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Nuclear Logics

Nuclear Logics: Contrasting Paths in East Asia and the Middle East

Etel Solingen
Copyright Date: 2007
Pages: 420
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  • Book Info
    Nuclear Logics
    Book Description:

    Nuclear Logicsexamines why some states seek nuclear weapons while others renounce them. Looking closely at nine cases in East Asia and the Middle East, Etel Solingen finds two distinct regional patterns. In East Asia, the norm since the late 1960s has been to forswear nuclear weapons, and North Korea, which makes no secret of its nuclear ambitions, is the anomaly. In the Middle East the opposite is the case, with Iran, Iraq, Israel, and Libya suspected of pursuing nuclear-weapons capabilities, with Egypt as the anomaly in recent decades.

    Identifying the domestic conditions underlying these divergent paths, Solingen argues that there are clear differences between states whose leaders advocate integration in the global economy and those that reject it. Among the former are countries like South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan, whose leaders have had stronger incentives to avoid the political, economic, and other costs of acquiring nuclear weapons. The latter, as in most cases in the Middle East, have had stronger incentives to exploit nuclear weapons as tools in nationalist platforms geared to helping their leaders survive in power. Solingen complements her bold argument with other logics explaining nuclear behavior, including security dilemmas, international norms and institutions, and the role of democracy and authoritarianism. Her account charts the most important frontier in understanding nuclear proliferation: grasping the relationship between internal and external political survival.Nuclear Logicsis a pioneering book that is certain to provide an invaluable resource for researchers, teachers, and practitioners while reframing the policy debate surrounding nonproliferation.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-2802-9
    Subjects: Political Science, History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  4. Part One: Introduction and Conceptual Framework

    • CHAPTER ONE Introduction
      (pp. 3-22)

      Why have some states sought nuclear weapons whereas others have shunned them? Why has the Middle East largely evolved toward nuclearization whereas East Asia has moved in the opposite direction since the 1970s?¹ How have international power distribution, globalization, international institutions, or democracy affected those choices? Will these regional trends remain? This book seeks to answer these central questions in international politics by improving our understanding of “nuclear aspirants” or states that have considered, developed, abandoned, or acquired nuclear weapons programs since the conclusion of the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1968, a period sometimes labeled the “second nuclear age.”²


    • CHAPTER TWO Alternative Logics on Denuclearization
      (pp. 23-54)

      Why do some states seek nuclear weapons, why do some reverse such decisions, and why do others never embark on such a quest? Singh and Way (2004) lament the lack of reliable knowledge on determinants of nuclear proliferation and the lack of agreement on the validity or generalizability of academic theories of nuclear proliferation. In an effort to shed light on this absence of consensus, this chapter explores the most important explanations for nuclear behavior, both favoring and renouncing nuclear weapons. Their respective shortcomings clearly explain some skepticism regarding any one theory’s ability to account fully for outcomes. Yet extant...

  5. Part Two: East Asia:: Denuclearization as the Norm, Nuclearization as the Anomaly

      (pp. 57-81)

      During World War II (ca. late 1942) the Japanese army advanced an atomic weapons program—labeledNi-go Kenkyū(NI) after its chief scientist, Nishina Yoshio, at its Tokyo Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (Riken). The navy, in furious competition, pursued its own program at Kyoto Imperial University under scientist Arakatsu Bunsaku. However, these programs—which requested uranium oxide from Germany and won strong support from Prime Minister Tōjō Hideki and the imperial princes—never came to fruition by war’s end, partially due to inadequate technical, human, material, and industrial resources (Dower 1993; FASW). Following defeat in World War II, Japanese...

    • CHAPTER FOUR South Korea
      (pp. 82-99)

      On June 25, 1950, nearly one year following the removal of U.S. troops from South Korea, North Korea’s superior military forces invaded South Korea, nearly swallowing it whole. The United States coalesced U.N. support for South Korea under the principle of collective security, leading to a reversal of battle and eventual military intervention by China. When the Armistice was signed in 1953, 700,000 civilians and 212,000 soldiers from South Korea, between one and three million North Koreans, and 52,000 U.S. soldiers had been killed (100,000 wounded), in addition to millions of displaced and maimed Koreans (Park 1971:83; Koh 1984:210; Cumings...

    • CHAPTER FIVE Taiwan (Republic of China)
      (pp. 100-117)

      In 1949 Nationalist forces defeated by Chinese communists retreated to Taiwan and established the Republic of China (Taiwan henceforth).¹ In 1954 China bombarded Quemoy and Matsu triggering air strikes on the mainland, as ordered by President Chiang Kai-shek, which was followed by U.S. intervention in Taiwan’s defense and the signing of a U.S.-ROC Defense Pact.² In 1958 China bombarded the islands again, prompting the Seventh Fleet into the Straits. President Chiang Ching-Kuo—Chiang Kai-shek’s son—acknowledged in 1975 that Taiwan began efforts to acquire nuclear capabilities in the 1950s, acquiring basic capabilities by 1974 (Dunn 1982; Cooper 1979). Wu Ta-you...

