Roberts ’96 (Brad, Ed. Washington Quarterly and Research Fellow – CSIS, “Weapons Proliferation and World Order: After the Cold War”, p. 226)
The diffusion of the ability to produce weapons of mass destruction may be having a number of implications for stability. It can increase the incentive to strike preemptively against weapons production sites in the time of near war, thus making war more likely. Crisis instability is further aggravated by the short lead time necessary to move from nascent capability to militarily effective weapons in the chemical and biological domains, meaning that states will live closer than ever before to the the brink of major competition in these areas.
These states will be left uninhabitable.
Nissani ’92(Moti, Prof. Bio. Sci. – Wayne State U., “, Lives in the Balance: the Cold War and American Politics, 1945-1991”, Chapter 2: CONSEQUENCES OF NUCLEAR WAR, http://www.is.wayne.edu/mnissani/pagepub/CH2.html)
On each of the projections above we need to superimpose the possible destruction of civilian nuclear power plants and installations. Such destruction will accomplish several strategic objectives. Since conventional and nuclear electricity-producing plants are vital to industrial economies, their targeting will reduce an adversary's chances of economic recovery. Owing to the close linkage between the civilian and military nuclear industries, bombing of civilian facilities would weaken an adversary's chances of regaining war-related nuclear capabilities. Such bombing would further reduce a nation's chances of recovery by contaminating and rendering uninhabitable huge tracts of land for decades. It follows that many nuclear power plants and installations are likely to be vaporized by surface bursts during an all-out war. We can begin to take in the horrors of such wholesale destruction by recalling that a peacetime accident in a single nuclear power plant could be catastrophic. An accident in a single reprocessing facility, a breeder reactor, or a near-ground radioactive disposal site could have even more ominous implications. Thus, one accident involving a radioactive waste disposal site in the Ural Mountains reportedly caused the death of thousands and required evacuation of an area of some 600 square miles. The names of 32 towns and villages in this region have disappeared from Russian maps. The region is deserted and sealed off-to inhabitants, most visitors, and a river. Radioactive materials produced in nuclear power plants decay more slowly than the by-products of nuclear bombs, so the devastation of nuclear power plants would considerably increase the area which would remain unsafe for human habitation after the war. For breeder reactors, reprocessing facilities, and near-ground radioactive waste-disposal sites, the picture is even grimmer: certain portions of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the eastern half of the continental U.S., the states of Washington and California, and considerable portions of Western Europe, could be contaminated for decades. Even centuries later, it might be advisable to check radioactivity levels before buying land in these regions.
AT No Preemption – Deterrence
Deterrence can’t check preemption – fears cause irrational decisionmaking
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., Joint Force Quarterly: JFQ, “Nuclear First Use: Prudence or Peril?,” issue 51, 10/1/2k8, 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=Nuclear+First+Use%3A+Prudence+or+Peril%3F&rft.jtitle=Joint+Force+Quarterly+%3A+JFQ&rft.au=Stephen+J+Cimbala&rft.date=2008-10-01&rft.pub=National+Defense+University&rft.issn=1070-0692&rft.issue=51&rft.spage=27&rft.externalDBID=JFQY&rft.externalDocID=1559946111 /mr)
The distinction between preemptive preventive attacks lies in the attribution of motive (by the defender against the attacker), in the reliability of the intelligence (relative to the plans of the attacker), and in the time available for making decisions (whether an attack is in progress or being considered in good time). If a defender has actionable intelligence that an attack has already been set in motion or is imminent, then preemption is a means of avoiding the worst effects of being surprised. Of course, people can quibble about what “actionable intelligence” means, but for the present discussion it means that there is verifiable information from human or technical (or both) sources that an attack is in progress or is about to be launched. For example, the U.S. nuclear attack warning system during the Cold War required confirmation by “dual phenomenology” (satellites and ground stations) before authoritative interpretation of an attack in progress was validated. In addition to the reliability of the defender’s intelligence about the attacker’s capabilities and plans, the matter of time is also important in the justification for preemption. Preemptive attacks occur under the assumption that the option of forestalling the attack by diplomacy or deterrence no longer exists. The attacker has taken an irrevocable political decision for war. The defender’s options are either to await the first blow or, alternatively, to act first to minimize damage or to preemptively destroy the enemy’s strike capabilities if possible. The time pressure for making these judgments creates a compression factor that can destabilize rational or even sensible decisionmaking. Even when nuclear weapons are not involved, crisis management often brings out the worst in decisionmaking pathologies by individuals and organizations. For instance, the months of July and August 1914 present a rich tableau of leaders who made mistaken assumptions about other states’ intentions, capabilities, arts of war, and politico-military staying power. Some heads of state and foreign ministers were unfamiliar with their own country’s war plans and their implications for crisis management. In lieu of intelligence, stereotypical thinking about national character and military dispositions was available to take up the slack (“the Frenchman cannot be a very effective fighter; his voice is too high”). Added to this was the uncertainty about alliance cohesion on the part of the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente: each state or empire had its own priorities, in policy and in strategy, and these priorities could not be synchronized under the time pressure between Sarajevo and the guns of August. In a crisis involving two nuclear armed states with the capability for second strike retaliation, time pressure becomes nerve shattering. The evidence from studies of the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 shows that American and Soviet leaders operated under high stress and strained group decisionmaking throughout the 13 days that were required for the crisis to run its course. U.S. officials at one point wondered whether Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev had actually been the victim of a coup and replaced by a hard-line Politburo coalition more determined for war. And the “known unknowns,” as Donald Rumsfeld might have said, are, in retrospect, equally discouraging for optimists about nuclear crisis management. One of these “known unknowns” was whether the Soviets had deployed any nuclear capable delivery systems in Cuba in addition to the medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missile launchers that provoked the crisis. U.S. officials at the time assumed not, but later historians determined otherwise. Nuclear capable surface-to-surface short-range missiles were deployed with Soviet ground forces in Cuba, unknown to U.S. intelligence at the time. And Soviet ground force commanders, in the event of a U.S. military invasion, were presumably authorized to use nuclear capable missiles in self-defense. The result of this “known unknown” could have been World War III, as a U.S. nuclear retaliation against Soviet nuclear first use in, or near, Cuba led to further escalation.