Even small arsenals are sufficient for deterrence.
Asal and Beardsley 7—professors of political science (Victor Asal and Kyle Beadsley, “Proliferation and International Crisis Behavior”, Vol 44, No. 2, March 2007, Journal of peace research, pp. 139-155, JSTOR, ZBurdette)
For some states, proliferation has such important strategic value that they will make any effort to go nuclear, as in the case of Iraq in the 1980s and 1990s (Kokoski, 1995). The justification for proliferation in countries like India, Iraq, and Pakistan is often security (Sagan, 1996/97). Mearsheimer (1990: 20) argues, 'states that possess nuclear deterrents can stand up to one another, even if their nuclear arsenals vary greatly in size'. Gallois (1961) was one of the first to make this argument for the value of proliferation for smaller states based on the deterrent value that even a small number of nuclear weapons can provide.During the Cold War, and despite superpower nuclear umbrellas, this logic was persuasive for the French as well as for the British and the Chinese (Goldstein, 2000: 360).
New proliferators will have strong deterrence credibility in spite of limited arsenals
Seng 98 (Jordan, Phd Candidate in Pol. Sci. – U. Chicago, Dissertation, “STRATEGY for PANDORA'S CHILDREN: STABLE NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION AMONG MINOR STATES”, P. 158-159, ZBurdette)
This chapter has two main parts. In the first, I will discuss important elements of deterrent threat as they relate to limited nuclear proliferators in the Third World. Requirements of damage capability – having enough nuclear firepower to deter a would-be aggressor – I take as largely unproblematic in this chapter because I have discussed the issues at length in earlier chapters. I focus my attention on issues of existential credibility (making one’s adversary think one has enough nuclear firepower) and retaliatory credibility (making one’s adversary think that the firepower will be used with push comes to shove). I argue that establishing adequate retaliatory credibility will be relatively simple for limited nuclear proliferators because they will not need to worry about complicated issues of extended deterrence and because they are likely to benefit from a relatively large threat that leaves something to chance. Accordingly, Third World proliferators are likely to have ample deterrent threat when it comes to deterring large scale, total wars. In the last part of the chapter, I evaluate limited nuclear proliferator’s deterrent threat capabilities in terms of deterring limited aims wars as well. I find that limited nuclear proliferators generally will have strong deterrent threat capabilities in limited war scenarios, and they will have some specific advantages that the superpowers did not enjoy.
Even small arsenals can effectively deter
Kenneth Waltz, The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: A Debate, 1995 p20-21 Ajones
Lesser nuclear states can pursue deterrent strategies effectively. Deterrcnce requires the ability to inflict unacceptable damage on another country. "Unacceptable damage" to the Soviet Union was variously defined by Robert McNamara as requiring the ability to destroy a fifth to a fourth of its population and a half to two-thirds of its industrial capacity. American estimates of what is required for deterrence were absurdly high. To deter, a country need not appear to be able to destroy a fourth or a half of another country, although in some cases that might be easily done, Would Libya try to destroy Israel's nuclear weapons at the risk of two bombs surviving to fall on Tripoli and Bengazi? And what would be left of lsrael if Tel Aviv and llaifa were destroyed? "4
Prolif Bad (Below)
Prolif guarantees great power intervention – escalates to nuclear war.
Below, 2008(Tim, Wing Commander – RAF and MA Defense Studies – Kings College London, “OPTIONS FOR US NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT: EXEMPLARY LEADERSHIP OR EXTRAORDINARY LUNACY?,” A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE FACULTY OF THE SCHOOL OF ADVANCED AIR AND SPACE STUDIES FOR COMPLETION OF GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS, AIR UNIVERSITY MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, ALABAMA, June)
Proliferation. Roger Molander, of RAND Corporation, asserts that “in the near future, a large number of countries are each going to develop a small number of nuclear weapons.”5 The Union of Concerned Scientists considers this to be the greatest long term danger confronting both US and international security today.5 Proliferation increases risk in a number of ways. First, the more states that hold nuclear weapons, the more likely it is that one will have an insufficiently mature or robust nuclear doctrine to manage its capability responsibly. Tom Sauer suggests that developing states that do not have democratic political systems present a particularly high risk because in dictatorial regimes, the military are frequently in control, and as Sagan has observed, the military appear to be more inclined to initiate preventative attacks against adversaries than civilians.52 Second, the more widely proliferated nuclear weapons become, the more theoretical opportunities may be presented for theft of nuclear material. Third, proliferation increases the risk of nuclear intervention by an established nuclear power, including the five NWSs. Stephen Younger envisages several scenarios in which currently established nuclear powers might “feel a need” to intervene with nuclear weapons in present regional conflicts, especially if WMD are being employed or threatened. Moreover, since proliferation is frequently associated with reaction to nuclear development either within a bordering nation or regional counterpart, further proliferation is in turn likely to generate a quasi-exponential expansion of similar regional scenarios.53 Ambassador Lehman envisages a scenario in which proliferation may induce a chain reaction of related regional arms races that could result in unintended and unexpected consequences far removed from the objectives of the proliferating nations, and in the United States’ specific case, a risk that the nation could get sucked into a conventional regional conflict which is subsequently escalated into nuclear warfare by its allies or their opponents.54