winston Churchill, the earlier British Prime Minister as well, though in a much more sympathetic light. He argued, due to the change in traditions and cultures, the army, navy and intelligence may not be enough to create a system of deterrence which is why development in nuclear weapons may be, unfortunately, necessary.

The reason why the Cold War between the Soviets and the American is known as the ‘Cold’ War is because of the fact that it was fought indirectly, without any forms of physical retaliation against each other, between two of the most powerful nuclear countries. The idea of ‘Mutual Assured Destruction’ (MAD) is one that comes into focus as it prevented the use of nuclear power as a weapon due to the idea that it would be catastrophic for the entire world. Today, the ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan, both nuclear powers, despite escalating, are somewhat kept under check in recognition of the concept of mutual assured destruction.

However, it has to be acknowledged that there are only 9 countries that are nuclear powers, leaving this system of deterrence to be somewhat ineffective as not all countries are on equal grounds. The possession of nuclear arms also creates a constant environment of uncertainty and tension amongst states which could lead to unnecessary conflict in the longer run. So maybe, a world without any nuclear weapons will be stable and peace and cooperation may prevail.

“A world without nuclear weapons would be less stable and more dangerous for all of us” Margaret Thatcher