POLSCI 1G06 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Arms Control, Hedley Bull, The Possession

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Political Science 1G06 2013 II Lecture 7b: To proliferate or not to
proliferate
-Did the threat of nuclear annihilation prevent two opponents that were
vehemently opposed to one another on so many fundamental levels
from actually going to war?
-The fact that the Third World War did not happen is taken by some as
sufficient proof that nuclear deterrence was effective
-But there is additional support
-1969 Sino-Soviet clash
-1999 India-Pakistan clash
-In many respects, this is a critical case for proponents of nuclear
deterrence
-This was a case where it was least likely for nuclear deterrence theory
to hold:
-New nuclear powers
-Limited Second Strike Capability
-Less than Mutually Assured Destruction
-History of conflict
-Despite all these factors weighing against deterrence, and the fact that
the conflict went right to the brink, in the end a full scale war was
avoided
Given the deterrence story, is nuclear weapon proliferation a security
problem or a security solution?
Proliferation Optimists:
-If deterrence worked for the parties in the Cold War, then why would
it not work everywhere?
-The possession of nuclear weapons means that the costs of aggression
will always outweigh any benefits that aggression could bring
-In general, then, if more states are armed with nuclear power, all states
would have to be more cautious in their foreign policy
Proliferation Pessimists:
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