Waltz and Sagan

Topics: Nuclear weapon, Cold War, Nuclear peace Pages: 3 (856 words) Published: December 2, 2012
Scott D. Sagan and Kenneth N. Waltz. The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: A Debate Renewed (New York: W.W. Norton, 2002).
General Argument:
Waltz: Rational deterrence theory:
_ There is a fundamental difference between conventional and nuclear worlds. Gradual spread of nuclear weapons is better than no spread or rapid spread. _ Nuclear weapons make war less likely, because nuclear weapons encourage both defense and deterrence. The possibility (however remote) and unacceptably high cost of destruction makes states more careful and miscalculation difficult _ Given second-strike capabilities, the balance of forces isn’t what counts – (asymmetric capabilities ok, just a threat ok, credibility need not be proven) _ Not only do nukes deter attacks on the homeland, they deter attacks on any vital strategic interests, lowers the stakes of war, intensity of war _ Weaker states are not more likely to use nukes irresponsibly – they would lose in a conventional war, so they need to save their nukes – they will only use them if survival is at stake, not for irresponsible aggression.

_ Even Hitler would have been deterred if Germany had faced nuclear weapons. Even if not, one man can’t make a war – his generals would have stopped him. Madman theory is defunct.
_ The last thing anyone wants to do is make a nuclear nation desperate – so nukes affect the deterrer and the deterred.
_ You can’t totally stop the spread – each state will always strive to seek its own security.
_ Even terrorists are not irrational. Just as unlikely to use nukes as weak states if they do manage to get them.
Sagan: Bureaucratic politics (organizational) theory:
_ Military organizations, unless managed by strong civilian-control institutions, will display organizational behaviors that are likely to lead to deterrence failures and deliberate or accidental war, because of common biases, inflexible routines, and parochial interests.

_ Future nuclear-armed states will likely lack the requisite civilian...
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