Accession Number : AD1029792

Title :   Saudi Arabia's Nuclear Posture: Is Hedging the Future

Descriptive Note : Technical Report


Personal Author(s) : Holloway,William F

Full Text :

Report Date : 01 Sep 2016

Pagination or Media Count : 161

Abstract : The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) leaves Iran with residual capabilities that positions it for the rapid development of nuclear weapons should it abandon the deal. This thesis examines how the JCPOA affects Saudi Arabia and what actions the Saudis are likely to take. The Saudi premise of whatever they have, well have in regard to Iran leans toward a Saudi Arabian nuclear hedging strategy, but is it feasible? This thesis proposes a model that explores the interaction of threat, domestic factors, and current international nonproliferation regimes and how they drive a nation toward nuclear hedging. The model is applied to the cases of Pakistan, a nuclear proliferate nation, and Japan, the archetypical hedging nation, and later to Saudi Arabia. This comparative case study finds that despite its national will, technological factorssuch as an impoverished scientific communitymake Saudi Arabias nuclear hedging untenable at this time. In addition to technical capability, the presence or absence of strong alliances factor into the national decision to hedge or proliferate. This thesis concludes by offering insight into when the United States should reexamine the Saudi Arabian case and what it should consider if the Saudis consider nuclear optionality.

Descriptors :   Saudi arabia , iran , japan , pakistan , nuclear materials , international organizations , renewable energy , arms control , nuclear reactors , nuclear weapons , nuclear bombs , economic sanctions , nuclear energy , international relations , foreign relations , treaties , national security , national politics

Subject Categories : Nuclear Weapons
      Nuclear Physics & Elementary Particle Physics
      Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE