Strategic Assessment: Flashpoints and Force Structure. Chapter 11. Proliferation
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC CENTER FOR COUNTERPROLIFERATION RESEARCH
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Even in the depths of the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union held one interest in common nonproliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. As the Cold War came to an end, however, second and third tier states such as Iraq tested their ability to acquire nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and missiles to deliver them NBCM. The former Soviet Union, once the chief U.S. partner in developing measures to reduce the proliferation of NBCM, is now a troubling potential source for leakage of NBCM capabilities. A new black market may be further enabling states to circumvent existing measures to stem proliferation. More than at any other time, states appear to be pursuing NBCM capabilities, and their incentives to do so are a powerful combination of political, military and economic objectives--making efforts to dissuade and deter acquisition of NBCM through traditional means ever less effective. Thus it is that the United States is confronted with the likelihood that future regional contingencies will take place in an NBC environment. While this promises to make the next five to ten years a dangerous time, this period may also offer a unique opportunity to turn the tide of this proliferation to make the threatened use of NBC less attractive.
- Unconventional Warfare