Prolif good – War


Prolif Bad – Crisis Instability



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Prolif Bad – Crisis Instability




Prolif causes crisis instability in post-Cold War era


Cimbala 8 – Professor of Political Science at Pennsylvania State University, author of books and articles in professional journals on topics related to national security, he has served as a consultant on arms control to the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, US Department of State, and private defense contractors (Stephen J., Comparative Strategy, “Russian-U.S. Nuclear Force Reductions and Nuclear Proliferation,” vol. 27, issue 5, 6/3/2k8, http://dl2af5jf3e.search.serialssolutions.com.proxy.lib.umich.edu/?ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&ctx_enc=info%3Aofi%2Fenc%3AUTF-8&rfr_id=info:sid/summon.serialssolutions.com&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:journal&rft.genre=article&rft.atitle=Russian-U.S.+Nuclear+Force+Reductions+and+Nuclear+Proliferation&rft.jtitle=Comparative+Strategy&rft.au=Cimbala%2C+Stephen+J&rft.date=2008-10-21&rft.issn=0149-5933&rft.volume=27&rft.issue=5&rft.spage=431&rft.epage=450&rft_id=info:doi/10.1080%2F01495930802185460&rft.externalDBID=n%2Fa&rft.externalDocID=10_1080_01495930802185460 /mr)

Taken together, Figures 3 and 4 offer bracing news. States in a multipolar, nuclear international system, even under optimal conditions of constrained force sizes, and assuming debellicized political conditions, are caught in a series of tradeoffs between the requirements of deterrence (old style) and the imperatives of crisis stability (new style). Crisis stability “new style” means crisis stability that is viable within a post-Cold War world of uncertain political alignments, and within a world order that is stalked by precarious norms against proliferation. Trying to practice the old medicine in a new world order will be futile. States cannot improve the quality of deterrence simply by building larger forces, because both large and small forces will have to handle the possible trade-offs between deterrence and crisis stability. As well, states’ forces will have to manage the nuanced relationship between generated and prompt-launch stability under uncertainty exacerbated by eight (or more) players.


Crisis Instability T/Deterrence




Crisis instability kills deterrence


Seng, 1998 [Jordan, PhD Candidate in Pol. Sci. – U. Chicago, Dissertation, “STRATEGY FOR PANDORA'S CHILDREN: STABLE NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION AMONG MINOR STATES”, p.7]

Crisis stability will obtain between adversaries if neither has an incentive to be the first to attack. An incentives to strike first will exist if states have what is called damage limitation capability That is, if by attacking first a state can destroy its adversary's ability to inflict nuclear damage-if it can destroy its adversary’s weapons on the ground' before they can be used-then that state has a first strike incentive. By destroying its adversary`s weapons a state protects itself from being damaged by those weapon and probably enhances its chance for victory in a conflict. If adversaries' weapons are vulnerable to first strikes, then the one who shoots first is better off; therein lies the problem. If first strike incentives exists, states may race to be the first to launch during a crisis, causing crises to be ‘hair-triggered' and efforts at crisis resolution to be cursory. In a situation of crisis instability, states may hurtle past avenues of peaceful conflict resolution in order to be the first to strike. In short, deterrence may prove unstable if states' capability to inflict

Prolif Bad – Deterrence Failures




Regional deterrence failures are likely. They’ll escalate to draw in the US.


Pfaltzgraff and Schoff ‘9  (Robert, Prof. Int’l. Sec. Studies – Fletcher School at Tufts, and James, Associate Dir. Asia-Pacific Studies – Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, “Updating U.S. Deterrence Concepts and Operational Planning”, IFPA White Paper, February, http://www.ifpa.org/pdf/Updating_US_Deterrence_Concepts.pdf)

Moreover, as suggested above, as more nations seek or attain nuclear status, we may very well be entering an era in which nuclear “non-use” is ending. This means that the risk of deterrence failures is growing, and with it questions about the ability of the United States to control the escalation chain in a crisis situation. During the Cold War, escalation dominance was presumed to lie with the United States, or at least that it could be managed in the U.S.-Soviet context because the stakes of escalation were such that both states were putatively deterred from nuclear weapons use (against the other). Today, however, the same may not be true with respect to North Korea and Iran, let alone in the context of a Taiwan contingency, or with respect to India and Pakistan in a crisis over Kashmir. Deterrence failures in the regional context may result from an accident, a deliberate calculation, or the intervention of a third party (e.g., Israel or Taiwan) in a crisis con- tingency. However, regardless of their origins, the consequences might very well be an escalatory exchange that ultimately draws the United States into a regional nuclear conflict.



Deterrence failure is likely. Incomplete intelligence and irrationality in a regional crisis.

