The spiral model and deterrence model are rather similar as they try to provide explanations concerning the outbreak of war. However, according to the spiral model, the main reason of all the disputes is punishment, and the deterrence model states that acts of appeasement have a larger influence on this issue. Both the spiral and the deterrence theorists are deeply concerned with the danger of misunderstandings and the consequent importance of states’ making their intentions clear. But the “deterrers worry that aggressors will underestimate the resolve of the defenders, while the spiral theorists believe that each side will overestimate the hostility of the other”. Policies that flow from deterrence theory are just those that, according to the spiral model, are most apt to heighten tensions and create illusory incompatibility (Jervis, 1976). The behavior advocated by the spiral theorists would, according to deterrence theory, be likely to lead an aggressor to doubt the state’s willingness to resist. The most obvious embarrassment to the spiral model is posed when an aggressive power will not respond in kind to conciliation.
As for evidence against deterrence, threats, which have been more closely studied than concessions, often do not have the effect predicted by deterrence theory. This theory is not embarrassed by threats that fail as they are not believed or can be “designed around”, because the punishment is insufficient to outweigh the aggressor’s expected gains, or because they set off responses based on accurate assessment of the real incompatibility. Thus, judgments, as to whether the spiral theory explains a case, often involve difficult analysis about the degree of real incompatibility present at the start. It is also important to consider that there are certain dangers of applying gradualism to an aggressive adversary. As for the solutions, the policy advocate should try to reach the more modest goal of developing policies that have high payoffs. One way to do this would be to procure the kinds and numbers of weapons that are useful for deterrence without simultaneously being effective for aggression.
Case: North Korea
The opacity of North Korea has not discouraged any number of judgments about the regime’s nature ad its intentions. Indeed, the issue concerning North Korea for the United States and its allies in Seoul and Tokyo tends to be absolutely clear. Absent more empirical evidence, this dispute about real change in the DPRK’s intentions remains unresolved. Anyway, policy that is presumably based on certain assessment of the regime’s intentions still should be made. This is explained by the fact that “true believers” have a strong desire to advocate engagement without actual evidence criticized. Conventionally, the arguments against peace on the Korean peninsula have been the irrationality of the DPRK and the potential that the regime will soon collapse. The first argument appeared in result of the opacity of the regime and such characteristics as recklessness and unpredictability of the leadership. The second one is explained by the early 1990s, when the DPRK began to register negative economic growth and showed more light onto the extent of its chronic food and energy storages. These aspects strengthened after the uncertain political transition in 1994 and caused serious concerns about the collapse of the regime.
The main indicators by which to designate North Korea’s decisional frame include the following: those ideational objectives that legitimate and celebrate the national identity, state of material well-being, standing in the international community, and availability of allies. An important barometer of a changing frame of reference is the perspective on time. North Korea is not perceived as a military threat due to several reasons. The past 15 years have led to severe economic and military decline in North Korea, and, intuitively, it follows that this nation is fearful of the United States. The majority of international relations theories conclude that the source of threats is clear – power is threatening.
Unit Level Perspectives
The choice between establishing a regional nuclear regime and maintaining an ambiguous nuclear status among the second tier or would-be nuclear powers is at the heart of debates about global security in the aftermath of the Cold War era. The study of nuclear postures of regional powers (beyond the original five nuclear states) in the last three decades has traditionally emphasized their external security concerns. Such emphasis provided a powerful tool to explain the pursuit of a nuclear deterrent by countries like South Korea, Israel, and Taiwan, on the basis of legitimate existential fears.
However, while their security concerns have been more or less constant for over thirty years, the nuclear postures of some of these countries have shifted over time. Neorealism and liberal-democratic theories of peace provide two alternate ways of viewing the choices made by would-be nuclear powers. A general weakness of neorealism in explaining nuclear choices is its inconclusiveness. The type of domestic political system does not explain why fence-sitters shift their nuclear postures and join international and regional nuclear regimes; therefore, a more disaggregated analysis of domestic determinants of nuclear cooperation, and particularly of the role of economic liberalization and of the political coalitions that sustain it, are required.
Ruling coalitions, pursuing economic liberalization, are more likely to embrace regional nuclear regimes than their inward-looking nationalist and radical-confessional counterparts. This hypothesis is based on two main assumptions: first, the kinds of ties binding actors (groups, sectors, parties, institutions) to economic and other international processes affect their conceptions of interests. Second, nuclear postures are not merely a response to international con-straints: the domestic consequences of alternative nuclear paths are no less important to political actors and coalitions. Economic liberalization appears to require democratization if it is to be sustained over the long term. Yet, both democracy and nuclear cooperation could still be an outcome of economic liberalism. Exploring further the extent to which political freedom will be necessary or sufficient for the emergence and maintenance of regional nuclear regimes is a compelling task for a social science theory, sensitive to the construction of a more peaceful global order.
