Asian Journal of PEACEBUILDING

Volume 1 Number 2 (November 2013)

Table of Contents


Nuclear Conquistadors: Military Colonialism in Nuclear Test Site Selection during the Cold War

Robert Jacobs pp. 157-177
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The history of nuclear weapon testing by the major nuclear powers during the Cold War is intimately tied to the history of military colonialism in the 20th century. For each of the first five nuclear powers (U.S., USSR, UK, France, and China) the process of selecting a site for nuclear weapon testing was driven more by the location of a small group of politically marginalized people unable to object to being exposed to dangerous levels of radioactive fallout, to the loss of their homes, and the contamination of the land and seas providing their primary food sources, than it was by scientific and military requirements. Invariably these populations were constituted of people of a different racial, ethnic or religious group than that of the colonial power. This article examines the selection of nuclear test sites for each of the five major nuclear powers both in the reaches of their military empires and their own domestic landmasses.
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