Cimbala, 2007 


[Stephen, Distinguished Prof. Pol. Sci. – Penn. State Brandywine, Journal of Slavic Military Studies, “NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION AND DETERRENCE IN ASIA: THE VIEW FROM VLADIVOSTOK”, 20, InformaWorld]

There is no “magic number” of nuclear-armed states that guarantees a first use of nuclear weapons in the twenty-first century. States will not become irrational on account of the possession of nuclear weapons: indeed, there is some experience during and after the Cold War to suggest that states might become more careful, rather than less. Many variables intrude here: including the intensity of regional rivalries; ethno-national and religious feelings; and, most immediately pertinent to our concerns, the pros and cons for deterrence and crisis stability of the forces them- selves. Nevertheless, the propensity of heads of state for committing mili- tary follies should never be underestimated: especially by students of history and political science. The “rationalities” of states are not of the black box variety. States’ world views and decision making processes are the product of internal as much as external forces. A U.S. model of deterrence rationality may fail drastically in the imminent circumstances of a regional crisis. The strate- gic reach of Russian or American nuclear forces against lesser nuclear powers should not be overestimated. Iranians with scores to settle against Israel, Chinese intent upon annexation of Taiwan, or North Koreans seek- ing to intimidate Japan and South Korea, may not believe U.S. threats of preemption or retaliation. Russia’s policy of providing air defense mis- siles to Iran, increasing the difficulty of Israeli or American preemptive air strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities, ironically invites the erosion of Russia’s own deterrence perimeter once the Iranians are nuclear capable.Downloaded by [University of Michigan] at 12:36 20 July 2011 Nuclear Proliferation, Deterrence in Asia 63 U.S. intelligence cannot be guaranteed to provide timely and accurate warning of nuclear attack by regional revisionist actors against neighbors: or others. U.S. intelligence has not infrequently been the victim of strate- gic or operational-tactical military surprise by non-Western opponents: from Pearl Harbor to 9–11. Timely and accurate intelligence is even less likely on the intentions or capabilities of non-state actors, compared to states. Intelligence on the best of days can give likelihoods and maybes for policy makers to mull over. One of the major risks of nuclear weapons spread in Asia is the possibility that states with first strike vulnerable nuclear forces will “use them or lose them” on the basis of faulty indica- tions and warning.


More nuclear weapons increases risks of instability – causes deterrence failure

Cimbala 8 – Professor of Political Science at Pennsylvania State University, author of books and articles in professional journals on topics related to national security, he has served as a consultant on arms control to the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, US Department of State, and private defense contractors (Stephen J., Comparative Strategy, “Russian-U.S. Nuclear Force Reductions and Nuclear Proliferation,” vol. 27, issue 5, 6/3/2k8, http://dl2af5jf3e.search.serialssolutions.com.proxy.lib.umich.edu/?ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&ctx_enc=info%3Aofi%2Fenc%3AUTF-8&rfr_id=info:sid/summon.serialssolutions.com&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:journal&rft.genre=article&rft.atitle=Russian-U.S.+Nuclear+Force+Reductions+and+Nuclear+Proliferation&rft.jtitle=Comparative+Strategy&rft.au=Cimbala%2C+Stephen+J&rft.date=2008-10-21&rft.issn=0149-5933&rft.volume=27&rft.issue=5&rft.spage=431&rft.epage=450&rft_id=info:doi/10.1080%2F01495930802185460&rft.externalDBID=n%2Fa&rft.externalDocID=10_1080_01495930802185460 /mr)

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) anticipated that the acknowledged nuclear powers would work to reduce the size of their own nuclear weapons arsenals, with the eventual goal of eliminating nuclear weapons from their respective inventories. For many reasons, things have not turned out that way. Yet the relationship between nonproliferation and “vertical” disarmament of existing nuclear weapons will not go away. If the current nuclear stakeholders prefer to grow, instead of reduce, their inventories of weapons and launchers, nonnuclear states have additional incentives to join the nuclear club. More nuclear weapons states not only increase the risks of crisis instability and deterrence failure, but at a certain tipping point, the entire nonproliferation regime may collapse.
Traditional deterrence theory is not applicable to the present -- non-state actors and new nuclear states

Schultz et al., 2007 (Mr. Shultz, a distinguished fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford, was secretary of

state from 1982 to 1989. Mr. Perry was secretary of defense from 1994 to 1997. Mr. Kissinger, chairman of Kissinger Associates, was secretary of state from 1973 to 1977. Mr. Nunn is former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “A World Free of Nuclear Weapons”, January 4, Wall Street Journal, http://disarmament.nrpa.no/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/A_WORLD_FREE.pdf)

Nuclear weapons were essential to maintaining international security during the Cold War because they were a means of deterrence. The end of the Cold War made the doctrine of mutual Soviet-American deterrence obsolete. Deterrence continues to be a relevant consideration for many states with regard to threats from other states. But reliance on nuclear weapons for this purpose is becoming increasingly hazardous and decreasingly effective. North Korea's recent nuclear test and Iran's refusal to stop its program to enrich uranium - potentially to weapons grade -- highlight the fact that the world is now on the precipice of a new and dangerous nuclear era. Most alarmingly, the likelihood that non-state terrorists will get their hands on nuclear weaponry is increasing. In today's war waged on world order by terrorists, nuclear weapons are the ultimate means of mass devastation. And non-state terrorist groups with nuclear weapons are conceptually outside the bounds of a deterrent strategy and present difficult new security challenges. Apart from the terrorist threat, unless urgent new actions are taken, the U.S. soon will be compelled to enter a new nuclear era that will be more precarious, psychologically disorienting, and economically even more costly than was Cold War deterrence. It is far from certain that we can successfully replicate the old Soviet-American "mutually assured destruction" with an increasing number of potential nuclear enemies world-wide without dramatically increasing the risk that nuclear weapons will be used. New nuclear states do not have the benefit of years of step-by-step safeguards put in effect during the Cold War to prevent nuclear accidents, misjudgments or unauthorized launches. The United States and the Soviet Union learned from mistakes that were less than fatal. Both countries were diligent to ensure that no nuclear weapon was used during the Cold War by design or by accident. Will new nuclear nations and the world be as fortunate in the next 50 years as we were during the Cold War?

