The fact, however, is that the world is characterized by intense security competition and sometimes outright conflict. Though some observers hoped that the end of the Cold War would bring the end of history, political discord among great powers has returned in recent years. Russia is using force to redraw the map of Europe. China is asserting revisionist territorial claims in East Asia. Over the past two decades, conventional military dominance has allowed the United States to de-emphasize its nuclear weapons, but the US conventional advantage is eroding as Russia and especially China build up their non-nuclear military capabilities. Moreover, nuclear weapons remain the ultimate instrument of military power—and Washington's potential adversaries, including Russia, China, and North Korea, are modernizing their nuclear arsenals with an eye toward using those weapons in the event of conflict with the United States.
75). Thus the stockpiles were not being accumulated just for the sake of it. The Cold War broke out at a time when it was believed that the more nuclear weapons a country had, the more powerful it was, hence stood a better chance of winning in an event of war. Russia and the US having been at the forefront in the arms race massively built arsenals that put the world at great risk and the two countries exhibited this even further by detonating H-Bombs. The world would become inhabitable if the countries released all the weapons that they had in store .