The Nuclear Tipping Point: Why States Reconsider Their Nuclear Choices

The Nuclear Tipping Point: Why States Reconsider Their Nuclear Choices

by Kurt M. Campbell
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 0815713304

ISBN-13: 9780815713302

Pub. Date: 06/28/2004

Publisher: Brookings Institution Press

More than half a century after the advent of the nuclear age, is the world approaching a tipping point that will unleash an epidemic of nuclear proliferation? Today many of the building blocks of a nuclear arsenal—scientific and engineering expertise, precision machine tools, software, design information—are more readily available than ever before. The

Overview

More than half a century after the advent of the nuclear age, is the world approaching a tipping point that will unleash an epidemic of nuclear proliferation? Today many of the building blocks of a nuclear arsenal—scientific and engineering expertise, precision machine tools, software, design information—are more readily available than ever before. The nuclear pretensions of so-called rogue states and terrorist organizations are much discussed. But how firm is the resolve of those countries that historically have chosen to forswear nuclear weapons? A combination of changes in the international environment could set off a domino effect, with countries scrambling to develop nuclear weapons so as not to be left behind—or to develop nuclear "hedge" capacities that would allow them to build nuclear arsenals relatively quickly, if necessary. Th e Nuclear Tipping Point examines the factors, both domestic and transnational, that shape nuclear policy. The authors, distinguished scholars and foreign policy practitioners with extensive government experience, develop a framework for understanding why certain countries may originally have decided to renounce nuclear weapons—and pinpoint some more recent country-specific factors that could give them cause to reconsider. Case studies of eight long-term stalwarts of the nonproliferation regime—Egypt, Germany, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Syria, Turkey, and Taiwan—flesh out this framework and show how even these countries might be pushed over the edge of a nuclear tipping point. The authors offer prescriptions that would both prevent such countries from reconsidering their nuclear option and avert proliferation by others. The stakes are enormous and success is far from assured. To keep the tipping point beyond reach, the authors argue, the international community will have to act with unity, imagination, and strength, and Washington's leadership will be essential. Contributors include Leon Feurth, George Washington University; Ellen Laipson, Stimson Center; Thomas W. Lippman, Middle East Institute; Jenifer Mackby, Center for Strategic and International Studies; Derek J. Mitchell, Center for Strategic and International Studies; Jonathan D. Pollack, U.S. Naval War College; Walter B. Slocombe, Caplin and Drysdale; and Tsuyoshi Sunohara, Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780815713302
Publisher:
Brookings Institution Press
Publication date:
06/28/2004
Pages:
270
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Forewordvii
Acknowledgmentsxi
Part 1Nuclear Past and Present
1The Nuclear Tipping Point: Prospects for a World of Many Nuclear Weapons States3
2Reconsidering a Nuclear Future: Why Countries Might Cross over to the Other Side18
3Will the Abstainers Reconsider? Focusing on Individual Cases32
Part 2Case Studies
4Egypt: Frustrated but Still on a Non-Nuclear Course43
5Syria: Can the Myth Be Maintained without Nukes?83
6Saudi Arabia: The Calculations of Uncertainty111
7Turkey: Nuclear Choices amongst Dangerous Neighbors145
8Germany: The Model Case, A Historical Imperative175
9Japan: Thinking the Unthinkable218
10South Korea: The Tyranny of Geography and the Vexations of History254
11Taiwan's Hsin Chu Program: Deterrence, Abandonment, and Honor293
Part 3Prospects for a Nuclear Future
12Avoiding the Tipping Point: Concluding Observations317
About the Authors349
Index355

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >