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world politics test 3

world politics test 3 - Nuclear Proliferation How Dangerous...

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Nuclear Proliferation: How Dangerous is Nuclear Proliferation? The Case Against Nuclear Proliferation - reject the analysis of the Cold War peace that nuclear weapons served to stabilize US-Soviet relations * correlation does not prove causation * one of many factors: also simplicity of bipolarity, conservative nature of political leadership in both societies, norms of peaceful competition & their geographic distance from each other - the proposition that nuclear deterrence kept the peace is not a matter of knowledge but a matter of belief: not clear…is it worth the gamble? The Gamble of Proliferation - even if the possession of nuclear weapons reduces the chances of war, by how much? - even the small risk of war despite nuclear weapons makes the gamble too great Why Worry About Iran But Not Germany? - the perspective of preventing any further proliferation reinforces a nuclear apartheid (this idea is rejected by opponents) * used by critics * claim nuclear proliferation is a way to create 2 classes of nations: those allowed to possess nuclear weapons & those who cannot be trusted with them (aka the Northern white nations & the Middle East/ Asia) * gives current nuclear powers an enduring strategic advantage - we cannot assume that the pacifying effects of nuclear weapons during the Cold War will be replicated in new contexts * mutual assured destruction in the US- Soviet context came about because each nation had a lot of nuclear weapons in places that the other could not get to * relative poverty of Middle Eastern/ Asian nations don’t have the resources to maintain mutual assured destruction * with only a handful of weapons nuclear powers might come to believe that wars can be won - history is full of examples of leaders who were unable to recognize what was obvious: people do no appreciate the devastation nuclear weapons could bring A Very Delicate Balance of Terror - with new nuclear powers there is a serious dilemma relating to crisis stability : the presence or absence of incentives to initiate military action in the event of a crisis * fear that crisis between nations with small arsenals will give both sides a strong temptation to launch a preemptive strike (an attack intended to disarm a nation before it has the chance to use its nuclear weapons)
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* there will be strong pressures to adopt a policy of launch on warning fire one’s weapons the moment one suspects an attack is under way (when decisions need to be almost instantaneous, the danger of nuclear war increases dramatically) * idea of “use them or lose them” situation - US- Soviet relations was a stable balance of terror and nuclear proliferation will produce more balances of terror in the world but these are likely to be delicate, fragile, & unstable Non-State Actors - agreement on the undesirability of proliferation to non-state actors (terrorist groups) * an opponent cannot be deterred by the threat of nuclear weapons if that opponent has no definable society to threaten * terrorist groups would not get nuclear weapons unless they were planning on
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