I am horrified that the smart people of slashdot are simply accepting the premise that nukes have exclusively created peace in the world. Misunderstanding this point can cause that it is trying to avoid. Mr Waltz's thesis is that since the end of WWII there hasn't been a major war between Nuclear powers. He asserts that the major change has been the existence of nukes, therefore nukes are what are keeping the peace. That logic is flawed horribly. This is confusing correlation with causation. Other things have changed also. For example:
I can assert that since 1945 the United Nations has existed. Therefor the UN has prevented a major war;
World War II is the most heavily documented event in human history. Since we cannot ignore the mountains of history we are able to avoid repeating it. Santayana is proved, not Waltz;
After WWII education and communications have boomed. Since smart people anywhere on Earth who can commentate in written English can exchange ideas freely on Slashdot the conditions for war are ameliorated. Therefor Slashdot and the internet and mass communication have prevented war.
As a corollary: To be correct Waltz would have to rephrase his comments to: Nukes can't keep the peace, they are objects. It is knowledge of what will happen if the Nukes are used that keeps the peace. The confounding of Nukes and knowledge is troubling.
This also ignores two facts: First, that except for a tiny part all of the damage of WWII was done with conventional weapons. When we look at image after image of different blasted cities, only two were nuked. If we hid the few important landmarks could anyone here tell the difference. Horror and death are horror and death -- how they are achieved may not be important. Second, India and Pakistan are still well within the average, 17.3 years, between wars. We have no proof that Nukes have done anything to maintain peace between them.
It is most important to realize that none of these are exclusive. It can easily be argued that it is some combination of the factors I have laid out that keeps the peace.