de Mesquita and Riker ’82 (Bruce Bueno and William, Dept. Pol. Sci. – Rochester, Journal of Conflict Resolution, “An Assessment of the Merits of Selective Nuclear Proliferation”, Vol. 26, No. 2, p. 302-303)
One might object further. Conceding that the likelihood of miscalculation does diminish as proliferation occurs, one might still contend that the costs of such a miscalculation are so large that they cannot conceivably justify even the diminished risk of war. If the expected costs from nuclear wars arising out of miscalculation or irrational acts exceed the expected costs from wars that could be prevented by proliferation, then, indeed, proliferation is a very dangerous thing. There is, of course, no precise way to measure these expected costs, but we do have some basis for estimating them. Using expected utility calculations similar to the one suggested here, one of us (Bueno de Mesquita 1981b) found that 65 of approximately 70,000 opportunities to initiate war rationally were seized in the period 1816 to 1974, with hundreds of other opportunities being used to threaten war. In that same study it was also found that only 11 of nearly 500,000 opportunities to initiate war were seized in violation of the expectations arising from the expected utility framework. In other words, the ratio of seemingly rational and correct calculations to either irrational calculations or miscalculations that have led to war is over 40 to 1. This implies that through symmetry-producing nuclear proliferation, we may expect to prevent approximately 40 conventional or one-sided nuclear wars for every one miscalculated or irrational bilateral nuclear exchange. Using the 40 most recent wars as a crude indicator, this analysis implies that a single miscalculated or irrational nuclear exchange in the third world would have to kill several tens of millions of people before some proliferation would be unjustified by yielding a higher expected loss of life. It seems to us unlikely that one such miscalculated or irrational act among third world countries, each with a very few warheads, could produce this level of loss. Still, we do not rule it out, but rather note that it is exactly such estimates that must be made in calculating the trade-offs between gains and losses from nuclear proliferation. One might expect, for instance, that selection of candidates for proliferation might be based partially on the calculation of the marginal effect on expected costs in life and property from not standing in the way of the candidate in question. Thus, proliferation would be resisted where the expected marginal effect would be an increase in loss of life and property over nonproliferation, but would be encouraged where the marginal effect was otherwise.
Kenneth Waltz, The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: A Debate, 1995 p31 Ajones
Large conventional forces neither add to nor subtract from the credibility of second-strike nuclear forces. Smaller nuclear states are likely to understand this more easily than the United States and the Soviet Union did, if only because few of them can afford to combine deterrent with large war-fighting forces. Israel's military policy seems to fly in the face of deterrent logic. lts military budget has at times exceeded 20 percent of its GDP. ln fact lsrael's policy bears deterrent logic out. So long as Israel continues to hold the Golan Heights and parts of the West Bank, it has to be prepared to fight for them. Since they by no means belong unambiguously to Israel, deterrent threats do not cover them. Because of America's large subsidies, economic constraints have not driven Israel to the territorial settlement that would shrink its borders sufficiently to make a deterrent policy credible, Global and regional forces, however, now do so. To compete internationally, Israel has to reduce its military expenditures. If a state's borders encompass only its vital interests, their protection does not require spending large sums on conventional forces. The success of a deterrent strategy depends neither on the conventional capabilities of states nor on the extent of territory they hold. States can safely shrink their borders because defense in depth becomes irrelevant. The point can be put the other way around: With deterrent forces, arms races in their ultimate form-the fighting of offensive wars designed to increase national security-become pointless.
Preventing proliferation guarantees devastating conventional wars in all global hotspots.
Joffe and Davis, 11 (Josef, James, Jan/Feb 2011, “Less Than Zero: Bursting the New Disarmament Bubble,” Foreign Affairs Vol. 90 Iss. 1, Joffe: Editor of Die Zeit, a Senior Fellow at Stanford's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and Abramowitz Fellow in International Relations at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, Davis: Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Security Economics and Technology at the University of St.Gallen, JPL)
These calculations include Israel, which would be left contending with several hundred million Arabs and Iranians absent a nuclear shield. A denuclearized Pakistan would confront more than a billion Indians. Japan and Taiwan-if it still exists as a separate polity-would face China without the nuclear umbrella theUnited States once extended. In other words, what started out as an almost scholastic question of nuclear numbers would quickly turn into a very practical question of geopolitics. Within a couple of decades, the power map of the world would be completely redrawn, as oldfashioned metrics such as population size, territorial extent, and conventional military strength once again dominated strategic calculations, with dire consequences for the United States and the West as a whole. Of course, such factors would not matter if nuclear disarmament ushered in perpetual peace. But such a heaven did not exist before nuclear weapons were deployed, so why should it exist once they are removed? The peace that disarmament advocates take for granted has been the product of the very arsenals they want to eliminate. The correlation between nuclear weapons and great-power peace is perfect- 65 years, the longest such period in world history. Conversely, with the nuclear threat lifted, conventional war among the great powers might no longer look so terrifying. If the last rung on the escalation ladder is gone, stepping onto the first one might not lead straight to Armageddon.