IR Notes Lecture 19

IR Notes Lecture 19 - IR Notes Lecture Weapons of Mass...

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IR Notes Lecture 19—March 27, 2007 Weapons of Mass Destruction I. The Nuclear Revolution a) Military Consequences b) Political Consequences II. Nuclear Strategy a) Key Concepts b) Nuclear Strategy during the Cold War III. WMD Proliferation a) Types of WMD b) Strategies for Addressing Proliferation I. The Nuclear Revolution a) Nuclear age began in 1945 with Japan b) 1949 USSR tested its own atomic weapon c) Have important consequence i) Militarily (1) Destructive power is great ii) Political (1) Hasn’t changed basic composition of international relations—still anarchic and made up of competing states (2) At same time, impact on int’l politics lies in more than just destructive power (a) Similarly dramatic changes have taken place in the past (b) But nuclear weapons have changed the political calculation of war (c) Can achieve victory without going on the battlefield (3) 5 specific consequences (a) Limited vs. Total War (i) Total war would be devastating in nuclear era (ii) After intro of nukes, there was no total war, but many limited wars (iii) Also, great powers involved were willing to accept defeat rather than use nukes—Afghanistan and USSR for example (iv)If war is an extension of politics, is there any political goal that can justify cost of nuclear war? (b) Significance of Crises (i) Crises replaced war as moments of truth in IPOL since idea of using nukes is unthinkable (c) Deterrence over Defense (i) Instead of creating some sort of defense to keep out a potential aggressor, emphasis is now to create your own destructive nuclear capability to dissuade other states from attacking (d) Superpower Prudence (i) For all hostility toward each other, shared common interest to avoid nuclear war
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(ii) Further, sought ways to prevent accidental or inadvertent nuclear war (e) Are Nuclear Weapons Usable? (i) Argument by social constructivists that use of nuclear weapons is now taboo 1. Socially constructed quality that is recognized that they are unusable 2. In the past, states have had strategic interest in using them, like in Cold War, but backed away because of taboo (ii) Others argue that if context in Cold War has strategically called for it, they would have been used, there’s no taboo 1. there are other weapons that can be viewed as just as immoral (iii) This debate has big consequences 1. if taboo exists, them maybe we don’t’ have to worry about them being used 2. but if no taboo exists, we have to pay attention to threats and attempts to develop these weapons, and arms control agreements that can reduce their presence II. Nuclear Strategy a) Basic logic behind deterrence follows from logic of deterrence in last lecture i) Raise the costs and lower the benefits of aggression by developing massive retaliatory capability ii) Most reasons states have pursued them is to deter another state from using them b) But do they actually deter effectively?
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IR Notes Lecture 19 - IR Notes Lecture Weapons of Mass...

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