The Arms Control Illusion

Donald Trump has gotten a lot of criticism for his harebrained abandonment of nuclear non-proliferation policies by urging South Korea and Japan to go nuclear, and rightly so. Whether the reality TV star realizes it or not (and he almost certainly doesn’t), he is parroting an argument made by some self-styled academic “realists” such as John Mueller and Kenneth Waltz who believe that the world is safer with more nuclear weapons states, rather than fewer, because nuclear deterrence is a force for stability. This rather ignores the fact that the Cold War could have led to a nuclear cataclysm — most famously during the Cuban Missile Crisis — and that the odds of disaster go up the more states that have nuclear weapons.

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The Arms Control Illusion

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