Argentina's Nuclear Program and Its Impact on Regional Security Interests
ARMY WAR COLLEGE CARLISLE BARRACKS PA CARLISLE BARRACKS
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Argentina is among a growing number of Third World countries that has the capability to produce nuclear weapons. Several issues relevant to an examination of Argentinas nuclear program are its capabilities to manufacture nuclear weapons, its incentives or disincentives for choosing a weapons option, and the impact of a weapons option on its neighbors. The nuclear scientific and technical infrastructure that have been developed over the years, coupled with the growth and sophistication of its nuclear fuel cycle facilities, are evidence of Argentinas capabilities to manufacture nuclear weapons. Although Argentina declares its nuclear policy to be for strictly peaceful uses, it has sought to keep open its weapons option. There do not appear to be sufficient political and security motivations from any of its neighbors, notably Brazil, that would prompt Argentina to aggressively pursue nuclear weapons production. If Argentina were to make such a decision, Brazil could be expected to follow a similar option. While a nuclear arms race would be an eventual possibility, it would not necessarily impact unfavorably on the security interests of its regional neighbors, including the United States.