Cases: Argentina and Brazil
Washington thinks that until the early 1990s, Argentina was dead set on building the bomb. Argentina’s subsequent behavior, including its accession to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1994, is thus held up as a shining success for tough U.S. nonproliferation diplomacy. U.S. policies are credited with turning Argentina from a nuclear “rogue” into a nuclear “choirboy.” It is possible to develop four general hypotheses. First, states led by rulers marked by oppositional nationalism will likely want to go nuclear, while non-oppositional nationalists will not. Second, a state led by non-oppositional nationalists will likely adopt a policy of nuclear autonomy in terms of technology and diplomacy, while refraining from building the bomb. Third, the more diplomatic pressure placed on a technically competent non-oppositional nationalist-led state to accept the nuclear nonproliferation regime, the more likely that a state will adopt increasingly expressive nationalist nuclear policies. Fourth, credible military pressure on a non-oppositional nationalist-led state – for instance, the threat of nuclear proliferation by neighboring states – will likely moderate the state’s nuclear policies. All hypotheses are strongly confirmed by the evidence from the case of Argentina.
This study contains many lessons for theory and policy. The close fit between the general hypotheses enunciated at the outset with the evidence from the Argentine case suggests a need for a major overhaul in the assumptions of both sides of the Washington debate over nuclear proliferation. The mainstream U.S. nonproliferation community has relied on the Latin American case of nuclear rollback as a key justification for retaining traditional approaches to fighting proliferation. The Argentine case demonstrates the need for more sensitivity in U.S. assessments of the goals of burgeoning nuclear states. Neither the desire for nuclear technology nor opposition to the nonproliferation regime should be taken as clear or unproblematic indicators of nuclear weapons ambitions. A little more modesty and considerably more historical research will be required in order to avoid the misunderstandings of the past.
How States Get Nuclear Weapons
Peaceful nuclear cooperation – the transfer of nuclear technology, materials, or knowledge from one state to another for peaceful purposes – has figured prominently in international politics since the dawn of the atomic age. There is a certain relationship between peaceful nuclear cooperation and nuclear weapons proliferation. The conventional wisdom is that civilian nuclear cooperation does not lead to proliferation. Most scholars argue that nuclear weapons spread when states have a demand for the bomb – not when they have the technical capacity to proliferate.
There is a rich literature on why states pursue nuclear weapons. In recentyears, this scholarship has turned its attention toward factors influencing a country’s demand for nuclear weapons and has treated technological considerationsas a secondary concern. For example, Scott Sagan argues that scholarsand practitioners should focus on “addressing the sources of the political demand for nuclear weapons, rather than focusing primarily on efforts to safeguardexisting stockpiles of nuclear materials and to restrict the supply ofspecific weapons technology from the ‘haves’ to the ‘have-nots’.”
Indicators of economic capacity, such as a state’s gross domestic product (GDP) and the nuclear-related resources it possesses, are correlated with weapons proliferation. Despite its many contributions, this work has not adequately addressed the links between civilian nuclear cooperation and weapons proliferation. Peaceful nuclear cooperation and nuclear weapons are related in two key respects. First, all technology and materials linked to a nuclear weapons program have legitimate civilian applications. Second, civilian nuclear cooperation increases knowledge in nuclear-related matters. This knowledge can then be applied to weapons-related endeavors. Additionally, nuclear suppliers should adopt responsible export practices and avoid the temptation to sacrifice long-term nonproliferation objectives in pursuit of short-term economic or political gains.
Have Arms Races Caused War?
The topic “Arms-races and the Causes of War” covers the period from the 1850s, when Industrialization was first beginning to make its sustained impact upon the war, to the end of the Second World War, when the coming of nuclear weapons introduced a quite new element into the age-old Great Power rivalries. Besides, there was a strong belief that the arms-races were human things, arising out of specific social circumstances and determined by human perceptions.
Arm-races and wars are the reflection and the consequence of the fears, suspicions, and ambitions within specific societies as they assess their relationship with certain other societies on this planet that they are controllable and can peter out, as well as escalate, depending upon the political will existing. Despite some evidence to the contrary, the upward spiral is not inevitable even if it may be likely; and what the race needs is not the end in an Armageddon. But it takes political willpower, percipience, a certain freedom from dogma, and an ability to see other viewpoints and make some allowance for them in order to turn the spiral.
Is Nuclear Proliferation Good or Bad?
So far nuclear weapons have proliferated only vertically as the major nuclear powers have added them to their arsenals. Nuclear weapons will nevertheless spread with a new member occasionally joining the club. Membership grew to twelve in the first fifty years of the nuclear age, and then, membership in the club dropped to eight as South Africa, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Ukraine liquidated their weapons. A fifty percent growth of membership in the next decade would be surprising. Since rapid changes in international conditions can be unsettling, the slowness of the spread of nuclear weapons is fortunate. Someday, the world will be populated by fifteen or eighteen nuclear-weapon states.
Weapons and strategies change the situation of states in ways that make them more or less secure. If weapons are not well suited for conquest, neighbors have more peace of mind. It is important to consider how nuclear deterrence and nuclear defense improve the prospects for peace. First, war can be fought in the face of deterrent threats, but the higher the stakes and the closer a country moves toward winning them, the more surely a country invites retaliation and risks its own destruction. Second, states act with less care if the expected costs of war are low and with more care if they are high. Third, the deterrent deployment of nuclear weapons contributes more to a country’s security than does conquest of territory.