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Strategic Nuclear Sharing by Julian Schofield (auth.)

By Julian Schofield (auth.)

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When states share States share nuclear weapons for up to three reasons: for barter to obtain vital resources; to improve the security of a recipient state or alliance, which in turn improves the security of the donor; and with distant proxies to undermine the spheres of influence of adversaries. Sharing for barter States may sell nuclear technology for profit,11 or may trade or share nuclear technology in exchange for vital resources, or for nuclear technology they do not have. States will barter nuclear technology if the outcome leads them to be better off in terms of relative power in the international system.

The world’s largest ever nuclear detonation on October 30, 1961, the 52 megaton Tsar Bomba by the Soviet Union, was a retaliatory signal demonstrating Moscow’s displeasure with alleged US assistance Proliferation Races and Nonproliferation Bargains 43 to French nuclear testing. Eisenhower thought it inevitable and desirable that the UK, France and Germany would nuclearize, and permit the US to disengage from Europe. Counter-evidence in support of the intervention model comes in the form of China’s 1992 missile sales to Taiwan and Iran, ostensibly in retaliation for US F-16 aircraft sales to Taiwan.

The contours of a US-China nonproliferation bargain began as a US attempt to socialize a China seeking commercial engagement with the world in the early 1980s. 130 China, for its part, has linked its treaty compliance to US non-interference over Taiwan. 132 China has significantly curtailed its nuclear and missile technology transfers to Iran, North Korea and Pakistan in response to US concerns. 134 While China is not known to have provided Pyongyang with strategic missile or nuclear assistance, Beijing does make the survival of the regime a priority in order to preserve North Korea as a territorial buffer state.

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