You know that the best you can expect is to avoid the worst
DESPITE TREATIES, AGREEMENTS, AND BILLIONS SPENT FOR NONPRO-LIFERATION, NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION IS ALIVE AND WELL
After 50 years of nonproliferation efforts and many billions spent, it is has become apparentthat nonproliferation, as presently developed, is not a winning strategy.
Why? I propose thatnonproliferation has been a failure to date because it is essentially a Band-Aid approach toovercome the deep ﬂaws of two strategic initiatives: (1) Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) asan alternative
No First Use
deterrence strategy to preventive war:
of the H Bomb
andtotal annihilation of the enemy; and (2) the proliferation of nuclear technology for the pur-ported purpose of boiling water to turn turbines in order to produce electricity.
MUTUAL ASSURED DESTRUCTION AS A FAILED STRATEGY THAT AS-SURES PROLIFERATION & INCREASES THE POTENTIAL FOR ATTACK
This strategy has two primary assumptions: (1) approximate parity so that neither side has anadvantage for
, and (2) the players in this game are rational.
Provided these assump-tions hold, MAD was thought to place the parties in a Nash Equilibrium
where neither partywould choose
. By 1955, MAD may have become a prisoners dilemma with no NashEquilibrium. Even though a nuclear exchange would potentially produce an unwinnable war,
all parties had an incentive to cheat; to break the equilibrium state, gain an advantage, andlaunch a
that would be decisive. Thus, an arms race ensued, with ever escalatingchoices that were supposed to produce an advantage to one player over the other. If the oppos-ing player does not keep up, they fall behind and become vulnerable to a
.Countriesthat do not now posses nuclear weapons, seeing the landscape of strategic and economicdecision-making now seek to acquire nuclear weapons or, at a minimum, the capacity to buildnuclear weapons in order to secure their position in this precarious world order and as deter-rence against invasion by an opposing force.
More nuclear weapons means less security.
NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION, TERRORISM, AND THE TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONSLYLE A. BRECHT DRAFT 410.963.8680 --- CAPITAL MARKETS RESEARCH --- MARCH 10, 2009 Page 1 of 2
If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler
(1979) inWilliam Poundstone,
(New York: Doubleday, 1992), 53.
In 1950, 2 states possessed a few dozen nuclear weapons. Today, 8 nuclear states possess12,000 nuclear weapons, 40 states are capable of going nuclear at anytime and there is enoughHEU (highly-enriched uranium) for building 240,000 more nuclear weapons. Plus, today, wehave low level nuclear wastes from nuclear power plants that could be used to construct 1million RDDs (radiological dispersion device; a
Nuclear fusion weapons even today remain potentially the most destructive weapons everinvented and the greatest threat to global security.
Lifting the nuclear shadow: Creating theconditions for abolishing nuclear weapons
, Foreign & Commonwealth Ofﬁce,UK.
John von Neumann’s
as long as the two rational players’ interests are com-pletely opposed, they can settle on a rational course of action going forward in a zero sumgame. Equilibrium arises from an interplay of self interest and mistrust (Poundstone, 97).
John Nash showed that
applied to non zero sum, non cooperative games.Cooperative games arise when players can form coalitions and know each other’s strategy.Non cooperative games involve each player formulating their strategy without knowing theother’s strategy (Poundstone, 96-99).
A game state where it is impossible for the player to win the game. Theonly options are re-starting the game or stopping and deciding to play another game with different rules. Playingan unwinnable game is a zombie situation (
See Kurt Campbell, et. al.,
The Nuclear Tipping Point: Why States ReconsiderTheir NuclearChoices
(Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2004). The U.S. 2003preventive war inIraq only served to cement this new incarnation of MAD strategy.