Should We Let The Bomb Spread

Author
Henry Sokolski (ed)
Content Type
Book
Institution
Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
Abstract
In 1966, Leonard Beaton, a journalist and strategic scholar, published a short book that asked must the bomb spread.1 Mr. Beaton’s query reflected the profound alarm with which proliferation was viewed shortly after the Cuban Missile Crisis. Today that alarm is all but absent: Now, not only is proliferation increasingly viewed as a given (more of a fact than a problem), but some security experts actually see advantages in nuclear weapons spreading or, at least, little harm. Cultivation of this latter view took time—nearly a half century— and considerable scholarship. In 1981, Kenneth Waltz popularized French and American finite deterrence thinking of the late 1950s by asking whether or not nuclear weapons in more hands might be better. His answer was yes. As nuclear weapons spread, he argued, adversaries would view war as being self-defeating and peace would become more certain.
Topic
International Affairs, Nuclear Power
Political Geography
Global Focus