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Nuclear Coexistence: Rethinking U.S. Policy to Promote Stability in an Era of Proliferation

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This study seeks to address the emerging incongruence between the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the U.S. policy for managing this process. American society and its political leadership must accept the need to adapt its policy to the rapidly-changing circumstances in nuclear proliferation. For at least two decades, the process of nuclear proliferation continued unabated, with the emergence of new nuclear powers, including India, Israel, and Pakistan. Since 1992, deep concerns about the emergence of North Korea as a nuclear power have provoked a protracted diplomatic crisis between the South Korean-United States alliance and North Korea. Further, the dissolution of the Soviet Union created three additional instant nuclear powers-Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus. Kazakhstan and Belarus agreed to eliminate their nuclear weapons and accede to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty NPT as non-weapon states. Ukraine, however, has thus far steadfastly refused to relinquish its nuclear forces. The United States increasingly finds itself in the midst of diplomatic crises over the proliferation of nuclear weapons into the hands of increasing numbers of states, both friendly and unfriendly. Steadfast opposition to nuclear proliferation is a remnant of the Cold War when the prospect of a multi-nuclear world represented a direct threat to peace and stability. For decades, the United States marshaled the resources of the international community to decelerate the process of nuclear proliferation. There were efforts by the nuclear-armed powers of the United Nations Security Council to limit the spread of nuclear weapons and thus the number of nuclear-armed states.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Geography
  • Nuclear Warfare
  • Nuclear Weapons

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