The reason the United States is concerned with other countries gaining nuclear weapons, is because of a couple reasons. The first reason comes from Scott Sagan, he argues against an uncontrolled military, which only wants to win a conflict1. You can see this in regimes like North Korea, the military is most likely so attached to Kim Jung Un that they would do anything to win a conflict if one was started. An example of this sort of thinking with militaries is when total war was declared in Germany when the allies were starting to beat Germany2. The second reason comes from Ideology. A lot of the fear that comes out of Iran having such a weapon comes from the fear that it would use it against Israel and Saudi Arabia. One of the reason Iran would attack Saudi Arabia comes from Ideological differences3. The third reason is closely related to the first and it is the fact that military commanders could be assigned control of them4. Given that military control would just want to win or beat off an invasion it is possible for a regime to launch an attack to try and achieve that.
Kenneth Waltz makes a counter argument to this. He essentially says that the spread of Nuclear Weapons is a good thing. More specifically he say’s “Nuclear weapons make wars hard to start. Those statements hold for small as for big powers. Because they do, the gradual spread of nuclear weapons is more to be welcomed then feared”5. The justification from this comes from the fact that no country would want a foreign policy that would destroy themselves6. That idea occurs under Mutually Assured Destruction, in which both countries engaged would wipe each other out, so they do not attack each other because of it.
A rebuttal to this would be the second point I made in the intro about Ideology. If you have a country that is fanatical or ideological enough I believe Mutually Assured Destruction would not work. In the case of North Korea, it is conceivable that they would launch an attack if they were invaded and were loosing. This ties into Sagan’s idea about the military and how that since they desperately want to win they will do anything to achieve it. In conclusion, an uncontrolled military, ideology and Assigned military commanders making decisions is why the U.S should stop the spread of Nuclear Weapons
1 Dean, Adam . “Nuclear Weapons Deterrance and Proliferation.” Lecture, October 3, 2017.
2 Bytwerk, Randall. Goebbels’ 1943 Speech on Total War. Accessed December 14, 2017. http://research.calvin.edu/german-propaganda-archive/goeb36.htm.
3 Poole, Thom. “Iran and Saudi Arabia’s great rivalry explained.” BBC News. January 04, 2016. Accessed December 14, 2017. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35221569.
doesnt decribe religion as the most important but describes it as a factor
4 Dean, Adam . “Nuclear Weapons Deterrance and Proliferation.” Lecture, October 3, 2017.
5 Waltz, Kenneth N. The spread of nuclear weapons: more may be better. South Hadley, MA: Mount Holyoake College, 2000.
6 6 Dean, Adam . “Nuclear Weapons Deterrance and Proliferation.” Lecture, October 3, 2017.