New proliferators will make deterrence less stable: historical animosity, short-range and civil-military relationships.

Cimbala, 2007 


[Stephen, Distinguished Prof. Pol. Sci. – Penn. State Brandywine, Journal of Slavic Military Studies, “NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION AND DETERRENCE IN ASIA: THE VIEW FROM VLADIVOSTOK”, 20, InformaWorld]

Nuclear proliferation in Asia, as opposed to Europe, does change the political background for proliferation. The Cold War Americans and Soviets deployed nuclear forces and engaged in other political-military competition on account of disagreements about ideology. In Asia, states have other, and potentially more volatile, things to disagree about, includ- ing: contiguous territory with disputed ownership; grievances left over from past wars; issues of identity and communal membership; and feel- ings of wounded national pride or emerging empowerment. In addition to the political differences between nuclear weapons in Cold War Europe and post-Cold War Asia, there are important military differences. Two stand out. First, actual and possible future nuclear states in Asia are within catastrophic reach of short or medium range as well as long range delivery systems for nuclear weapons. Geography matters. “Tactical” weapons can have “strategic” effects. Second, the variable character of regimes in Asia results in a complicated mosaic of civil- military relationships. Assured positive control of the armed forces by civilians and negative control against accidental-inadvertent war, as oper- ative in the United States and in other democratic states, cannot be assumed. Or even if assumed as valid, controls are obscure in detail to foreign intelligence services or other outsiders.

Deterrence is unstable. Failure is likely even with minimal deterrence.


Arbatov, 2006  (Alexei, PhD History and Dir. Center for International Security, Institute of the World Economy and International Relations and Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Politics and Law, “Nuclear Deterrence and Proliferation The Dialectics of “Doomsday Weapons””, 44:5, September-October, 35-60)

