Asian proliferation risks instability and nuclear terrorism.
Richard Maass, PhD candidate whose primary research interests concern international security, IR theory, US foreign policy, and qualitative and mixed-method research, Spring 2010 (“Nuclear Proliferation and Declining U.S. Hegemony,” Hamilton College, Accessed online at http://www.hamilton.edu/documents//levitt-center/Maass_article.pdf, Accessed on 7/19/11)
Nuclear weapons’ equalizing effect makes them increasingly appealing as an asymmetrical means to counter the United States’ conventional military superiority. North Korea currently pursues a controversial nuclear program to combat power disparities with the United States and other major powers in the Far East, such as China and Japan. North Korea’s proliferation is perhaps the most threatening of all, in terms of U.S. interests, for several reasons. A nuclear North Korea poses a major threat as a supplier of nuclear technology. According to the Central Intelligence Agency, North Korea already grosses an average of $580 million annually from missile sales to northern Africa and the Middle East, making it the single largest exporter worldwide (CIA, 2003, pg. 56). Should Pyongyang obtain nuclear weapons, it would become a major exporter of nuclear technologies. The emergence of new nuclear states in both northeast Asia and the Middle East, as a product of North Korean exports, would drastically exacerbate regional instability, seriously inhibiting U.S. influence and reducing the non-proliferation regime’s efficiency. Unstable regimes in these newly proliferated states establish a major threat not only to the U.S., but to global security. These regimes become prime sources for radical militant and terrorist groups to obtain nuclear weapons. Most alarmingly, if North Korea goes nuclear, other states in the region may question their own security and decide to follow suit. Dick Cheney stated the following regarding North Korea’s proliferation on Meet the Press on March 16, 2003: A nuclear-armed North Korea…will probably set off an arms race in that part of the world, and others, perhaps Japan, for example, may be forced to consider whether they want to readdress the nuclear question (Cheney, 2003). Despite Cheney’s questionable record on political forecasts, he rightly acknowledges that North Korea’s proliferation may force other countries to pursue their own nuclear programs. Japan’s civilian stockpile of weapon-grade plutonium could plausibly be converted to hundreds of nuclear warheads in a matter of months or even weeks (Cirincione, 2007, pg. 105). If Japan were to go nuclear, South Korea would likely follow due to a security imperative, despite U.S. countermeasures. The resulting proliferation of northeast Asia erodes U.S. interests and assets; U.S. businesses currently conduct more than $500 billion in transactions in the region and have invested another $150 billion (US Department of Defense, 2001, pg.7). Proliferation of northeast Asian states jeopardizes U.S. economic affairs and reduces the United States’ ability to use its leverage as an international hegemon, due to the relative bargaining power those states gain through the possession of nuclear weapons.
Asian prolif causes terrorism.
Cimbala 5- 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 weapons in the Twenty-first century: From simplicity to complexity,” vol. 21, issue 3, 10/1/ 2005, 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+weapons+in+the+Twenty-first+century%3A+From+simplicity+to+complexity&rft.jtitle=Defense+%26+Security+Analysis&rft.au=Cimbala%2C+Stephen&rft.date=2005-09-30&rft.issn=1475-1798&rft.volume=21&rft.issue=3&rft.spage=267&rft.epage=281&rft_id=info:doi/10.1080%2F0743017052000344947&rft.externalDBID=DFSA&rft.externalDocID=10_1080_0743017052000344947 /mr)
In a similar fashion, the objective of states in possession of WMD is not only, or mainly, the actual carrying out of missile strikes or air attacks that might provoke retaliation against their own territory. Instead, new nuclear powers can more successfully exploit the fear of possible attacks against US expeditionary forces, allies or American territory in order to induce a more cautious diplomatic and military approach to conflict resolution. North Korea over the decade from 1994 to 2004 provides a case in point. North Korea used its latent and then manifest nuclear capabilities to squeeze the US and other major powers for economic assistance and diplomatic concessions. The US was not worried about losing a war against North Korea, if it came to that. The risk posed by even a small North Korean nuclear force was based on its potential to coerce regional rivals, including South Korea and Japan, allied to the US.' In addition. North Korea might become a nuclear Wal-Mart for terrorists. Consideration of "access denial" strategies supported by WMD or of the possible use by terrorists of weapons of mass destruction has led the Bush administration to emphasize pre-emption as an option in its military-strategic planning. The prospect of NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY • 271 a Taliban or al-Qaeda with nuclear weapons suggests that traditional strategies of retaliation after attack may fall short of the degree of persuasion required for successful deterrence. More broadly, the Bush administration has called for rethinking the entire concept ofthe nuclear-strategic "triad" of land-based missiles, sea-based missiles and bomber-delivered weapons that were the basis of its Cold War nuclear force structure. The Bush Nuclear Posture Review called for a "new triad" composed of nuclear and non-nuclear offensive forces, active and passive defenses, and improved infrastructure, for reconstitution of forces in a crisis, for maintaining forces at necessary levels of readiness, and for providing necessary research, development and testing to ensure against future surprises.*