PSC 1003 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Nuclear Proliferation
Course CodePSC 1003
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Its armed forces, although modern, are much smaller than those of the much larger
state of Algeria. Algeria also has a much larger economy that could be used to enhance
its military capabilities. The United States has not formally recognized Morocco's claim
to "the Southern provinces."
In your analysis, would the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Morocco be helpful to the
maintenance of regional peace and security, harmful, or completely irrelevant?
The acquisition of nuclear weapons by Morocco would be harmful to the maintenance of
regional peace and security.
As in the textbook, there is little evidence supporting the idea that nuclear weapons can
promote peace. The most prominent example that pro-proliferation may give, was the
U.S and Soviet Union during the Cold War (Shimko), which can be simply evaluated as a
mistake of correlation not causation. They may believe that with more nuclear weapons,
war would become more costly and in turn deter war, however even with likelihood of
this being true, in cases that it is proven false, the results would be so detrimental, it
would not be worth nuclear proliferation in the first place. The harms clearly outweigh
Although there are political allegiances in place with Morocco that may help maintain
peace, the aspect of allowing Morocco to obtain nuclear weapons must be evaluated on
the individual country’s level. It must also be taken into account the economic state of
the country. As it is not a major world actor, and is still a developing country, “their
relative poverty will influence how many nuclear weapons they are likely to build, as
well as what kind”(Shimko). Even though they may be considered as advanced to
African standards, it enemies are equally, if not more technologically advanced, putting
them in a weaker position. While it may seem that nuclear weapons may help alleviate
their weaker military but it would only, “bring all the drawbacks and risks of nuclear
weapons without the benefits” (Shimko).
Deterrence only works to a certain extent, and the likelihood of it working in
Morocco is too costly to find out. Those that are pro-proliferation may argue that a
preemptive strike might be effective for Morocco’s case, however this may just prove to
be a waste of nuclear weapons and would only produce unstable balances of terror in the
world. Morocco does not have the same level of technology or money that the US or
Soviet Union had during the Cold War, which is the evidence that pro-proliferators
constantly rely on to support their beliefs. In comparison to Morocco’s hostile
neighbors, these strategies would likely be ineffective and disastrous.
In addition, the nuclear proliferation to the state also expands access to non-state actors
(Kibaroglu). In this instance, the treat of nuclear terrorism would become more
prevalent, and radical groups would have easier access to weapons of mass destruction.
In this case, terrorist would be willing to risk anything to gain access to nuclear
weapons. It would be reckless to allow these weapons to be given to a state that is not as
economically developed and may fail to have a certain level of security around nuclear
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