The enormous ambivalence of nuclear deterrence in the contemporary world can be explained by one factor: in contrast to prevailing views, deterrence has only rarely and for short periods of time been understood in the narrow sense, as a strategy for preventing nuclear war. Much more frequently, deterrence has been interpreted in the expanded strategic sense, usually implying that a country has to be the first to use nuclear weapons. That is another contradiction implicit in nuclear deterrence: it implies the readiness to unleash nuclear war. Fortunately, for the past half-century, this apocalyptic paradox has remained theoretical, but it threatens to become practical in the future because of nuclear proliferation and an increase in multilateral nuclear relations among countries. The idea of nuclear deterrence has become so much a part of international military and political relationships that it is perceived everywhere as quite rational, even inevitable. We agree that nuclear deterrence is, of course, less irrational than nuclear war, especially war between nuclear powers. If, however, we approach the problem not from a purely military and strategic standpoint but from a sociopolitical one, we cast serious doubt on the rationality of deterrence. Even “minimum deterrence,” the most defensive (because it rejects the idea of a first strike) and stabilizing version of this strategy, is rather paradoxical. After all, it proposes to kill tens of millions of another nation’s civilians in retaliation for an adversary’s nuclear strike. The act of retaliation is irrational, first, because the massacre of some other country’s population will not restore one’s own dead citizens to life or restore one’s own destroyed material values. Moreover, unlike the strategic bombing of Germany and Japan in World War II, a nuclear strike does not affect the enemy’s ability to continue the war, which depends entirely on what remains in the enemy’s nuclear arsenal and on the functioning of its command-and-control system. Second, in the pre-nuclear age a country could not begin and wage war without the support of at least part of its population. A nuclear war, however, can be unleashed without the consent of the people, merely by delivering the High Command’s order to those on duty in the controlrooms for the missile launchers (the latest command-and-control systems can even bypass these individuals by sending the signal directly to the launchers). Although the main target of a retaliatory nuclear strike, the public has no direct responsibility for its supreme leaders’ decision to initiate hostilities. This is especially true of authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, where the public not only does not elect its leaders but may have no particular value in their eyes. The leadership of the People’s Republic of China, for instance, demonstrated such an attitude when, in the 1950s–60s, it preached total war as a path to “final victory” over imperialism. In the late 1970s, suspecting the Soviet leaders of similar attitudes, U.S. President Jimmy Carter approved what he referred to as a “countervailing strategy” in his Presidential Directive (PD) 59 [Nuclear Weapons Employment Policy—Ed.]. It ordered delivery of strikes against targets that presumably the Soviet leaders “valued” above all else—their own lives, meaning the destruction of protected underground bunkers and antinuclear shelters and other shelters for the party–state leadership.1 Understandably, this policy caused extreme pain in the USSR, where people dubbed it “the decapitating-strike strategy” and regarded it as a new, outrageously aggressive manifestation of U.S. strategy favoring a pre-emptive strike against the USSR. Other attempts to rationalize nuclear deterrence, as a rule, also had the opposite effect. For example, attempts to strengthen the capacity of strategic nuclear forces to deliver retaliatory strikes against an enemy’s reserve strategic forces—those that may not participate in a first strike—are invariably perceived as increasing the chances for a pre- emptive strike rather than for retaliation. This reaction is not entirely without foundation: missile launch silos, submarine and bomber bases, and regions of ground-based ICBM deployment are the same targets that a first strike must take out to avoid retaliation or to reduce its damage. The usual response to such strategic experiments, in addition to increasing the viability of one’s own strategic nuclear forces, was raising the priority of the concept and the technological systems that would be used in a retaliatory strike and plans for the more massive use of weapons. On the whole, if one side tried to give deterrence more credibility by making it more usable (through selective targeting and limited- impact schemes, plans to restrict the number of warheads, various combinations of small-scale nuclear strikes, etc.), the other side usually saw it as greater aggressiveness in nuclear strategyan orientation toward a pre-emptive strike and plans for victory in a nuclear war. The greatest paradox of nuclear deterrence is that the potential outcome that best represents the unthinkable nature of nuclear war (massive strikes, maximum destructive consequences, rapid and unconditional retaliation) would be the worst option if at some point deterrence did not work and nuclear weapons were used in real life. At the same time, attempts to incorporate more “rational” options into nuclear forces and operative planning lower the “nuclear threshold” and inevitably weaken the concept of deterrence. One more, perhaps the most important, indication of the paradoxical nature of deterrence is that no other type of weapon so greatly requires effective control by the political leadership—taking into account the catastrophic consequences of using such weapons, especially by mistake. At the same time, it is without a doubt more difficult, if not impossible, to ensure real political control over the use of nuclear arms than over any other type of weapon. The travel time of ballistic missiles is so short (from ten to thirty minutes) that political leaders, even if they reached the command- and-control center in advance, would not have enough time to make a thorough assessment of the situation and a deep and well-considered decision on whether to use nuclear weapons, on which human survival depends. The leadership must, in essence, either act on autopilot— following the algorithm of a solution developed by experts in peacetime, long before the crisis arose and without making allowances for all the diversity of political reality—or do nothing at all, taking the chance that no retaliatory strike will take place. This makes it extremely likely that someone will unleash nuclear war through miscalculation or a technical error.
Rational deterrence theory is flawed

Cimbala 4 – Professor of Political Science at Pennsylvania State University, author of books and articles in professional journals on topics related to national security, he has served as a consultant on arms control to the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, US Department of State, and private defense contractors (Stephen J., Defense & Security Analysis, “Nuclear proliferation and international systems,” vol. 20, issue 4, , 12/01/2004, http://dl2af5jf3e.search.serialssolutions.com.proxy.lib.umich.edu/?ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&ctx_enc=info%3Aofi%2Fenc%3AUTF-8&rfr_id=info:sid/summon.serialssolutions.com&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:journal&rft.genre=article&rft.atitle=Nuclear+proliferation+and+international+systems&rft.jtitle=Defense+%26+Security+Analysis&rft.au=Cimbala%2C+Stephen&rft.date=2004-12-01&rft.issn=1475-1798&rft.volume=20&rft.issue=4&rft.spage=321&rft.epage=336&rft_id=info:doi/10.1080%2F1475179042000305787&rft.externalDBID=DFSA&rft.externalDocID=10_1080_1475179042000305787 /mr)

