“The competition with one another. By definition,

“The nuclear arms race is like two sworn enemies standing waist deep in gasoline, one with three matches, the other with five.” —Carl Sagan     Nuclear weapons have been undeniably present in our world for nearly seven decades, their existence in this period of time has been prevalent in shaping the nature of international politics. With a broad range of global issues expanding through the nations of the world, as of right now what can and must be done about the continuing existence of these fatal threats posed by weapons of mass destruction and their proliferation remains a crucial political question of our time.     There is a continuous gap between states who possess nuclear weapons, those whose priority is to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of others and those who feel that the preeminent goal must be the elimination of nuclear weapons. As this gap continues to exist, nuclear weapon expenditure and proliferation is on the rise, the ultimate threat to international security today. With Iran’s evident efforts to acquire nuclear weapons, North Korean nuclear blackmail, and the revelation of a black market nuclear network, all emphasize the alarming possibility that a terrorist group or a rogue state can and will acquire the weapons or materials to achieve massive destruction. The problem of nuclear proliferation is global, and any effective response must also be multilateral. Nine states are believed to have nuclear weapons, and more than thirty others have the technological ability to acquire them, a security dilemma that involves the entire world’s core security.       Despite some notable successes, existing multilateral institutions have failed to prevent states like India, Pakistan, and North Korea from accessing nuclear weapons. The current structure must be updated and reinforced if it is to effectively address today’s proliferation threats, let alone pave the way for peace and security of a world by reaching global zero, the global elimination of nuclear weapons.      Scott Sagan (1997) argues that the nonstop spur in atomic states increases the likelihood of nuclear terrorism, while Kenneth Waltz (1981) holds to the belief that nuclear weapons continue to be history’s greatest peacekeeping force. Why do such contrasting thoughts and beliefs exist in matters of pivotal importance as international security?Global Politics    Realism has been the dominant theory of international relations. It assumes that nation-states are independent actors in an anarchic international system with no supreme authority capable of regulating its interactions, as no true and ultimate world government exists (Waltz, 1979, p.103). Secondly, it assumes that sovereign states are the primary actors in international affairs, meaning, states are in constant competition with one another. By definition, a state acts as a rational self-governing actor in a quest of its own self-interest with the primary goal of maintaining and ensuring its own security, sovereignty and survival. Realism upholds that in pursuit of their interests, states will attempt to assemble resources, and that relations between states are determined by their relative levels of power compounded of military, economic, and political capabilities and a basis of mutual convenience.     Realists thus justify that state’s serve their own interests in the international system due to the absence of any authority above them. Theorist Waltz argues  “because some states may at any time use force, all states must be prepared to do so-or live at the mercy of their militarily more vigorous neighbours”, however this does not apply that there is constant warfare and conflict amongst states in the state of anarchy. Mearsheimer (1994) explains that there is not constant war but “relentless security competition with the possibility of war looming in the background”. (Waltz, 1979, p.102; Mearsheimer, 1994, p.9) In such a situation, no state can trust another therefore cooperation is limited and unstable.    Nuclear deterrence never introduces the establishment of world peace, yet it does work towards the preservation of relative peace between two nuclear powers. If a state feels  threatened by the actions of another state under an anarchic system, it can pursue nuclear weapons as they are the ultimate deterrent and providers of security. (Sagan & Waltz, 2010, p.92) Paul C. Warnke, a Pentagon official in the Cold War (1992), compared the competition of states mutual buildups of massive destruction weapons to two runners on adjacent treadmills. “The only victory the arms race has to offer,” he wrote in 1975, was to “be first off the treadmill.”    Realism is primarily concerned with states and their actions in the international system, as driven by competitive self-interest, therefore perceives international organizations and other actors to hold little real influence, because of this accurate realism can regard for aggression, conflict and militaristic-expansionist policies, its assumptions forestall its capacity of transnational cooperation, free trade, relative peacefulness of the international structure, prevalence of democratic governance and growing economic globalization.      In the Realist view the reach for solutions to nuclear disarmament to accomplish global zero is not to be addressed, it is in the interest of power nations to have nuclear weapons available to use for deterrence. Realist attempt to lower scale the intensity of anti-nuclear approaches by stabilizing these fears with assurance that greater dangers exist  in a world without nuclear weapons. This determination to maintain the nuclear status continues to make anti-nuclear viewpoint appear, unreal, impossible and naive for the real dangers our nuclear-armed enemies pose to us. The emergence of a new, benign world order at this point is nowhere in sight, and the prospects for the cooperative move to nuclear zero appear to be zero. Realists do not pretend otherwise. (Keith B. Payne. 2015)            On contrast to Realism, liberalism seeks to address the problems of achieving lasting peace, believes in cooperation in international relations, and the various methods that could contribute to their achievement. Such cooperation can translate into interdependence leading to mutual benefits for both parties involved, something that reduces the risk of war and increases the prospects of peace amongst nation-states. (Keohane & Martin, 1995, p.45; Martin & Simmons, 1998, pp.732-735).    Liberals also argue that international diplomacy can be an effective way to get states to interact with each other and support nonviolent solutions to problems, with the proper institutions, liberals believe that states can work together to maximize prosperity and minimize conflict. It contends for the possibility of peace and cooperation, the measurement of power through state economies, and the overall progress of the human condition as well as a degree of confidence in the removal of the stain of war from human experience (Gardner, 1990).       In the liberal view states should create international law institutions and organizations for the purpose of maintaining worldwide peace and security and develop relations among nations, like the international organizations, League of Nations and the United Nations (UN) came to be. When addressing the goal of global zero the liberal vision of the UN’s Security council (SC) comes in place, allowing nations to engage and cooperate collectively to conclusively reach procedures and resolutions to the security dilemma of nuclear weapons. Examples of liberal procedures towards global zero are the Non-Proliferation Treaty (1968) and the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty (2017). The 45-year-old Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was officially a failure due to the refusal of the nuclear weapons states to present or even support real steps toward disarmament (Robert Dodge. 2015).      The coalition of both school of thoughts could emerge into a state of anarchy as a condition but peace as a result, and into a world that comprehends the demanding obstacles its confronting but knows as well that humanity has a history of overcoming what seems unassailable, like the ultimate reach for the global elimination of nuclear weapons, global zero. Realism and liberalism contrast in response to the security dilemma issue, but a most effective answer could come from both, the remark of states acting in self-interest is undeniable and realistic in international relations, but along with liberal approaches we can establish that it is in every state interest to cooperate and unanimously address international security issues and to ultimately achieve global zero to move towards a most prosperous and peaceful world as a whole.