Koehl 9—Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security and Industry Program (Stuart, “Destabilization and Disarmament: Fewer nukes mean more risk”, SEP 24, 2009, http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/016/993kkohs.asp, ZBurdette)
Imagine, then, a world without any nuclear weapons whatsoever. Back in the days when Dr. Helen Caldicott was calling not just for a nuclear freeze, but for total nuclear disarmament, my friends and I sported buttons and T-shirts saying, "BAN NUCLEAR WEAPONS", in big, bold print; underneath, in smaller letters, they added, "Make The World Safe for Conventional War". It was sophomoric, sure (we were, after all, sophomores), but it raised a valid point. Without the inhibitions imposed by nuclear weapons, there was really nothing to constrain the propensity of some countries to settle disputes by warfare, and nothing to restrain the level at which wars were waged.That is, while the U.S. and USSR engaged in a deadly global conflict for forty years, during that time each was careful to avoid a direct confrontation with the other, fighting mainly through surrogates, and limiting both the geographic scope and levels of violence in these proxy wars. Given the superiority of the USSR in conventional armaments, it is most likely that, absent the extension of the U.S. nuclear umbrella, there would have been a major conventional war between NATO and the Warsaw Pact at some point in the Cold War. Only a massive expansion of U.S. and NATO conventional forces to match Soviet conventional forces could have prevented it. In turn, the U.S. and its allies would have had to expend far more on defense, and much less on peaceful activities. Instead of spending 3 to 5 percent of GDP on military forces, they would have had to spend somewhere in the vicinity of 15 to 20 percent (at its peak, the Soviet Union was spending somewhere between 40 to 50 percent of its GDP on the defense sector), which in turn would probably have depressed the rate of economic expansion. Nuclear weapons are cheap, and conventional forces are very, very expensive in comparison.
India and Pakistan prove prolif has a stabilizing effect
Waltz 2k—Kenneth, pol sci prof at Berkeley (Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Volume 1, Number 1, Winter/Spring 2000, Interviewed by Jeremy Goldberg & Parag Khanna “Interview: Is Kenneth Waltz Still M.A.D. about Nukes?”, http://www.ciaonet.org/olj/gjia/gjia_winspr00f.html, ZBurdette)
Journal Let’s turn our attention to the nuclear situation in South Asia. While nuclear weapons may have arguably helped stabilize the contentious relationship between India and Pakistan–no war has been fought since the introduction of nuclear weapons in the early 1970s–many observers worry that nuclear stability may not hold. What do you see as the prospects for stability? Waltz Stability in the subcontinent now exists; it had not existed since World War II and the partition of India and Pakistan. Now with nuclear weapons on both sides, India and Pakistan can no longer fight even a conventional war over Kashmir, as former General Beg and former General Sardarji both admitted. But we still fear instability such as the intractable dispute over the Kashmir. Yet the bitterness between the United States and the Soviet Union was deep enough during the Cold War, and deterrence worked. Why would India and Pakistan be different?Does India and Pakistan’s common border increase the risk? Probably not in a modern world where there are airplanes and missiles that can reach anywhere. What difference does it make that you’ve got a common border as long as it’s perfectly easy for the two countries in an adversarial relationship to reach each other? Geographic proximity may shrink warning time, but nuclear deterrence does not depend on being able to react with split–second timing. What’s the hurry? If you have received a damaging blow from another country and you’re going to retaliate, what difference does it make if you retaliate now, ten minutes from now, or tomorrow? A country still has that same fear of the retaliation, and it’s that fear of retaliation that deters.
