Prolif good – War

Conventional War Bad – General

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Conventional War Bad – General

Conventional war sucks.

Tower 89 (John, Senator, Armed Services Committee Hearing, Federal News Service, 1-25)

SEN. TOWER: Well, of course we've been discussing this for a long time, that if ultimately the outcome is to make the world safe for conventional warfare we've gone back to square one. I submit that a man who died in the Alamo with a musket ball in his chest is just as dead as somebody that died in nuclear explosion. And, too, we have seen how devastating conventional war is. Anybody who has any memory of Europe -- I was in the occupation of Japan in 1945, and I can tell you, if that's what conventional warfare can do with much less sophisticated conventional weapons than we have now, we don't want that either. War is a detestable way for men and nations to resolve their differences. No war is good.

We control empirics -- millions die absent nuclear deterrence.

Joseph and Reichart 98—Robert G. Joseph and John F. Relchart are director and deputy director of the Center for Counterproliferation Research, National Defense University, and members of the National War College faculty. Ambassador Joseph is a fonner principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for international security policy. Dr. Reichart is a former member of the State Department policy planning staff (“The Case for Nuclear Deterrence Today”, Winter 1998, ZBurdette)

While it is impossible to prove what would have happened had nuclear weapons not existed during the Cold War, the reality of what did not hap- pen-world War III-would seem to vindicate those who advocated a strong nuclear deterrent. In the first half of the twentieth century tens of millions of combatants and civilians perished in war. In the second half of the century, millions more died in regional conflicts in which nuclear deterrence did not pertain. Yet, in Europe-arguably the most volatile Cold War battleground and potentially the deadliest because of the enormous concentration of armed forces there-war did not occur. The threat of escalation and nuclear annihilation made the prospect of war too horrific and reinforced caution in decision makers on both sides.

Conventional War O/W Nuclear War

Conventional war is just as devastating as nuclear war

Myers 86 (Grover, Major USAF, September 1986, “Aerospace Power: The Case for Indivisible Application”,, ZBurdette)

Those who argue that "conventional" war may be more likely if seen as divorced from potential nuclear consequences are represented by Mary Kaldor, who wrote: The terrible destructive power of nuclear weapons may lead us to condone conventional weapons as a lesser evil. This is something new. After World War I, there was widespread revulsion against war in all its forms. Yet a modem conventional war with the weapons now available could in the words of a British lieutenant colonel "recreate the conditions of 1914-15" . . . the carnage would be fearful with modem weapons making the World War I casualty lists look brief by comparison.33 In other words, a major nonnuclear war between NATO and the Warsaw Pact could conceivably be as destructive and deadly (albeit probably longer) as many theater nuclear scenarios. The trigger of war may seem easier to pull, given that the potential level of destruction may not appear as great. But nearly total destruction is still possible. During World War 11, the firebomb raids on cities like Dresden and Tokyo killed far more people than the nuclear strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Europe lost a generation (somewhere around 15 million men) in the trenches of World War I.

Conventional war escalates to nuclear war.

Myers 86 (Grover, Major USAF, September 1986, “Aerospace Power: The Case for Indivisible Application”,, ZBurdette)

To make matters worse, the second concern centers on the fact that some analysts are raising serious concerns as to the viability of even the nuclear/nonnuclear distinctions. In the heat and fog of battle, commanders may have a difficult time determining what kind of weapons are being used against them, especially in tactical situations. The standard image of nuclear warfare- the razing of entire cities in a single multimegaton nuclear blast and the virtual elimination of entire societies in a matter of a few short hours-while a worst- case possibility, is a long way from the battlefield situations in which nuclear weapons will most likely see their first use. Large-yield nuclear weapons of the "city-busting7' class could certainly be used in such situations, but they have more important uses as the Armageddon-makers-the bludgeons of ultimate deterrence-and they also invite their use by the other side. Both the United States and the Soviet Union have developed small, lower- yield weapons with good accuracy that are specifically intended for tactical action but that presently are distinguishable from their nonnuclear counterparts. However, for the future, the same technologies that are producing such radical improvements in conventional weaponry will surely affect the nuclear arsenal in similar fashion. Nuclear-delivery systems will become more accurate as advanced inertial- and terminal-guidance systems are deployed, reducing the requirement for large-yield warheads. The desire to limit collateral damage, especially in Europe, will foster further accuracy refinements and yield reductions. At the same time, nonnuclear weapons are increasing in destructive potential. For example, Gen Robert Marsh described the potential of the new nonnuclear explosive metastable helium (MSH) as having "more than five times the stored energy capacity of TNT" and the capability to produce "thirty times the overpressure on a target of a TNT munition of similar weight at the same miss distance.” Another writer compared existing systems: "It has been estimated that an aircraft equipped with the type of cluster bomb used by Israel in Lebanon has the same immediate destructive effect as a Lance missile equipped with a one-kiloton [an explosive power equivalent to 1,000 tons of TNT] nuclear warhead. ' '35 Thus, the combination of smaller, more accurate nuclear munitions and larger, more destructive nonnuclear weapons, both designed to accomplish the same tasks, may eventually blur the distinctions between nuclear and nonnuclear warfare. The critical firebreak that is so important to deterrence theory may become very indistinct if not nonexistent. To be sure, there are differences between nuclear and nonnuclear weapons even at lower yields, most notably radiation and fallout (although even these can be minimized); but a military commander, surrounded by the urgencies and confusion of battle, is not likely to wait for fallout reports before recommending what he may see as appropriate nuclear retaliation. Matters are made even worse by the fact that in modern warfare even a large-scale "conventional" (in name only) war may be seen as a possible option because of the emergence of such precise and potent nonnuclear weapons.

Conventional weapons are increasing in lethality

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?”,, ZBurdette)

It is conventional weapons that have proliferated. And conventional weapons are of ever–greater lethality, and, unlike nuclear weapons, are frequently used. We have had nuclear weapons since 1945, and never has a nuclear weapon been fired in anger in a world in which two or more countries had nuclear capabilities. Now that is a good and unparalleled record. Can you think of any other weapon in the history of the world with such a record? In other words, nuclear deterrence has worked. It has worked both for big nuclear powers, like the United States and the Soviet Union, and for small nuclear countries.

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