Leveraging U.S. nuclear weapons policy to advance U.S. nonproliferation goals : implications of major theories of international relations.

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National policymakers are currently considering a dilemma of critical importance to the continued security of the United States: how can U.S. nuclear weapons policies be leveraged to benefit U.S. nuclear nonproliferation goals in the near-term, without sacrificing U.S. national security? In its role supporting U.S. nuclear weapons policy, Sandia National Laboratories has a responsibility to provide objective technical advice to support policy deliberations on this question. However, to best fulfill this duty Sandia must have a broader understanding of the context of the problem. To help develop this understanding, this paper analyzes the two predominant analytical perspectives of international relations ... continued below

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35 p.

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Walter, Andrew June 1, 2009.

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National policymakers are currently considering a dilemma of critical importance to the continued security of the United States: how can U.S. nuclear weapons policies be leveraged to benefit U.S. nuclear nonproliferation goals in the near-term, without sacrificing U.S. national security? In its role supporting U.S. nuclear weapons policy, Sandia National Laboratories has a responsibility to provide objective technical advice to support policy deliberations on this question. However, to best fulfill this duty Sandia must have a broader understanding of the context of the problem. To help develop this understanding, this paper analyzes the two predominant analytical perspectives of international relations theory to explore their prescriptions for how nuclear weapons and nonproliferation policies interact. As lenses with which to view and make sense of the world, theories of international relations must play a crucial role in framing the trade-offs at the intersection of the nuclear weapons and nonproliferation policy domains. An analysis of what these theories suggest as courses of action to leverage nuclear weapons policies to benefit nonproliferation goals is then offered, with particular emphasis on where the policy prescriptions resulting from the respective theories align to offer near-term policy changes with broad theoretical support. These policy prescriptions are then compared to the 2001 Nuclear Posture Review to understand what the theories indicate policymakers may have gotten right in their dealing with the nuclear dilemma, and where they may have gone wrong. Finally, a brief international relations research agenda is proposed to help address the dilemma between nuclear deterrence and nuclear nonproliferation policies, with particular emphasis on how such an agenda can best support the needs of the policy community and a potential 'all things nuclear' policy deliberation and decision-support framework.

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35 p.

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  • Report No.: SAND2009-4358
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • DOI: 10.2172/985496 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 985496
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1015885

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • June 1, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Oct. 14, 2017, 8:36 a.m.

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  • Oct. 24, 2017, 12:32 p.m.

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Walter, Andrew. Leveraging U.S. nuclear weapons policy to advance U.S. nonproliferation goals : implications of major theories of international relations., report, June 1, 2009; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1015885/: accessed October 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.