This model of nuclear deterrence rationality is not to be despised or dismissed casually. It offers important clues as to the development of nuclear force structures and to the posturing of nuclear delivery systems and command-control in times of crisis. For example, weapons and command-control systems that are vulnerable to first strikes invite attack and are therefore assumed to be destabilizing. Survivable weapons and command systems, to the contrary, contribute to arms race and to crisis stability. But, despite the fact that RDT leads to useful inferences about force structure and operational habits that are contributory to stability, it falls short of providing sufficient insight into human and organizational behavior that might be more important in crisis management. In addition, RDT is not necessarily what it seems, even in its own terms and based on its own interior logic. The first point, that RDT falls short of accounting for the causal relationships in large organizations and small groups that make the decisions for peace or war, has been emphasized by Scott D. Sagan in studies of American and other nuclear crisis management. Sagan is especially informative on the proclivities of military organizations, including their organizational mind-sets and standard operating procedures, that could complicate crisis management and contribute to an outbreak of inadvertent nuclear NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION AND INTERNATIONAL SYSTEMS • 331 war or escalation. According to Sagan, among the possibly crisis-dysfunctional proclivities of military organizations is their preference for pre-emption or for preventive war: getting in the first blow, should war appear to be inevitable.^^ This understandable propensity for seizing the initiative in the twilight between peace and war makes sense under many conditions of conventional warfare. But in a crisis between two nuclear armed states, the organizational proclivity for first strikes becomes more of a liability than an asset: preparations for a pre-emptive strike or preventive war might be noticed by the adversary and trigger its own pre-emption. Organizational proclivities or standard operating procedures that drive states toward a reciprocal fear of surprise attack thus conflict with the political objective of nuclear crisis management. Thus the case has been made for the limitations of RDT in taking into account variables inside the black box of decision-making and organizational behavior. Even critics of RDT on this point concede, by implication, that once outside the black box, RDT still makes sense and its logic remains, by and large, compelling. This concession may be premature. RDT is built on a truncated view of rationality. It is a rationality of means, but not of ends. End-rationality would also ask about the implications for society, culture and polity, including humane values, of the various courses of action being plugged into RDT and systems theory. Does the willingness to engage in a nuclear war in order to "save" a society or validate a policy ever make sense? Perhaps it does, in a very scenariodependent manner. Deterrence theorists contend that socially unacceptable threats of nuclear retaliation are morally good because they "work" well enough, and they cite the Cold War as evidence in favor of their brief. Neither the US nor the Soviet Union fired a nuclear weapon against the other's military forces or state territory despite 40-plus years of global rivalry and a number of serious political crises. Trafficking in nuclear fear may be a dirty business, but it works wonders because even politicians and generals overdosed on nationalism or testosterone carmot pretend that nuclear war is truly "winnable" or define "victory" at an acceptable cost. The Cold War is, however, mixed evidence for the value of nuclear deterrence as a guaranteed pact for peace. The absence of large-scale war between the Soviet Union and the United States and their allied coalitions was over-determined: by politics, technology, memories of World War II, and the ability of both "superpowers" to get most of their objectives without war. Despite all these inhibiting factors, serious confrontations that could have led to an outbreak of war, including nuclear war, marked the Cold War: the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 was only the most publicized and obvious. The peaceful end ofthe Cold War was an historical anomaly to which nuclear weapons and deterrence made a contribution, but only a partial one. The Cold War endgame was driven primarily by factors internal to the Soviet Union, especially by Gorbachev's oxymoronic skill in dismantling the old Soviet power structures and his equally breathtaking inability to replace the old order with anything durable and legitimate. Gorbachev's desire to hold the Soviet Union together, in competition with Boris Yeltsin's eagerness to lead the march out from imder the Soviet umbrella, created a state of uncertainty within Russia that gave breathing space for diplomatic, as opposed to military, endgames in Germany. It was a sub-system dominant endgame with a systemic overlay, not the reverse. 332 • STEPHEN J. CIMBALA The entire Cold War endgame rested on the willingness of both Soviet and Western alliances to agree the peaceful reunification of Germany. As late as 1989, this still appeared as a political impossibility, resisted by hard liners in Russia and in Western Europe. Against the odds it happened, on account of the determination of German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and Gorbachev. Systems logic would have dictated a more cautious approach as less threatening to stability, within the Soviet power structures and between the Germanys. The ebullient personalities of the two heads of state and their willingness to be risk-acceptant under extraordinarily fiuid political conditions made legitimate the re-polarization of the continent of Europe. Nuclear weapons and deterrence did play a supporting role here: military adventurism by hard-liners East and West in these troubled but fruitful political times was harder to advocate or to undertake on account of the enormous American and Soviet nuclear arsenals hanging in the background. Considering the peaceful end to the Cold War, therefore, requires that we give the devil his due. RIST and RDT were not irrelevant to an explanation and prediction of policy outcomes during the Cold War, or in the complicated interactions among states that brought the Cold War to a conclusion without war. System structure and polarity did matter: the "long peace" between 1945 and 1991 cannot be explained without paying careful attention to the sizes of the larger billiard balls, the shape of the table, and the movements back and forth across the table as the balls passed or collided with one another. But the initial velocity and direction for each ball was provided by an "actor" not a system, and some balls had enough force or unpredictability to restructure the game, at least temporarily. A bipolar system remained in place from the end of the