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Stanford HISTORY 5N - Organization Theory and Nuclear Proliferation

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Organization Theory and Nuclear ProliferationAssumption of RationalityBureaucratic PoliticsOffensive DoctrinesFirst Operational Requirement for DeterrenceSecond Operational Requirement of DeterrenceThird Operational Requirement of DeterrenceConclusionsOrganization Theory and Nuclear ProliferationHistory 5N: The Challenge of Nuclear WeaponsAssumption of Rationality•Government leaders may intend to behave rationally, but they are influenced by organizational actors and constraints•Organizational rationality is “bounded”–Organizations use standard operating procedures and routines–Organizations satisfice–Organizations siphon information–Members are heavily influenced by past experiences–“Goal displacement”Bureaucratic Politics•Organizational actors are “self interested and competitive sub-units”•Policy sometimes reflects the narrow interests of individual organizations, not the national interests of the stateOffensive Doctrines•New proliferators may lack civilian control of stockpiles•Military organizations have strong proclivities toward offensive doctrines–See war as an inevitable end: the “better now than later logic”–Incentive to implement “standard scenario”–More likely to support preventive warFirst Operational Requirement for Deterrence•First operational requirement for deterrence: “the first state to acquire weapons must not attack its rival in a preventive war now, in order to avoid the risk of a worse war after the second state has acquired a large nuclear arsenal.”•Evidence proves that even in the United States government there was strong support for preventive war–In the Truman Administration the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) were in support of first strike doctrines–In the Eisenhower Administration key military officers supported preventive options•Other examples:–Russian military leaders considered a preventive war on ChinaSecond Operational Requirement of Deterrence•The second operational requirement of deterrence is that both sides have invulnerable second-strike nuclear forces•The United States gained invulnerable forces only after civilians forced the production of new weapons systems–Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs) were opposed by US Navy leadership, hoping that Strategic Air Command would pick up the cost–Intercontinental Ballistic Missles (ICBMs) were not a priority in the Air Forces budgetThird Operational Requirement of Deterrence•The final operational requirement is that nuclear arsenals are secure from accidents and unauthorized use•Unfortunately, organizations change standard operating procedures after the threat has been noticed•Evidence from US experience–Test missile fired from Vandenberg Air Force base during Cuban Missile Crisis–Staff at a Montana silo gave themselves independent ability to launch missiles•New proliferants will choose an “opaque” path to proliferation, which is even more unstable•Furthermore, new proliferants will not have the same time security that the US and USSR hadConclusions•The spread of nuclear weapons will make the world less secure•Realists such as Kenneth Waltz have “confused what rational states should do with predictions of real states will do.”•Organizational theory yields a troubling outlook on nuclear proliferations•Three policy implications:–US should maintain its non-proliferation policy–The international community should be convinced that non-proliferation is not only in US interests but for global security–If proliferation does occur, the US should consider helping organizations develop the safety mechanisms to help them achieve deterrent capability and secure


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