Underestimated: Our Not So Peaceful Nuclear Future
ARMY WAR COLLEGE CARLISLE BARRACKS PA CARLISLE BARRACKS
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As I continued to teach, though, I noticed another gap in the literature. The arguments policymakers and academics were making on how nuclear weapons reductions related to preventing further nuclear proliferation were, at best, uneven. Each of the basic viewsofficial, hawkish, and academicspotlighted some important aspect of the truth, but each was incomplete and surprisingly optimistic. The current official U.S. view, shared by most arms control proponents, is that any state that has nuclear weapons is obliged to make further nuclear weapons reductions under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty NPT. The superpowers promised to make such reductions, they contend, to get nonweapons states to accept intrusive nuclear inspections and to abstain from acquiring nuclear arms. Most who hold this view also believe that nuclear weapons are only useful to deter others use of these weapons, that this mission can be accomplished with relatively few nuclear weapons, and that, as such, we can make significant additional strategic arms reductions at little or no cost to our national security. Pursuing such reductions and strengthening existing nuclear security measures also are desirable, they argue, because nuclear weapons and their related production infrastructures are vulnerable to unauthorized or accidental fi rings, terrorist seizure, sabotage, and possible use. Most of those holding these views also argue that states with advanced peaceful nuclear technology are obliged to share it with nonweapons states as a quid pro quo to get these states to uphold their NPT nonproliferation pledges. Thus, civilian nuclear sharing, nonproliferation, and strategic arms reductions are viewed as three equally critical pillars of an NPT bargain.
- Government and Political Science
- Nuclear Warfare