Nonproliferation Essay

But at times prevention fails, and policy options for dealing with such powers are scant.Nicholas Miller at Dartmouth takes on this question, arguing that the current approach, especially the non-proliferation treaty, can often do more harm than good.This is the first book-length study of why states sometimes ignore, oppose, or undermine elements of the nuclear nonproliferation regime—even as they formally support it.

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Instead of threatening preventive war and raising the risks of dangerous miscalculation, why doesn’t Washington accept the fact that North Korea has nuclear weapons and focus on deterring the regime from using them, achieving limits on the size or sophistication of the arsenal, or reducing the risk of conflict on the Peninsula?

Much of the answer to this question lies in the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, or NPT, the cornerstone of contemporary efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.

He has been Professor of Government at the Harvard University Center for International Affairs, 1969-77, and is the co-author of Power and Interdependence and a contributor to Nuclear Power Issues and Choices: Report of the Nuclear Energy Policy Study Group (the Ford-Mitre Report cited in footnote 3 below).

During his election campaign, Jimmy Carter dramatized a broad but inchoate popular concern when he promised that curbing the spread of nuclear weapons would be among his highest foreign policy priorities.

What are we (as a nation) really trying to do for the long pull, and how are we making out?

II The goal of our nonproliferation policy is to slow the spread of nuclear weapons capabilities-preferably to zero-and to minimize, and keep under control, any destabilizing impact of the diffusion of nuclear technology (i.e., any impact tending in the direction of conflict between nations or other forms of violence).

In fact, nonproliferation policy is much more like a large construction project than an adversary contest.

It may, to be sure, never follow the precise blueprints of its architects, which will always need a degree of improvisation and adjustment.

*** For close to a year now, the Korean Peninsula has teetered on the brink of war.

As North Korea has made dramatic strides in its nuclear and missile programs, the Trump administration has orchestrated increasingly potent U. sanctions against Pyongyang and repeatedly threatened to launch a preventive attack.


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