Nuclear non-proliferation issues abound in the news. Of note, the US Air Force has been reprimanded for lax nuclear security measures, Iran is accused of trying to build a bomb, and experts predict that the forty-year-old Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is failing. These nuclear proliferation fears correspond to the issues of loose nukes, nations developing nuclear arms, and inability of the international community to control nuclear non-proliferation. Whether or not these fears become reality depends on the effectiveness of the international nuclear non-proliferation system. This discussion focuses on the NPT and neglects existent ad hoc approaches to non-proliferation. These ad hoc mechanisms developed to fill the formal mechanisms' gaps in capability, and they are part of the nuclear non-proliferation solution. This comment argues that the formal mechanisms of non-proliferation are not broken, but that even when they are most effective they do not prevent all forms of proliferation.
The Eighty Percent and Twenty Percent Solutions to Nuclear Proliferation Matthew Lund Brigham Young Univer
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