Francis J. Gavin article review.

This post will review an article written by Francis J. Gavin on Nuclear proliferation and non-proliferation during the Cold War, making it one of the most relevant articles to this blog. F. Gavin received a masters and a Ph.D. in diplomatic history, and is now the first Frank Stanton Chair in Nuclear Policy studies and a professor in Political sciences at MIT. Nuclear strategy and arms control is one of his main interests and area of study. Showing how qualified and trusted his writing is and how relevant the article is. Continue reading “Francis J. Gavin article review.”


Horizontal vs. Vertical proliferation.

Horizontal proliferation.

Horizontal proliferation is the spread of nuclear weapons to new countries by banning the trade of nuclear arms and to stop any capability of producing nuclear weapons. From the first successful nuclear detonation in New Mexico in 1945 the spread of nuclear weapons has posed a serious threat that America sought to stop to best of their ability, with refusing to share this new technology in contrary to their previous agreement even with their close allies in Great Britain as they felt it was too much power. However, it can be seen earlier on that although they did not share this new technology it wasn’t till the 1960’s that they began to start to realise that they needed to come to an agreement with the rest of the world on how to stop proliferation. This came with the form of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty of 1968 banning the trading of nuclear weapons with states that did not have them, and to focus efforts towards finding sustainable energy resources rather than weapons. With all the countries in the world that had nuclear weapons at the time the signing the agreement it seemed like a success. Continue reading “Horizontal vs. Vertical proliferation.”

NATO and Nuclear Sharing


nato-logoThe concept of the US, with such an impressive nuclear arsenal, sharing its nuclear weapons with non-nuclear states seems to completely defy the original aims of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT). Is it perhaps alarming then, that a significant international military alliance with twenty-eight members, two of which are nuclear weapon states, subscribes to such a theory?

The United States has had a nuclear presence in Europe since the 1950’s. In spite of this, several ideas were proposed in the 1960’s to develop a separate NATO nuclear force that could be shared amongst non-nuclear states. These however, never came to fruition, as non-nuclear NATO members were happy to rely on the security of the United States’ weapons to ensure their nuclear deterrence was maintained.

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Is the USA truly committed to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty?


The extent to which the United States of America upholds their commitment to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty has often been subject to scrutiny. Though a considerable number of states has ratified the Non-Proliferation Treaty more than any other arms limitation and disarmament agreement, this fact alone does not provide enough evidence to display the extent of commitment by any particular party involved. As the headline suggests, the scope of this analysis will focus primarily on the extent to which the United States has remained compliant with the obligations regarding the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

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Steve Weissman&Herbert Krosney ‘The Islamic Bomb’ Published, 1981

The ‘Islamic bomb’ was introduced in the 1970’s and is perceived to be the desire for Pan-Islamic nuclear capability amongst Muslim countries. It is understood to be through the notions of religious ties, that the ‘Islamic bomb’ would be acquired.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (Pakistani prime minister 1971-77) once said, ‘There was a Christian bomb, a Jewish bomb, and now a Hindu bomb. Why not an Islamic bomb?’ A statement as such certainly would raise concern particularly in Washington- Was Samuel Huntington correct in arguing that the fundamental problem for the West was Islam?  

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Israel, Pakistan, and the threat of Nuclear proliferation.

The treaty on the Non-Proliferation of nuclear weapons (NPT) set out to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology as well as promote peaceful uses of nuclear energy. There are a handful of nations uninvolved in the treaty that have, or at least thought to have, developed nuclear weapons, these countries will be my focus, looking particularly at Israel and Pakistan and the controversy that surrounds their nuclear weapons programmes. The NPT came into force in 1970 with 190 parties having signed it, five of these were nuclear weapon states.

Continue reading “Israel, Pakistan, and the threat of Nuclear proliferation.”

The Nuclear Deterrence Question.

Deterrence theory in terms of nuclear weaponry is the idea that nuclear weapons are intended to deter other states from attacking with their nuclear weapons through the promise of retaliation and possibly mutually assured destruction, however when this theory comes into practice, does it hold up?

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Nukes on the loose

Contemporary issues about nuclear non-proliferation are somewhat limited in scope to the average person. At this point, I think that it needs to be recognised that there is a significant difference between disarmament and non-proliferation.  Most people would argue either in favour of nuclear weapons or against. However, the depth to this debate has not largely extended in ordinary conversation and it is important to consider that nuclear devices are weapons, but also used as political aids. ‘Loose nukes’ is a term used to describe poorly guarded weapons and material, particularly in Russia, that may fall into the wrong hands. This article will discuss matters of loose nukes and their effect on non-proliferation.

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