Report on Discouraging a Cascade of Nuclear Weapons States   [open pdf - 360KB]

"The International Security Advisory Board (ISAB) was asked to judge the likelihood of a 'cascade' of new nuclear weapons states, what factors might be supporting a possible upcoming cascade, and what the U.S. can do to prevent such a cascade. The ISAB's findings are as follows. There are many factors that have led to concerns about a rapid rise in the number of nuclear-weapons states. Among these factors are: [1] The nuclear weapons programs of Iran and North Korea; [2] The expected rapid rise in nuclear power reactors; [3] The aging of the NPT and demonstrated lack of international will to respond rapidly and effectively to evidence of new nuclear weapons programs; [4] Regional tensions, especially in the Middle East and East Asia; [5] Distributed networks and suppliers groups that make detection of rogue programs more difficult; [6] Expected continuing rise in international terrorism coupled with worries of 'loose nukes'. The ISAB's research and discussions with experts, both foreign and domestic, has concluded that a nuclear weapons cascade is not inevitable. Unlike past years, a nuclear cascade now is more likely to begin in advanced industrial states, not rogue states. A region-by-region look at incentives and disincentives to initiate a nuclear weapons program shows powerful political, economic, and national security reasons for not initiating a regional arms race. While the probability of a cascade."

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