Second World War until the end of the Soviet Union, but this bipolarity was highly conditional: for most of the Cold War it was only a bipolarity of military power for mass destruction. Cold War experience, inter alia, shows how RIST and RDT offer valuable, but highly contingent, explanatory and predictive insights pertinent to world politics and foreign policy decision-making. RIST and RDT models share with other rational choice theories the attributes of parsimony and an explicitly defined connection between causal and dependent variables. But as explanations and predictions of behavior related to peace and war, they are containers only as good as the historical understanding that is poured into them. Consider, for example, the July crisis of 1914. From a systems theory perspective, it made little sense for the great powers to align themselves on two opposed sides of tightly cohesive and antagonistic blocs, as opposed to maintaining the fiexibility of a five- or six-sided balance of power system. It made even less sense for the leading states of these hostile alliances, especially Germany, France and Russia, to rely upon prompt mobilization and first-strike offensives as a deterrent, when in fact they mainly served as provocation and as proximate causes for escalation. The "system" of great power relationships that created a tolerable and mutually beneficial stability, first forged by Bismarck in the 1880s, was deliberately put at risk by hotheaded poseurs and fogy grandees who put myths of grandeur and hegemony ahead of practical reason. The July crisis of 1914 also offers cautionary tales about the validity of rational deterrence theory. Leaders in July and August 1914 should have been deterred for the NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION AND INTERNATIONAL SYSTEMS • 333 reasons that the leading "deterrence theorist" of prewar fame, Ivan Bloch, argued in his prescient studies. Bloch foresaw that the military technology of the day favored defensive strategies and protracted war, which would exhaust the treasuries and manpower of the combatants. Therefore, leaders of the great powers having been so informed, they would forbear of arms. But leaders were undeterred by the prospect of a longer and more destructive war despite the evidence of costs exceeding benefits. Instead of confronting the evidence, they invented their own version of a future in which rapid mobilization and prompt offensives would guarantee a short, decisive war. Further to wishful thinking, the political leaderships of the great powers in 1914 were all persuaded that, in the event, they would emerge as victors in a short war.^* Additional compromise with rational decision-making was caused by the intelligence assessments with which the powers were provided. The intelligence appreciation of each other's intentions and capabilities in the months preceding outbreak of war were, in the main, marked by misperceptions of enemy intentions, military capabilities, national resolve and security dilemmas as seen by the "other" side.^' It is not a new discovery that history can confound optimistic predictions or rationimal models of choice. But July and August 1914 are revolutionary, not evolutionary, challenges to RIST and RDT Neither RIST nor RDT models would have predicted the preference of leaders to march to the tune of Mozart's "Requiem" in lieu of attempting to play the great game for a decade or two longer. Nor can one deduce the collapse of peace into war in July and August 1914 from gross patterns in trade and technology. In modern terms, the final decade of the nineteenth century and the first decade of the twentieth century were times of "complex interdependence" amid growing commercial interchange and scientific optimism among Europeans and throughout the EuroAtlantic region. Hostility was not the result of inter-cultural disconnectedness or economic autarchy. Contrary to the expectations of Marx (a systems theorist par excellence), the edifice of pre-1914 Europe was not brought down by the objective forces of technology and intolerable social dysfunction. Instead, Europe dissolved itself by choice, and the choices were made in its chancelleries by politicians and generals who viewed their obligations to the "system" in the same way that developers view shorelines, or sharks view bait. In their own way, the heads of state, foreign ministers and military boffins of 1914 were as nihilistic as nineteenth-century Russia's anarchists, and equally as determined to demonstrate that individuals with sufficient power and obtuseness can drive any system into a cul de sac. In August 1914 the system was set on "stun" and rational deterrence theory was fed a pacifier in favor of military autism. One can offer various microdots against the arguments here: not all the powers were equally dependent on mobilization as tantamount to war; Britain attempted to maintain fiexibility of alignment amid the obstinacy of other powers until Germany invaded Belgium; Austria-Hungary was a spent Wurlitzer whose willingness to front for German ambitions was misperceived by both alliances as a military asset; and, finally, that widespread feelings of inevitable war among elites and masses in all the great powers created a besotted climate of anger and fear that propelled leaders into hasty decisions. When these and other disclaimers have been acknowledged and the wisdom of hindsight has been conceded, the rubble of August 1914 offers little or no consolation 334 • STEPHEN J. CIMBALA for the proponents of RIST and RDT Equally defiant of rational choice theory was the willingness of the powers to continue the war, long afrer the predictions of short war and decisive victory had been falsified, to the utter destruction of four empires and the economic devastation of all major combatants save the late-arriving United States. The adherence of warlords to dysfunctional plans guaranteeing only military stalemate and exhaustion, in the face of reversals in the field and discontent on the home front, also defied explanation by any theory other than policy inertia and blinkered vision. Project, if you will, an imaginary future with a collection of autocratic regimes in Asia or the Middle East as obtuse to collective security as were the European powers of 1914. Each state is armed with nuclear forces of variable survivability and its military is highly persuaded of the advantages of nuclear first strike. Mass publics are infiamed with nationalism and/or boosted in their enthusiasm for war by religious or ethnic hatred. The potential disputants array themselves into two or more hostile groups based on cultural or other fault lines and eventually persuade themselves of the inevitability of war. If this dismal but possible future is to be avoided, it is a necessary but insufficient dissuader for the pertinent heads of state to be acquainted with systems logic or RDT. They must, in addition, comprehend the potential of human gullibility and fallibility to overturn the system, destroy the commons and turn rationality into political and military sewage. CONCLUSION

None of the requirements for rational deterrence will apply.


Beker ‘8  (Yonatan, Foreign Policy Fellow – Senator Norm Coleman and Grad Student – Edmund A. Walsh school of Foreig Service – Georgetown U., Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs, “Nuclear Proliferation and Iran:‘Thoughts about the Bomb’”, http://israelcfr.com/documents/issue6_iran.pdf)

Sagan proceeds to critique the three operational requirements sustaining the rational deterrence framework: avoiding a preventive war initiated by a nuclear state against a non-nuclear state pursuing a weapon; both sides attaining second- strike survivability; and a nuclear arsenal not prone to accidental or unauthorized use. Waltz points to the possibility of an effective preventive strike taking place against an early-stage nuclear program, but adds that such an attack would not take place against a state with an advanced program. Sagan ascribes to preventive strikes a higher probability for the following reasons: the focus on warfare makes military officers skeptical of non-military alternatives, believing in “better-now- than-never” logic; these officers possess biases in favor of offensive measures and decisive operations, over debilitating diplomatic consideration. Whenever the US and the USSR contemplated preventive strikes against nuclear programs, these strikes were invariably proposed by defense officials and rejected by their civilian superiors. Preventive strikes were employed only twice: against the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981 and against the Syrian–Korean plutonium reactor in September 2007. These precedents—seemingly successful in reversing nuclear programs— indicate a similar action may be taken against Iran as well.12 As to the second requirement for rational deterrence, Sagan reminds us that rather than settling—as Waltz predicts—on a limited second-strike capability, comprised of a small amount of invulnerable nuclear devices, the US and USSR amassed enormous arsenals capable of sending our planet back to the Stone Age.13 Sagan explains this contradiction by the continuous pressure applied by military and scientific organizations on decision makers to continue expanding the arsenal. The final requirement for rational deterrence is that nuclear arsenals should not be prone to accidental or unauthorized use. This requirement falters, however, when one considers the lower priority placed on costly safety procedures, as opposed to more parochial objectives such as increasing production levels. New nuclear states could lack the organizational and financial resources needed to guarantee safety, and the secretive nature of these programs exacerbates such concerns, as was the case with Chernobyl. An additional risk arises when a survival-fearing leadership delegates launch authority to lower levels in the defense hierarchy, as was thought to be the case in Iraq in 1991.


The bulk of empirical evidence disproves deterrence theory

Geller ‘90 (Daniel, Former Prof. Pol. Sci. – U. Mississippi, Journal of Conflict Resolution, “Nuclear Weapons, Deterrence, and Crisis Escalation”, 34:2, June, p. 297)

The evidence regarding the efficacy of nuclear power as a deterrent is mixed, at best, with the weight of the findings counter to expectations of classical deterrence theory! On the positive side, Intriligator and Brito (1981), Bueno de Mesquita and Riker (1982), and Betts (1987: chap. 4) present formal models, empirical evidence, and tentative case study conclusions that nuclear weapons do have deterrent impact. Organski and Kugler (1980:176), however, report that in six of their seven relevant cases that involved confrontations between nuclear and nonnuclear powers, the nuclear state lost. They conclude that the theory of nuclear deterrence is unsupported by their results. In a related piece, Kugler (1984) cites evidence that the possession of nuclear weapons does not confer an advantage in crises with nonnuclear states, and that classical deterrence theory is flawed. Russett (1989), Huth (1988), and Huth and Russett (1984, 1988) report that extended deterrence success is not systematically associated with either the possession of nuclear weapons or an advantage in the overall strategic military balance; rather, existing and usable conventional forces in, or deployable to, the conflict area appear to be a more important factor. Finally, Blechman and Kaplan (1978) produce findings that the strategic nuclear balance has little salience in crisis outcomes; again, the local balance of conventional military power appears to be determinative.


Deterrence is a flawed theory because its unprovable until it fails -- the risk of nuclear war is too high.

Beebe and Kaldor 10 (Shannon, Adjunct Professor, George Washington University’s Elliot School of International Affairs, and Mary, British academic, currently Professor of Global Governance at the London School of Economics, where she is also the Director of its Centre for the Study of Global Governance, “The Ultimate Weapon is no Weapon”, 2010, Perseus Book Group, Print)

Absolute state sovereignty, war mentality, territorial inviolability, and aspects of superpower rivalry are remnants of this industrial and imperial age. But hard power is hard to shift. The twentieth-century wars established huge embedded institutions in our societies, both in the West and among the newly emerging great powers like Russia, China, and India. Dictators oppose interference. The left fears imperialism. Organizations don’t like change. Statesmen, soldiers, and civil servants naturally think the way they have always one things is the right way to do things. Moreover, the identity of the state is often bound up with a militarized notion of security. Thus, the War on Terror was a popular policy because it reflected popular assumptions about the nature of American power, however out of date. In the same way, it is helpful for Iran, China, and Russia to have a Western enemy. But these are old battles and old wars, and there’s no virtue in fighting them again. Traditional military power no longer works as a way of dealing with potential spoilers like Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea; indeed, perceiving them as military threats may have the opposite effect of what is intended – legitimizing the buildup of armaments as well as domestic repression. Instead, such states need to be embedded in an interconnected global framework aimed at protecting the human security of all citizens. Traditional ways of thinking about security need to be reformulated. Sovereignty is no longer absolute; today, states are members of an international system that operates on behalf of the human community and in which all human lives are considered equal. Energy security is a global, not a national problem. Deterrence, which is an unprovable strategy until it fails, needs to be recast as prevention since a nuclear war is the worst imaginable cataclysm. Above all, war itself needs to be reframed as a human catastrophe, along with natural disasters, famines, and pandemics. Human security is about prevention and avoidance of human catastrophes, rather than protecting us against their aftereffects.



