Assessing the Net Effects of Sanctions on the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA DEPT OF NATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS
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This thesis examines the usefulness of economic sanctions in the prevention of the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction WMD. Focusing on nuclear proliferation and utilizing the existing sanctions literature, the thesis examines three cases in which sanctions played a role in U.S. policy. The cases are South Africa, Libya, and Iraq. The findings demonstrate that sanctions are a useful nonproliferation tool. Further, the thesis delivers several insights into what factors ensure policy success when the United States uses economic coercion to convince other countries to give up their WMD. Security assurances, for example, can be useful when a nation uses sanctions as a nonproliferation tool. By contrast, threats of regime change can create disincentives for foreign governments to alter their WMD acquisition strategies. This is especially true when the U.S. Congress adds other conditions to WMD-specific sanctions. Inconsistencies in U.S. nonproliferation policy also can motivate states to acquire WMD, especially if those states believe that Washington has turned a blind eye to their WMD programs. The thesis takes these insights forward to examine the evolving sanctions regime against Irans nuclear program. It concludes that, without cautious adjustment to U.S. policy, these sanctions are likely to fail.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Government and Political Science
- Nuclear Weapons