Do alliances curb efforts by states to develop nuclear weapons?
Atomic Assurance looks at what makes alliances sufficiently
credible to prevent nuclear proliferation; how alliances can break
down and so encourage nuclear proliferation; and whether security
guarantors like the United States can use alliance ties to end the
nuclear efforts of their allies.
Alexander Lanoszka finds that military alliances are less useful in
preventing allies from acquiring nuclear weapons than conventional
wisdom suggests. Through intensive case studies of West Germany,
Japan, and South Korea, as well as a series of smaller cases on
Great Britain, France, Norway, Australia, and Taiwan, Atomic
Assurance shows that it is easier to prevent an ally from
initiating a nuclear program than to stop an ally that has already
started one; in-theater conventional forces are crucial in making
American nuclear guarantees credible; the American coercion of
allies who started, or were tempted to start, a nuclear weapons
program has played less of a role in forestalling nuclear
proliferation than analysts have assumed; and the economic or
technological reliance of a security-dependent ally on the United
States works better to reverse or to halt that ally's nuclear bid
than anything else.
Crossing diplomatic history, international relations, foreign
policy, grand strategy, and nuclear strategy, Lanoszka's book
reworks our understanding of the power and importance of alliances
in stopping nuclear proliferation.