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Nuclear Proliferation and Global Security: Laying the Groundwork for a New Policy Agenda

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A default assumption shared by most observers in government, the academy, and nongovernment organizations is that all efforts should be expended to preserve the international nuclear nonproliferation regime, despite its shortcomings and structural weaknesses. Yet there is little evidence that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and its subsidiary instruments have succeeded in preventing the spread of nuclear weapons capabilities since the end of the Cold War. And there is no foundation for assuming they will do any better in what will be an even more challenging global strategic environment in the twenty-first century. New arms control arrangements need to be developed that reflect the reality that nuclear proliferation cannot be prevented, only managed. Before reaching this point, however, the international community must lay to rest the myth that nuclear disarmament is achievable and begin to explore the prospects for a multipolar system of nuclear deterrence in the years ahead.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Flinders University Adelaide, Australia

Publication date: October 1, 2005

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