Nuclear deterrence will only solve under near perfect information – in most likely situations it can’t solve conflict and only increases the risk


Kraig ’99  (Michael, Prof. Pol. Sci. – SUNY Buffalo, Journal of Peace Research, “Nuclear Deterrence in the Developing World: A Game-Theoretic Treatment”, 36:2, p. 164-165)

When the simplicity of complete information games puts a dent in the armor of pro-proliferation arguments, then one has to wonder how strong those prescriptions really are. Waltz and others believe in the bounties produced by a stable and secure 'balance of power', and since nuclear weapons are presumably the great equalizers, their spread to further states is seen as a viable alternative for ensuring systemic peace. But questions about balance of power aside, the preceding analysis has shown that nuclear forces are not agents of equalization. Even with sym- metrical nuclear capabilities, stability is still intimately tied to the relationships between credibility, conventional strength, and the dynamics of escalation. The only way that defense is guaranteed for a state with incapable conventional forces is an asymmetric spread of nuclear weapons in its favor, at least according to the assumptions about rules of play and preferences utilized in the model. But this introduces a one-way advantage for the proliferating nation, so that order and stability continue to be elusive. The best of all worlds would be if proliferation favored states that were truly supportive of the status quo, but it is an open question whether such nations really exist especially in the eyes of their main opponents. For example, Israel's situation may be touted as a resounding success, but this is true only as long as Syria and Egypt do not manufacture their own bombs, and only if unilateral advantage for Israelis viewed as a positive outcome. According to the logic of the model, a counter-proliferation with credible Arab nuclear threats could soon change the current non-war outcome (advantage for Israel in areas such as the Golan Heights) to conventional conflict. The possibility of a stable status quo is similarly ambiguous for Taiwan-China, North-South Korea, and Pakistan-India. In each of these rivalries, the presence of incapability at the conventional level for one or both players could produce all-out conventional warfare, or the existence of one-sided escalation dominance could lead to nuclear blackmail. For example, Taiwan might still be defeated in a conventional war under the 'nuclear umbrella' if both it and China have credible nuclear threats, or China's sizeable and well-developed arsenal might simply undermine the credibility of Taiwan's second-stage threats (assuming that the implicit US nuclear threat against China is neutralized through diplomacy or other developments). Similarly, the steady erosion of North Korean conventional forces and the ambiguous nature of US nuclear threats against the North on behalf of its ally are both factors that militate against simple pre- dictions of status quo stability. Thus nuclear weapons, like most miracle cures, are rarely beneficial. They are more likely harmless (doing little to cure the symptoms of conflict) and possibly dangerous (doing much to make the symptoms worse). Contrary to Waltz, fear of annihilation does not necessarily mean that states will be 'exceedingly cautious'. Therefore, the best advice for the prospective consumers of the latest miracle cure is the same as it has always been: let the buyer beware.

Deterrence isn’t automatic.


Cimbala 96 – Professor of Political Science at Pennsylvania State University, author of books and articles in professional journals on topics related to national security, he has served as a consultant on arms control to the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, US Department of State, and private defense contractors (Stephen J., Armed Forces & Society, “Proliferation and peace: An agnostic view,” vol. 22, issue 1, , 1996, http://dl2af5jf3e.search.serialssolutions.com.proxy.lib.umich.edu/?ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&ctx_enc=info%3Aofi%2Fenc%3AUTF-8&rfr_id=info:sid/summon.serialssolutions.com&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:journal&rft.genre=article&rft.atitle=Proliferation+and+peace%3A+An+agnostic+view&rft.jtitle=ARMED+FORCES+%26+SOCIETY&rft.au=Cimbala%2C+SJ&rft.date=1996-02-01&rft.pub=TRANSACTION+PERIOD+CONSORTIUM&rft.issn=0095-327X&rft.volume=22&rft.issue=2&rft.spage=211&rft.epage=211&rft.externalDBID=GARM&rft.externalDocID=9302139 /mr)

Jervis qualifies as an agnostic because he accepts mutual deterrence through assured retaliation as a basic frame of reference for nuclear stability, but recognizes that deterrence is neither automatic nor risk avoidant. In that recognition he is not alone among those nuclear strategists who favor assured retaliation to counterforce damage limiting strategies.(39) But one of Jervis's special contributions, his insight into the two-sided character of escalation, results from his agnostic appreciation of the role of nuclear weapons. Escalation is neither impossible nor certain.(40) If escalation were impossible, then war could be waged safely below the nuclear threshold. If escalation were certain, then no one would start a conventional war involving one or more nuclear powers. The indeterminacy of escalation is what makes it work; the same indeterminacy makes it dangerous.(41) It "works" because leaders who engage in a process of competitive risk taking knowingly enter a sequence of events over which they may ultimately lose control.(42) Like nuclear agnostics, some proponents of nuclear irrelevancy count on an important role for fear of escalation in dampening crises and in avoiding wars, but not necessarily, and not preferably, nuclear escalation.(43)



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