AT Deterrence Failures
Uncertainty makes the cost of war too high
Karl 96 (David, “International Security, Vol. 21, No. 3, Winter, 1996-1997, pp. 87-119, “Proliferation Pessimism and Emerging Nuclear Powers, http://www.jstor.org/stable/2539274, ZBurdette)
Optimists have relaxed views of the preventive-war dangers entailed in situations in which a nuclear power confronts a nuclearizing rival. The practical difficulties of ensuring a disarming strike to preclude any possibility of nuclear retaliation make preventive actions a military gamble that states are very unlikely to take. As Waltz explains, "prevention and pre-emption are difficult games because the costs are so high if the games are not perfectly played.... Ultimately, the inhibitions [against such attacks] lie in the impossibility of knowing for sure that a disarming strike will totally destroy an opposing force and in the immense destruction even a few warheads can wreak."25 To optimists, states will have to learn to live with a rival's emerging nuclear armory. Because strategic uncertainty is seen as having a powerful dissuasive effect,optimists usually view the very increase in the numbers of nuclear-armed states as an additional element of stability Dagobert Brito and Michael Intrili- gator, for instance, argue that uncertainty over the reaction of other nuclear powers will make all hesitant to strike individually26 As an example, they point to the restraint the superpowers exercised on each other in the 1960s, when first the United States and then the Soviet Union contemplated military action against China's nascent nuclear weapon sites. The net effect of the uncertain reaction of others is that "the probability of deliberate nuclear attack falls to near zero with three, four, or more nuclear nations."27 Similarly, Waltz reasons that even in cases of asymmetric proliferation within conflict dyads, nuclear weapons will prove "poor instruments for blackmail" because a "country that takes the nuclear offensive has to fear an appropriately punishing strike by someone. Far from lowering the expected cost of aggression, a nuclear offense even against a non-nuclear state raises the possible costs of aggression to incalculable heightsbecause the aggressor cannot be sure of the reaction of other nuclear powers."28
Even low chance of retaliation is sufficient to deter
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)
Rational deterrence advances the notion that actors are effectively able to deter other states from aggression if they can credibly posture themselves as resolute and strong states. States with nuclear weapons should be especially effective at deterrence if they can convince their adversary that there is some possibility nuclear weapons would be used. Nuclear states may resort to brinkmanship or costly signals to overcome the credibility problem (Schelling, 1960, 1962, 1966; Powell, 1988, 1989, 1990; Fearon, 1994). As long as there is some probability that a state would use a nuclear weapon against an opponent, the enormity of the costs of that event should be enough to deter opponents from escalating in a conflict even if the probability of that event is low.
Even if deterrence failure occurs, prolif guarantees it doesn’t escalate.
Kenneth Waltz, The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: A Debate, 1995 p33-34 Ajones
Deterrence rests on what countries can do to each other with strategic nuclear weapons. From this statement, one easily leaps to the wrong conclusion: that deterrent strategies, if they have to be carried through, will produce a catastrophe. That countries are able to annihilate each other means neither that deterrence depends on their threatening to do so nor that they will do so if deterrence fails. Because countries heavily armed with strategic nuclear weapons can carry war to its ultimate intensity, the control of force becomes the primary objective. lf deterrence fails, leaders will have the strongest incentives to keep force under control and limit damage rather than launching genocidal attacks. lf the Soviet Union had attacked Western Europe, NATO's objectives would have been to halt the attack and end the war. The United States had the ability to place thousands of warheads precisely on targets in the Soviet Union. Surely we would have struck military targets before striking industrial targets and industrial targets before striking cities. The intent to hit military targets first was sometimes confused with a war-fighting strategy, but it was not one. It would not have significantly reduced the Soviet Union's ability to hurt us. Whatever American military leaders thought, our strategy rested on the threat to punish. The threat, if it failed to deter, would have been followed not by spasms of violence but by punishment administered in ways that conveyed threats of more to come., 35"
Kenneth Waltz, The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: A Debate, 1995 p23Ajones
Deterrent threats backed by second-strike nuclear forces raise the possible costs of an attack to such heights that war becomes unlikely. But deterrent threats may not be credible. In a world where two or more countries can make them, the prospect of mutual devastation may make it difficult, or irrational, to execute threats should the occasion for doing so arise. Would it not be senseless to risk suffering further destruction once a deterrent force had failed to deter? Believing that it would be, an adversary may attack counting on the attacked country's unwillingness to risk initiating a devastating exchange by its own retaliation. Why retaliate once a threat to do so has failed? If one's policy is to rely on forces designed to deter, then an attack that is nevertheless made shows that one's reliance was misplaced. The course of wisdom may be to pose a new question: What is the best policy once deterrence has failed? One gains nothing by destroying an enemy's cities. Instead, in retaliating, one may prompt the enemy to unleash more warheads. A ruthless aggressor may strike believing that the leaders of the attacked country are capable of following such a "rational" line of thought. To carry the threat out may be "irrational."This old wony achieved new prominence as the strategic capabilities of the Soviet Union approached those of the United States in the middle 19705. The Soviet Union, some feared, mig]ht believe that the United States would be self-deterred.