    • CHAPTER SIX North Korea
      (pp. 118-140)

      The nuclear trajectory of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea henceforth) diverged significantly from all other cases discussed in part 2. In the aftermath of World War II, North Korea became an indigenous adaptation of Soviet and Chinese models. Kim Il-Sung launched the Korean War and, following defeat, faced a massive U.S. presence across the border. Fearing the collapse of his regime, he turned North Korea into a military fortress heavily supported by Soviet and Chinese allies. His quest for nuclear weapons may have begun as early as the 1950s (Mazarr 1995a:93). Soon after China’s 1964 test, he...

  6. Part Three: The Middle East:: Nuclearization as the Norm, Denuclearization as the Anomaly

      (pp. 143-163)

      Iraq’s nuclear activities began in 1956 with the establishment of the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC) with U.S. donations of unclassified reports from the Manhattan Project and training of Iraq’s first generation of nuclear scientists. In 1959 Iraq sent 375 students to the Soviet Union for nuclear training, and in 1962 the Soviets supplied a 2 MW research reactor, which began operating around late 1967 (Richelson 2006:318). Iraq signed the NPT in 1968 and ratified it in 1969. In 1971 IAEC scientists began outlining a secret nuclear weapon program aimed at acquiring a safeguarded French reactor to be clandestinely duplicated...

      (pp. 164-186)

      Iran’s Shah purchased a 5 MW research reactor from the United States in the 1960s, signed the NPT in 1968, and ratified it in 1970. In 1972 he announced Iran’s intention to build a large-scale nuclear energy program, and in 1974 he established the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) under his direct supervision. Several agreements with companies in France, the United States, and Germany arranged for the supply of power reactors. In 1975, the Shah stated that if other countries in the region were to acquire nuclear weapons, Iran would have to do likewise. Yet Iran’s delegate to the...

    • CHAPTER NINE Israel
      (pp. 187-212)

      Following the 1947 U.N. partition recognizing Zionist aspirations for a homeland and Israel’s 1948 declaration of independence, five Arab countries attacked Israel in the first of several Arab-Israeli wars. In the war’s aftermath, Arab states’ refusal to recognize the new state and the Palestinian refugee problem kept Israel regionally isolated. Responding to clearly formulated threats of joint Arab efforts to obliterate Israel with Soviet support, Premier David Ben-Gurion ordered the construction of Dimona’s nuclear complex in 1958, following the 1957 secret nuclear agreement with France supplying Israel with a 24 MW natural uranium/heavy-water reactor and a plutonium-reprocessing facility.¹ Although Charles...

    • CHAPTER TEN Libya
      (pp. 213-228)

      Long-standing suspicions of Libya’s nuclear intentions stemmed from both its declaratory statements and activities geared to obtain nuclear weapons. Beginning in 1970, Muammar Qadhafi’s lieutenant Major Abdelsalam Jallud visited China repeatedly in an unsuccessful effort to purchase nuclear weapons.¹ In 1973 Libya launched a war aimed at gaining control of the Aouzou Strip in Chad, a region presumed to be rich in uranium deposits. Efforts to obtain nuclear weapons from India in exchange for paying off its entire foreign debt (estimated at $15 billion) failed (NTIW). Cooperation with Pakistan began in 1974, with Libya providing financial support and uranium “yellow...

      (pp. 229-246)

      Following the 1952 revolution that brought him to power, President Nasser launched a nuclear program in 1954 and created the Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) in 1955.¹ Nasser’s cabinet secretary and secretary-general of the AEA’s governing council, Ibrahim Abdel Rahman, was reportedly informed that the program’s focus should be on peaceful applications but also preserve the military option (Walsh 2001; Einhorn 2004:45). According to Free Officer Salah Hedayat, who served as AEA director general, science minister (1965–70), and director of the Inshas Nuclear Research Center under Nasser, Egypt began a secret nuclear weapons program some years before Israel, but abandoned...

  7. Part Four: Conclusions

    • CHAPTER TWELVE Findings, Futures, and Policy Implications
      (pp. 249-300)

      This book’s objective has been primarily analytical, aiming at a better understanding of why states acquire or renounce nuclear weapons and revisiting how we study this subject. A prolific literature has been largely devoted to supply-side concerns related to international control of sensitive nuclear technologies.¹ The demand side—why nuclear aspirants contemplate or acquire nuclear weapons—has received less systematic attention, neglecting the thirty-year-old warning by Nobel Economics Laureate Thomas Schelling (1976:80) that “the emphasis has to shift from physical denial and technology secrecy to the things that determine incentives and expectations.” Three decades later, former chief U.N. weapons inspector...

  8. Notes
    (pp. 301-350)
  9. References
    (pp. 351-384)
  10. Index
    (pp. 385-404)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 405-406)