SAT II World History : The Nuclear Threat

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT II World History

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : The Nuclear Threat

Aside from the United States in World War Two, which of these nations is known to have used nuclear weapons in a conflict?

Possible Answers:

The Soviet Union in the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan

India during the Indian Partition

None of the other answers is correct; no other country has used nuclear weapons in a conflict.

The Soviet Union in World War Two

Israel during the Yom-Kippur War

Correct answer:

None of the other answers is correct; no other country has used nuclear weapons in a conflict.

Explanation:

To date, the United States is the only country known to have used nuclear weapons in a conflict, dropping two bombs on the Japanese cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima at the end of the Second World War.

Example Question #2 : The Nuclear Threat

To date, which of these countries is the only nation to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty?

Possible Answers:

Saudi Arabia

Vietnam

North Korea

India

The United States

Correct answer:

North Korea

Explanation:

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was signed to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons to nations that had not already acquired them and to encourage disarmament among those nations that already possessed nuclear weapons. India, Pakistan, and Israel have never signed the treaty, but North Korea originally signed the treaty before announcing its withdrawal in 2003. North Korea is thought to have developed nuclear weapons by 2006, making it the only state to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and then acquire nuclear weapons.

Example Question #3 : The Nuclear Threat

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was designed to stop nations that did not possess nuclear weapons from acquiring them and __________.

Possible Answers:

encourage disarmament of those nations that already possessed nuclear weapons

discourage investment in nuclear energy

condemn the United States' scientists who invented nuclear weapons

provide reparation payments for Japanese citizens affected by the nuclear attacks of the Second World War

embargo those countries that already possessed nuclear weapons

Correct answer:

encourage disarmament of those nations that already possessed nuclear weapons

Explanation:

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was signed in 1968. Its primary purpose was to prevent new nations from acquiring nuclear weapons; however, another part of the treaty was to encourage those nations that already had nuclear weapons to disarm. This has been largely unsuccessful, although every nation that signed the treaty has reduced its supply of nuclear weapons.

Example Question #4 : The Nuclear Threat

Which of these nations was not known to be armed with nuclear weapons in 2014?

Possible Answers:

Russia

France

All of these countries are known to possess nuclear weapons. 

Pakistan

The United States

Correct answer:

All of these countries are known to possess nuclear weapons. 

Explanation:

The full list of countries who possessed nuclear weapons in 2014, in the order they acquired them, reads as follows: The United States (1945), Russia (1949), The United Kingdom (1952), France (1960), China (1964), India (1974), Pakistan (1998), North Korea (suspected 2006), Israel (unknown).

Example Question #5 : The Nuclear Threat

The theory that two nuclear armed nations will not launch a nuclear attack on one another is called __________.

Possible Answers:

Mutually Assured Destruction

Joint Arms Offensive

Nuclear Non-Proliferation

Nuclear Wasteland Doctrine

The Combined Arms Treaty

Correct answer:

Mutually Assured Destruction

Explanation:

Mutually Assured Destruction (M.A.D.) is the belief that two nuclear powers will not launch a nuclear attack on one another because such an attack would ensure the complete annihilation of both the initial attacker and the defender. Essentially, each country can thought to be saying, "If you nuke me, I will nuke you back." This concept acted as a deterrent during the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Example Question #6 : The Nuclear Threat

Which of these nations was not one of the signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty? 

Possible Answers:

The United States

France

The United Kingdom

India

China

Correct answer:

India

Explanation:

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was signed in 1968 by most of the nations of the world. At the time of signing, the known nuclear powers were Russia, the United States, China, the United Kingdom, and France. Since then, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and (likely) Israel have acquired nuclear weapons. None of those four countries are part of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The aim of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was to prevent new nations from acquiring nuclear weapons and to encourage those states that already had nuclear weapons to disarm.

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