The second ‘family’ of arguments in favour of nuclear weapons deal with these weapons as status symbols and bargaining chips in the world of power politics. Even if they don’t make us safe, maybe these weapons have a value in giving a country a seat at the top table of international affairs (for instance, the UN Security Council)?

Perhaps they demonstrate to other countries that a country with nuclear weapons is an important player, a serious contender, one of the more technologically advanced countries of the world that has responsibilities and prestige that can’t be bought any other way?

Or perhaps being an important and responsible world power requires having nuclear weapons because that’s what important and responsible world powers have these days?

These are all rather vague and confused arguments, but they are nonetheless ones which people use to justify having these weapons…