chapter  2
34 Pages

Why support nuclear proliferators?

WithHenrik Stålhane Hiim

This chapter seeks to identify explanatory variables that are missing from current theories, as well as to develop a more refined way to measure support for a nuclear proliferator. It aims to develop a typology of different forms of support that a supplier state may provide to would-be nuclear proliferators. In addition to the China-to-Pakistan case, there are only two other clear-cut examples, and a handful in which the details are contested. The chapter highlights that nuclear support may present a supplier state with both significant benefits and major costs. It also highlights how supporting a proliferator may wield strategic benefits, but also have potential costs. The chapter outlines how states are likely to settle the cost–benefit calculus. It further argues that the risk of cascade effects or unfavorable changes in military doctrines of adversaries is the first factor a state considers when determining whether or not to provide nuclear support.