promote disarmament and nonpr.

24/08/17 1 2 ž The development of nuclear weapons transformed the international security environment. Today we shall: › Discuss the nature of nuclear weapons and other WMD; › Examine the use of such weapons through consideration of strategies of minimal and maximal deterrence; Next week, we will discuss some political responses to the risks posed by these weapons, including efforts to promote disarmament and nonproliferation? ž The phrase “weapons of mass destruction” appears clear, but is in fact potentially misleading; ž In general, the term is used to describe a range of weapons that are unconventional rather than those that necessarily cause massive destruction or kill many people; ž Most would include the following types of weapons as constituting WMD: nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, biological weapons and radiological weapons. 4 24/08/17 2 ž Biological weapons have been used since medieval times – the hurling of diseased corpses (human and animal) into fortified cities and towns; ž Chemical weapons have been used at least since WWI; ž Nuclear weapons were developed and used during WWII; ž Radiological weapons were recognised as a possibility during WWII as a product of the development of nuclear technology. 5 ž In the twentieth century, WMD were developed as military tools in the context of the move to total, mass industrialised war; ž Recall the stagnation of war in the industrial era and the desire of military strategists to achieve decisive military victories; ž Often this led to efforts to achieve a strategic breakthrough – a disruption to enemy defences or warfighting capacity that would lead to a decisive defeat. 6 ž None of these forms of weapons has been strategically significant: › Biological weapons are hard to use, relatively easy for military forces to counter, and hard to control; › The better chemical weapons are at killing people, the fewer logical purposes they can be used to achieve; › Radiological weapons serve few if any military purposes; ž All may be effective weapons of terror because their effects are horrific. 7 ž Highly destructive and impossible to defend against; ž Fireball, radiation, pressure blast, thermal radiation; ž Made targeting destruction of major civilian, industrial and military facilities possible; ž But, for what military purpose? Destruction or coercion? ž Destruction in the context of war seemed less than useful – extent, possibility of retaliation, radiation of site and fallout. 8 24/08/17 3 9 ž Rather than their actual use, nuclear weapons quickly became understood as a tool with which to utilise strategies of coercion; ž Coercion involves the use of threats to modify another’s behaviour; ž Parent’s threat of grounding; university’s threat of expulsion; government’s threat of prison; country’s threat of nuclear attack; ž Coercion can take either of two forms: › Compellance – making someone do something by threatening them; › Deterrence – preventing someone from doing something by threatening them 10 ž Successful coercion occurs when the threat changes their behaviour and need not be carried out; ž It is generally held to require: › Effective communication – of the desired course of action and the threat; › Rationality – of the recipient of the threat; › Capability – of the person making the threat; › Credibility – of the person making the threat. 11 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 CC NC Cost of compliance Cost of punishment ž In conventional coercion, the threat used is conventional military force ž But, punishment through conventional military force is expensive and risky ž This complicates the cost-benefit analysis ž In nuclear coercion, the threat is of a nuclear strike – cheap, fast, and certain 12 24/08/17 4 ž Bernard Brodie: until now the purpose of military force has been to win wars. From now on it must be to prevent them. Military force can serve no other purpose; ž Brodie was an advocate of minimal nuclear deterrence; ž This involved: › The possession of a small number of nuclear bombs by each of the great powers; › The mutual threat of punishment in the face of aggression; › A mutual recognition that military force was irrational. 13 ž The belief that minimal mutual deterrence could end war rested on the following assumptions ž Nuclear weapons are so destructive that no rational person would risk their country facing a single nuclear strike ž No defence or counter-measure is 100% effective ž So, a small number of warheads and limited means of delivery should be enough to guarantee successful deterrence 14 ž For Brodie and other advocates of minimal deterrence, the advent of the nuclear age had fundamentally altered the concept of security; ž In the first half of the 20th Century, “insecurity” meant the risk of attack from a foreign state and “security” meant national military strength; ž For Brodie, war itself had become the source of insecurity, and security means the mutual prevention of war. 15 ž Did the creation of nuclear weapons lead to mutual acceptance of the irrationality of force? ž Firstly, strategists worried over the problem of credibility: › How could you be sure that your adversary believed your threat? › What if their aggression was limited? › What if they had nuclear weapons too? ž Secondly, strategists sought advantage and feared that their opponents sought it too: › What if you could cancel out an enemy’s deterrent threat through decapitation, precision attack or missile defence? 16 24/08/17 5 ž Historically, minimal deterrence had a short lifespan ž Firstly, competition soon began in terms of states’ capability to deliver a nuclear strike: › Major issue was “second-strike capability” › Multiple means of delivery › Multiple warheads per missile › Speed of response ž Secondly, states’ sought to enhance their credibility by: › Testing › Visible planning of escalation in war › Promote certainty of response 17 ž The purpose of these changes to nuclear strategy was to enhance deterrence: › to ensure that each state had the capability to deter others in all possible situations, and; › To ensure the credibility of deterrent threats. ž However, the general outcome in the Cold War was a situation where the world was minutes away from global nuclear catastrophe ž Both the United States and the Soviet Union were completely prepared to fight a war that ranged from conventional combat in Europe, naval combat throughout five oceans, and nuclear Armageddon 18

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