nuclear war isn't close to deterring conventional wars. And this holds escalatory potential.
Russell ‘3 (Richard, Prof. Nat’l. Sec. Affairs – National Defense U. Near East and South Asia Center for Strategic Studies and Adjunct Prof. Security Studies in Center for Peace and Security Studies – Georgetown U. Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Journal of Strategic Studies, “The Nuclear Peace Fallacy: How Deterrence Can Fail”, 26:1, March, InformaWorld)
Nuclear-armed adversaries might calculate that honor, fear and interest necessitate war and that its conduct could be limited and not result in nuclear weapons exchanges. For instance, a nation-state might calculate that it could initiate conventional military operations for limited objectives - such as territory - that would not threaten vital interests such as the regime survivability of the opponent, reducing the risk of nuclear retaliation. The historical record shows that non-nuclear states are willing to attack or go to war against nuclear powers. As Sagan points out, 'History suggests that while many states facing nuclear adversaries may well be cautious, some states have nevertheless launched attacks in the face of such ~ncertainty."~ Egypt and Syria attacked Israel in 1973 and Argentina invaded the United Kingdom's Falkland Islands in 1982. Israel's reputed nuclear weapons capability did not deter the Iraqis from firing Scud missiles at Tel Aviv in the 1991 Gulf War. More recently, many Indians see the 1999 Kargil crisis with Pakistan as evidence that the Pakistanis believed their nuclear deterrent would allow them to take the contested territory in Kashmir without risking Indian retaliation." If these states were willing to fight against nuclear powers without a nuclear retaliatory capacity, it is reasonable to assume that they would do the same with a nuclear weapons inventory at the ready. Barry Posen has speculated that the United States, had it been faced with a nuclear-armed Iraq in the 1990-91 Gulf War, might not have been deterred from retaking Kuwait. Posen argues that the United States might have launched the military campaign while 'convincing Saddam Hussein that the United States will retaliate in particularly horrible ways if he employs nuclear weapons'.56 Such resolve may have deterred Saddam from unleashing chemical or biological weapons against US force during that Gulf War. President Bush, who was concerned that Iraq might resort to weapons of mass destruction to thwart the coalition military operations against Iraq, issued a veiled ultimatum to Saddam before the onset of the ground war. In a 5 January 1991 letter to Saddam, Bush warned that 'unconscionable acts' like 'the use of chemical or biological weapons' would 'demand the strongest possible response'.57 Alternatively, Saddam may not have resorted to chemical or biological attacks against American forces in the 1991 Gulf War because they never approached Baghdad to threaten his hold on power. An aggressor nuclear state might calculate that it could achieve political objectives with conventional military operations - the destruction of opposing conventional forces and the occupation of an adversary's capital, for example - before an adversary could resort to nuclear weapons in its defense. While some might dismiss such a scenario as far-fetched, one must recall that the German military, for all of its reputed prowess at military planning, had assumed in the pre-World War I Schlieffen Plan that France could be defeated with dispatch before it turned its attention to defeating Russian forces to the east. It is a fair assumption that the Germany of old will not be the last repository of military hubris and the possession of nuclear weapons today might even encourage such folly. The victim of a conventional attack - even if intended by the aggressor to achieve limited objectives - would be under enormous psychological and emotional strain. Under such circumstances, the attacked state might judge that the aggressor intends to bring about its total defeat, forcing the victim to unleash nuclear retaliatory strikes to stave off conventional military defeat. Such a scenario was close to becoming a reality in the 1973 Middle East war. Time magazine reported that Israel had readied its nuclear weapons in response to substantial battlefield losses to Arab armies.'' More recently, during the 1987 crisis between India and Pakistan that involved extensive military maneuvers in India's territory close to Pakistan's border, the man responsible for Pakistan's uranium-enrichment program warned, 'we shall use the bomb if our existence is threatened'.59
War is still likely. Subordinates, first strike and lack of survivability.
Mozley ’98 (Robert, Prof. Physics and Arms Control Export – Stanford U., “The Politics and Technology of Nuclear Proliferation”, p. 6-7)
There is a popular belief, based on the nuclear standoff between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, that the possession of nuclear weapons makes nations so careful in their dealings with one another that war of any sort between them can be avoided. Some international-relations theorists even propose increased nuclear proliferation as a method for reducing the risk of conventional war. They assume that all governments are rationally controlled and therefore would not order a nuclear first strike against an enemy or engage in conventional military confrontations that might escalate to nuclear conflict. These proposals ignore many practical realities. Even if all leaders were rational, it does not necessarily follow that their governments and nations would act rationally, nor is it certain that no situation could exist in which it would be rational to launch nuclear weapons against a nuclear-armed enemy. Few national leaders have subordinates who carry out their orders in perfect detail; delegated authority must be exerted through people who may disagree and who make mistakes. The technology used may break down. The result in either case can be actions that are unrelated to the wishes of the person or agency in nominal control, actions that are compounded of the habits and desires of the leaders and those of the people who must put the actions into effect. Even more dangerous is the possibility of war started accidentally or through misunderstanding. Controlling nuclear weapons is a particularly demanding problem. Obviously, no rational leader would start a nuclear war with a hostile nation if that nation could retaliate with its own devastating nuclear attack. He would not even start a war with conventional weapons if it might easily escalate into a nuclear conflict. There can, however, be no reliance on a nation's not taking an opportunity to conquer an opponent by a sudden nuclear attack that would remove any chance of retaliation. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union maneuvered in order to be able to retaliate for a nuclear attack, leading to the position that came to be known as mutually assured destruction (MAD), in which each nation could survive a nuclear attack with enough nuclear weapons intact to exact devastating destruction on the attacker. There is evidence, however, that the position of MAD was very hazardous during the years of the Soviet-U.S. confrontation. In his book The Logic of Accidental Nuclear War, Bruce G. Blair describes a situation that occurred shortly before the end of the Cold War, in which the military commands of both the United States and the Soviet Union were not sure whether their command and control systems would survive a first strike.' In this situation, their nuclear-armed missiles, however well protected, would not have been able to respond effectively. The United States attempted to strengthen its command and control by delegating the ability to launch nuclear weapons to commanders well below the presidential level. The Soviets, on the other hand, tried to protect the central command by elaborate defenses, such as establishing control bunkers 1,000 feet below Moscow (the conservative military had doubts about command safety even at this depth). For those controlling the ICBMs on both sides, this development led to policies of launch on warning. These policies were not publicized, and both sides emphasized the need of making the ICBMs themselves able to survive a nuclear attack.